Takeaway’s efforts curry favour with contest judges

Amber Rudd pictured with Keith Vaz MP, Mrs Maheswari, the speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow MP and Mr Kumar.
Amber Rudd pictured with Keith Vaz MP, Mrs Maheswari, the speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow MP and Mr Kumar.

A CURRY house is the toast of Parliament after MPs voted it the country’s best Indian restaurant.

Each year members of the House of Commons nominate eateries from their constituencies to compete for the Tiffin Cup.

And this year the St Leonards-based Taj Mahal was named the top take-away - beating off competition from 61 others restaurants.

The Taj Mahal was put forward by locals after Hastings MP Amber Rudd set up a competition to find the town’s favourite curry house.

And staff from the Western Road venue were in London this week after secret judges whittled the entries down to a dozen finalists.

The Taj Mahal stole the show in the cook-off style competition at the Commons, preparing signature dishes for a panel of expert judges.

And its delighted owners - Mr Kumar and Mrs Maheswari - could not hide their excitement having clinched the crowned.

Mr Kumar said: “This was an excellent event, and was thoroughly enjoyable to participate in.

“We were so delighted to come up to Westminster to compete in the final and to win was just amazing.”

And the restaurant also received praise because head chef Lakshmi Maheswari was the first woman to compete in the history of the Tiffin Cup.

Keith Vaz MP, the chair of the Tiffin Club said: “We are delighted that The Taj Mahal has beaten extremely stiff competition in order to become champions of the Lyca Tiffin Cup.

“This is a great tribute not just to the Taj Mahal but also to the constituency of Hastings as a whole.”

And it was music to the ears of Hastings MP Amber Rudd, who nominated the eatery.

She told the Observer: “They produced stunning food, and are great ambassadors for Hastings.

“I am absolutely delighted that the Taj Mahal has won the final.

“This is such a prestigious award and I am certain everyone in Hastings is extremely proud of the effort they have put into this competition.”