Curry king crown goes to princes' caterer

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The Independent Online

A restaurant owner in Southall will become the first Indian caterer outside London's West End to be crowned Britain's king of curry today.

Madhu's, run by Sanjay Anand, will be named the country's best Indian restaurant at the Cobra Good Curry Guide Awards. Although Mr Anand owns just one restaurant, he also has a £300m-turnover-a-year Indian catering business, used by the London Hilton on Park Lane, Café Royal and the Grosvenor House Hotel. He also owns London's first Indian nightclub, Mumbai Nights, at the Sheraton Skyline.

Madhu's, which has catered for Prince Charles and Prince Michael of Kent, serves Punjabi cuisine with an East African twist. Mr Anand, who was born in Nairobi, Kenya, said he was "thrilled" to win. Asked whether this might prompt him to roll out a chain of Madhu's, he said: "You can run 10 good restaurants but you can't run 10 exceptional restaurants. When you start opening branch after branch you take your pulse off the actual cuisine."

The west London restaurant's most popular dishes include nyamah choma, ribs of lamb marinated in a red chilli paste, and machuzi kuku, chicken simmered in a cinnamon and clove spiked broth.

Although Britain has more than 9,000 curry houses, there are no national Indian restaurant chains. David Page, who helped to put PizzaExpress on the map, plans to use his AIM-listed company Clapham House to roll out a chain of Bombay Bicycle restaurants.