After finding this out, we were certain Leicester’s curry dedication would make them strong competition, so we spoke with City Mayor for Leicester, Sir Peter Soulsby, to find out more of the city’s curry credentials.
Mem-Saab Reveals Leicester’s Winning Recipe
Mem-Saab, the fine dining Indian restaurant located in the prestigious Highcross shopping precinct in Leicester states on their website, ‘Here at Mem-Saab we like to do things passionately.’ This passion was evident when speaking with Manager Raj Kooner about Leicester’s Indian food culture and why this year their city will win Curry Capital. (Vote for Leicester HERE)
What will winning the Curry Capital of Britain title mean for Leicester, and the Indian restaurants of the city?
This would a massive achievement for Leicester and in particular, for the food industry.
Leicester is the hub of multicultural delight. It has a large ethnic minority population, creating diversity, culture and innovation. This coupled with the entrepreneurial spark has led to Leicester achieving its greatest culinary strength, that being Indian food.
We believe that the Curry Capital title would strengthen prosperity and awareness of the high quality Indian cuisines we have Leicester.
Why does Leicester deserve to win?
Leicester offers a wide variety of Indian food from the subcontinent, from traditional Gujarati, Punjabi and South Indian cuisines to the more contemporary Indo-Chinese.
A taste for every palate all in one city.
What will you be doing for the Curry Capital bid?
With the support of local press and our team at Mem-Saab we are encouraging customers and the people of Leicester to take part in The Curry Capital of Britain to bring back the title to Leicester.
Have you represented Leicester in the Curry Capital of Britain Awards in the past, if so what has that involved?
This is the first time that we are representing Leicester and it would be great for us to win back the crown.
As a representing restaurant you will be judged on a number of things. How does Mem-Saab serve the community of Leicester?
One of our fundamental objectives is to provide high professional level of service and hygiene.
All our staff are trained to regularly book keep records of cleaning and foods. This helps us monitor cleanliness and hygiene throughout the restaurant, and helps us maintain a good consistent reputation with The Food Standard Agency.
Customer service is an integral part of providing a great experience at Mem-Saab. We provide a friendly, professional and prompt service. As a team we work hard to accommodate for special dietary needs or unique tastes. Further we have good built in access for wheelchairs, making Mem-Saab disabled friendly.
We aim to use locally sourced food to provide the freshest, best quality and tastiest food. Every meal is prepared with the same care and attention minus any additives or preservatives.
We offer customers to complete ‘comment cards’ to encourage and welcome suggestions about how we could improve.
Does Mem-Saab have a signature style/ what makes you unique?
Mem-Saab has used the concept of traditional home-cooking in the grand style for more than a decade. With its unique combination of traditional values and contemporary sophistication, Mem-Saab offers the authentic taste of the east in an atmosphere conducive to fine dining.
What will you be doing to celebrate if Leicester wins Curry Capital?
To be part of the Curry Capital of Britain 2012, is already a tremendous honour and privilege. To win would be extra special as it would encourage visitors to sample what Leicester has to offer.
Mem-Saab would like to celebrate the success by holding a charity event in aid of The Curry Tree Charitable Fund to help the victims of disaster & the malnourished. This event would allow us to raise awareness via the local press to promote Indian food in Leicester as well as raising funds for a good cause.
Leicester – Curry, Spice and All Things Nice
There’s a lot cooking in Leicester when it comes to curry and it goes way beyond the kitchen.
The cultural impact ethnic communities have on Leicester are hard to ignore, take the world famous Golden Mile for example – a stretch of road (Belgrave Road) which gives you a real taste of India, not just because of the abundance of food and spices on offer, but also the Asian inspired jewellery, clothing, arts and crafts.
This may have something to do with the fact that according to the last census, the city has the largest Indian population of any local authority area in England and Wales.
The oldest curry house in Leicester, the Taj Mahal on Highfields Street, celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2010.
Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival, which at 18-years-old is the longest running comedy festival in the UK, is now feeding off the city’s curry influence… literally. In February this year, the festival established its own curry house as a comedy venue. As part of the experience, diners/ audience are encouraged to order the funniest thing off the menu – even the professionals can’t resist a curry pun.
Leicester was home to the first Asian content TV channel in the UK and still houses the BBC Asian Network national radio station.
According to goLeicestershire, Serge Pizzorno is “proud” to have his signed photograph hanging on the wall of his favourite local Dine India restaurant, and local band Cornershop pressed their debut release, EP ‘‘In The Days of Ford Cortina’ EP, on curry-coloured vinyl.
Curry for Cure
In May this year, the University of Leicester launched a major trial investigating a curry chemical’s cancer-fighting properties.
Curcumin, which is found in the spice turmeric, has been linked to a range of health benefits, one major one being it has shown that it can beat cancer cells grown in a laboratory.
Forty patients at Leicester Royal Infirmary and Leicester General Hospital are now taking part in the trial, which will compare the effects of giving curcumin pills seven days before starting standard chemotherapy treatment.