It’s addictive and delicious, the aroma a sensation. What are we talking about? Curry of course! Going out to a restaurant on an evening can be a real event, and arguably the most popular ‘eat out’ venues are Indian restaurants. None more so than Azram’s ‘Sheesh Mahal’ restaurant on Kirkstall Road in Leeds, just a stone’s throw from ‘Vue Cinema’ on Cardigan Fields. The restaurant has this year won the prestigious award as Yorkshire’s best Indian restaurant.
Mr Azram Chaudhry, proud proprietor of the restaurant said
“I’ve been in the business since 1990, and I wish I knew where those twenty four years have gone, it seems like yesterday. I still come in like it was the first day and I enjoy every minute of it. I have served up to four generations at one table, grandfathers, fathers, sons and grandsons, so really it’s such a joy. To me they are not just customers, but are a family, after all twenty-four years is a long time. I don’t think about retiring, but only time will tell and I could then give more time to my wife, apart from that I will be here for a while.”
High praise was given by one of Azram’s regular customers, Stuart Archbold who has been frequenting the restaurant for over twenty years.
“My belief is that a restaurant is made up of certain key things and people go back if those key things are in place. Firstly, the food in a restaurant has to be good and it is superb at Azram’s. It’s always consistently good.”
Mr Archbold went on to say that unlike some restaurants where chefs change, in the twenty years he has been going there he has always been confident in the service and quality of the food, Azram makes sure personally that the ingredients are right.
“Azram is of course an experienced chef and he supervises in the kitchen as well as at the tables, so if he notices that a chef hasn’t cooked the meal to his expectancy, he rolls his sleeves up and does it himself. He knows his customers almost as family and friends, and whenever we go to the restaurant, he makes us feel we are friends of his”.
The award to Azram’s Sheesh Mahal was presented by Pat Chapman, well known author on Indian food and Editor of the ‘Cobra Good Curry Guide’ who said:
“There are 9000 Indian restaurants in Great Britain, and since 1984, I have been producing this good curry guide, every three years, and this one is the eleventh edition. I get to hear about good restaurants from people that dine in them and out of the 9000, we carry about 1000 in the guide. In recent years we have started another category which is the top 100, and now we are down to the top 100 out of the 9000. There are sixteen major awards in England, two in Scotland, and two in Wales. Azram’s ‘Sheesh Mahal’ in Leeds gets the Yorkshire award.”