After two rounds of intense voting, Peterborough Telegraph readers’ choice as their Curry House of the Year for 2017 can be revealed.
Sonargaon Tandoori, in the Market Place at Whittlesey, topped the poll, narrowly edging The Banyan Tree in Church Street, Werrington, into second, and the Taj Mahal, in Lincoln Road, Peterborough, into third.
From an initial entry of more than 30 Indian restaurants in and around the city, readers’ votes narrowed it down to a top ten, before another round of voting revealed the top three this week.
A delighted Sonargaon manager Abul Kahar Babul wasted no time in proudly displaying his framed winner’s certificate in the window.
He said: “I want as many people as possible to see that we won the competition.
“I am really pleased for the staff here and for our customers who voted.
“We have a lot of loyal customers - about 95 per cent of our customers are regulars so they must like what we do.”
Babul, who has run the family-owned business since 1998, puts the restaurant’s success down to friendly service and traditional Bangladeshi food.
“I am here every night and take time to get to know my customers, everybody who comes in knows me,” he said.
“My main chef has been here for 15 or 16 years but has 45 years experience, so he really knows what he is doing.
Piyush Vakharia is another friendly familiar face to regulars this time at The Banyan Tree, which he has managed since it opened more than a decade ago, something he believes earned the restaurant a runners-up spot.
“I would have loved to have won,” said the man known to his customers as “P”.
“As soon as we were on the list of entries, people coming in to the restaurant were talking about it and telling me they had voted, which I was very happy about.”
Bash Hussein, who has run the Taj Mahal for the last five years, was equally as pleased with his customers.
“Lots of people came into the restaurant on the Friday night telling me they had voted after seeing the top 10 in the paper,” he said.
“We have a lot of loyal customers, everyone was talking about it, and it would have been nice to have won, but this is still very good for us.”
The other restaurants to make the Top 10 were: Angel Spice, Stilton; Bollywood Tiger, Yaxley; New Punjab Balti House, Peterborough; Roti Food Bar, Peterborough; Spiceland, Sawtry; Lahore Tandoori, Peterborough; and Maharanis, Hampton.