It’s always a lively debate for Sheffield diners as to which Indian restaurant curries favour in the city.
But spice connoisseurs have spoken, and Zara’s in Crookes has been crowned The Star’s Curry House of the Year 2015.
Our readers voted in their droves and rated Zara’s as Sheffield’s king of chicken tikka masala.
Manager Shahbaz Choudry, aged 52, said: “We feel very proud and really pleased to beat so many restaurants in Sheffield to win.
“We aim all the time for excellent service and top quality food, we don’t cut corners. We try and be different to other restaurants as we know there is lots of competition, some good competition and we have to adapt.
“But it’s the customers that make this award possible, I can’t thank them enough.
Mr Choudry knows his curry, as it has been his life for around 35 years and has managed Zara’s since 2009.
And the boss said has seen a big shift in the customer’s curry palate.
“People know what they want,” Mr Choudry added.
“Thirty years ago you could make a simple hot and spicy sauce with chicken or beef and people would love it.
“Now customers expect a lot more flavour and taste with fresh ingredients. They know their stuff and it’s what we thrive to achieve.
“It’s a good way of keeping customers coming back and it seems to work for us.”
Staff at Zaras can work up to a 14-hour shift, which starts with a daily shop for fresh ingredients.
The chefs also think of new dishes to keep the menu fresh.
Since 2009 Zara’s has been highly recognised by websites Trip Advisor, Three Best Rated and nationally by currylovers.org.
It also achieved a five star rating from The Star’s well-known restaurant critic Martin Dawes.
Crookes could even be declared a curry hotspot as Jaflong, only a five minute walk down the road, claimed second spot in the Star awards.
Jaflong manager Wadud Miah, 42, said: “We’re really pleased to get second spot and come in the top three. I’d like to thank all the customers that voted for us. We do what we do for them.
“A big thank you to the staff as well they work ever so hard and deserve a lot of credit.”
Chutney on White Lane, Gleadless Townend, scooped third spot.
Business partners Una Miah, 46, and Abdul Miah, 42, paid tribute to their customers.
Abdul said: “A big thank you to new and loyal customers that voted for us, it means a lot to everyone that works here.”
Una added: “We’re really happy to get in the top three, maybe next year we’ll hit the top spot!”
Other Star award nominees
Bay of Bengal Restaurant - 1A White Lane, Gleadless, Sheffield
Shapla Restaurant - 26-28 Cumberland Street, Sheffield,
Everest Restaurant - 59-61 Chesterfield Road, Sheffield
Kashmiri Aroma Restaurant - 798 Chesterfield Road, Woodseats, Sheffield
Arusuvai Restuarant - 92-94 Middlewood Road, Sheffield
Bollywood Restaurant - 192 Bawtry Road, Wickersley, Rotherham
Mohul Restaurant - 47 Baslow Road, Totley, Sheffield