Boris Johnson heaps praise on ‘Scotland’s curry champion’ as Midlothian restaurant wins award for service during Covid crisis
An award-winning Midlothian restaurant has been currying favour with locals for years – and now Boris Johnson has got in on the act.
On Thursday night, Radhuni restaurant in Loanhead’s managing partner, Habibur Khan, was praised by the Prime Minister after receiving a British Curry ‘Oscar’ for outstanding service in the industry during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The judges of the British Curry Awards also said the Bangladeshi-Indian eaterie “has shown great initiative and community spirit”.
Among its contributions was serving £10,000 worth of free meals to NHS and emergency workers and care home staff.
Radhuni and its sister restaurant, Itihaas in nearby Dalkeith, are currently raising money for national charity Children 1st by donating 25p from every takeaway.
Mr Khan became the youngest person to take home one of the major British Curry Awards last year when Radhuni was named Scotland’s best curry restaurant.
Now 24, he dedicated his outstanding service award to NHS Scotland.
He said: “Its staff have worked around the clock under enormous pressure and continue to strive to their utmost to tackle the dreadful effects of the virus. We owe each and every one of them a huge debt.”
This year the awards – usually based on votes from the public and judges’ assessments – were dedicated to the ‘unsung heroes’ of the UK curry industry, reported to be worth around £5 billion a year.
Due to the coronavirus crisis, they were held by video, hosted by comedian Rory Bremner and streamed live on channels including YouTube.
Mr Khan’s award was presented virtually by former UK Cabinet Minister Chris Grayling.
In an introduction to the Awards, dubbed Britain’s ‘Curry Oscars’, Boris Johnson said winners of the outstanding service award and others “have selflessly, tirelessly and without prompting gone out of their way to help their local community, the vulnerable, the elderly and isolated, and the NHS by supplying much wanted curries, kindness and support.”
Mr Khan added: “The NHS in Scotland has shown what a great team it can be.
"The least our small dedicated team at Radhuni can do is to try to emulate it by working together to serve our local communities.”