A DARLINGTON restaurant is celebrating after being crowned one of the best in Britain at a national awards ceremony.

Indian restaurant Cafe Spice, in Clark's Yard, received the title at the Curry Life awards and thanks its customers for their dedicated support.

Opened in 2008, the family-run restaurant provides an authentic Indian cuisine experience with distinct flavours.

Owner and chef Brian Mohan Miah, 55, oversees the dishes, maintaining high standards and ensuring every meal is prepared with care and attention to detail.

"We spend a lot of time and put in considerable amounts of effort when building relationships with customers and aim to create one with every diner," he says.

"We have put out blood, sweat and tears into this restaurant and finally feel we are getting recognised for our hard work."

Darlington and Stockton Times: Cafe Spice owner Brian Mohan Miah. Picture: SARAH CALDECOTTCafe Spice owner Brian Mohan Miah. Picture: SARAH CALDECOTT

The family travelled to the awards ceremony earlier this month and were blown away with the judges' praise for their business.

"We didn't expect to win, and we were just over the moon to get to the final," said restaurant manager Ismail Miah. "Winning it was just a bonus."

The one thing that staff believe makes Cafe Spice stand out from the rest is the rapport it has built up with customers.

Ismail added: "We treat every customer like they're family whether it's busy or it's quiet, everyone gets the same treatment. A lot of care goes into our food. We keep it fresh and there's a lot of time and effort that goes into it.

Read more: Owner’s delight as Cafe Spice is named best Indian restaurant in North-East

Cafe Spice has previously won the Bangladesh Caterers Association's (BCA) Best Indian Restaurant North East in 2014, 2016 and 2019 as well as chef Miah being named as BCA's chef of the year in 2017.

The restaurant received a huge plaque as part of the award and Ismail said they hope to erect it on the wall inside the restaurant to show off their achievement to all customers new and old.

Along with a personal rapport with all customers, the restaurant's unique dishes also stand out. There is an extensive menu on offer, split into several categories, and the Dheli Korai - a medium hot chicken tikka curry - and Shatkora Gosht - a citrus-infused curry - proving to be diners' favourites.

Darlington and Stockton Times: A selection of the food on offerA selection of the food on offer

"The chef has been cooking for decades now and he's implemented his own unique touch to the food," Ismail said.

The restaurant received praise in the community after free curries were delivered to care home workers during the coronavirus lockdown last year as a thank you for all their hard work.

Former Top Gear star and Grand Tour presenter James May has also frequented the restaurant on his visits to the town.

For now, staff at Cafe Spice don't plan to change too much despite the award success.

Ismail added: "Our message now is to keep going and continue to serve our customers to the highest standard. It's working, clearly, and we're going to keep providing Darlington with the best Indian food in the UK."