A County Durham restaurant is vying to become the best curry house in the UK after it was shortlisted in the top 200 venues - despite only opening last year.
Aruvi Restaurant in Spennymoor might only be a new name on the County Durham food scene, but it has grown its name and reputation quickly.
After opening on Half Moon Lane in Spennymoor in 2022, it has now been shortlisted at this year's Asian Curry Awards, which has been dubbed the ‘Curry Oscars’ for its prominence in the industry.
The Asian Curry Awards cover the complete range of Asian and Oriental cuisines, such as Bangladeshi, Chinese, Indian, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Middle Eastern, Thai, Turkish and Vietnamese.
Aruvi, which offers a range of Indian dishes, has impressed the judges with its extensive mix of quality food and drinks that has seen it stand out in the region.
Now that the restaurant has been shortlisted, it has made it to the top 200 in the UK - but will battle it out to take home the crown of the best curry house.
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Alongside Aruvi, Balti Hut in Middlesbrough and Vadah in Stockton have made it into the top 200, while Spice Lounge in Durham and My Delhi in Sunderland and Newcastle are also there.
Those nominated will now face a public vote before the list is whittled down to 100 - who will then be assessed by a panel of judges from the Asian Catering Federation (ACF), who will determine category winners.
The recipients of the awards will be revealed at a gala dinner and presentation ceremony, hosted by BBC news anchor Samantha Simmonds, at the Grosvenor House in London on November 19.
“We’re seeing some remarkable innovation by pioneering restaurateurs, adapting to challenging trading conditions and more sophisticated customer preferences,” said ACF Chairman Yawar Khan.
“Afternoon chai, weekend brunch, more use of quality local produce – especially seafood and game, are now being widely served.”