A restaurant boss is celebrating after his venue “curried favour” to be named the best on Wearside.
Yuvraaj, owned by Monie Hussain, has taken the title of Curry House of the Year 2017 after months of voting by readers.
Our original list of more than 30 Indian restaurants in the Sunderland area was whittled down to just 10 nominees.
And the Ashbrooke eatery, formerly the popular Cafe Spice, came out on top when nominations closed.
Speaking to the Echo, Mr Hussain said: “We’re overwhelmed that we’ve won the competition because there are so many other restaurants and a lot of them are great, great establishments that have been running for many years.
“We really appreciate the support and love that we get from our customers and want to thank them for voting for us.”
Mr Hussain took over the restaurant back in 2015 and immediately set about freshening the place up with a new decor.
“I wanted to change things around,” he said.
“We closed the place for a refurb and decided to rebrand as well because I wanted to put my on stamp on the place.
“People had known the place as Cafe Spice for 15 years, but I didn’t want people to think it was the same old, same old experience they would get.
“Things started off quite steadily, but, then last Christmas more and more people seemed to be recommending us and since then, business has been absolutely amazing.
“We’ve done really well and it’s all down to our customers.
“They are the ones telling other people to give us a go.”
Yuvraaj, in Douro Terrace, can cater for up to 70 people at present, but Mr Hussain added that he and his team of 12 staff are looking at a possible expansion.
“We’ve got an upstairs which we are not using at the minute, but we are planning to do something with in future.
“Hopefully, by the end of the year, we should have a plan in place for that.
“We pride ourselves on not pushing our customers and we never ask them to leave if we are busy and that’s why I think we are getting better known.
“Now, we’re really looking forward to the festive season so that we can provide our customers with the kind of service they want during that period of the year.”