The owner of an award-winning Indian restaurant has spoken of his “excitement” after it scooped three awards including overall winner in the 2015 Guardian Food Awards.
The Star of India in High Road, Leytonstone, beat around 50 other restaurants, takeaways and cafés in Epping Forest, Waltham Forest, and Wanstead and Woodford, across 10 categories.
It also scooped the takeaway and Indian restaurant categories.
Owner Shah Ahmed, who has been in charge of the business since his father died in 2000, has thanked his customers for helping his restaurant continue its success since opening in 1971.
He said: “It’s exciting, I am really pleased we have been chosen again.
“It just shows the massive support we have for what we do and I would like to thank all of our loyal customers.
“People love our food and I see this award as a mandate for us to continue doing what we are doing here.”
Shah Ahmed (centre) with staff inside the Star of India restaurant in Leytonstone.
The restaurant last won the overall prize in 2013.
Mr Ahmed said the restaurant, which has won a Guardian Food Award every year since 2005, has had to change its outlook in the past few years.
He said: “We still use much of the same recipes in our curries since we opened in 1971 but we are always looking at how we can make them healthier.
“We have changed the way we use oil and cream as our customers demand healthier food.
“Portion sizes in the past have sometimes been over the top too so we are giving people more choice over that.”
Mr Ahmed had only praise for his team of staff at the Leytonstone restaurant as they celebrated the success.
"It has been a massive commitment and hard work from all the staff here, I want to thank every one of them,” he added.
“We are all proud of our success and proud to be part of the Leytonstone community.”
Winners in full:
International restaurant: Sahara Grill, Leyton
European restaurant: Nuovo Mondragone, Walthamstow
Indian restaurant: Star of India, Leytonstone
Fish and Chips shop: Wilson’s, Chingford
Pie and Mash shop: Tony’s, Waltham Abbey
Takeaway: Star of India
Coffee Shop: Oh My, Chingford
Oriental restaurant: Peking Chef, Walthamstow
Public House: Theydon Oak, Epping
Butchers: Church’s, Epping
Overall winner: Star of India