A BOLTON restaurant has been named as having the best Asian cuisine in the North West.

The Hot Chilli Restaurant,in Blackburn Road, lifted the award at the inaugural Asian Restaurant and Takeaway Awards in London

It fought off stiff opposition from restaurants across the North of England in front of guests including Lib Dem leader Sir Vince Cable, television personality Lizzie Cundy, reality star Ben Jardine, Britain’s Next Top Model contestant Victoria Clay, cricketer Monty Panesar and TOWIE star Pascal Craymer.

Delighted Chilli Restaurant managing director Shek Shah said: “We believe we won this prestigious award because our customers have supported us over the years. We feel so proud of our team for coming this far.”

The ceremony was hosted by television chef Ainsley Harriott and BBC news presenter Samantha Simmonds and entertainment included a performance by the evergreen Queen of Bollywood music, Alka Yagnik.

Mr Shah said that the latest award for the restaurant was thanks to the support and positive feedback and reviews he had had from its many diners which led to a cook off and ultimately the award.

He explained: “This is just the beginning for our restaurant and we are pleased to have been a part of one of the biggest Asian restaurant and takeaway awards. We thank all our customers and staff for allowing us this huge opportunity to show the North West who we are and what we stand for.”

In a message read out from Prime Minister Theresa May, she said: “These prestigious awards are an excellent opportunity to celebrate the craft of the most talented chefs and highly skilled service staff responsible for producing exceptional British Asian cuisine. Asian cuisine has certainly become an immensely important and popular part of British life. Its success is owed, in no small part, to the talented restaurateurs and chefs who are being nominated for and receiving awards this year, and it is crucial that we recognise, promote and celebrate this.”

Mr Shah added: “As a family, we would like to thank everyone who has been involved, no matter how small a part was played, in the restaurant achieving the status of Regional Winner, North West.”