A DARTFORD takeaway has tickled the taste buds of a top panel to win a national curry award.

The Polash Tandoori won best takeaway in London and the home counties at the spicy ceremony in Park Lane’s Grosvenor House hotel on Sunday evening (November 25).

Business secretary Vince Cable and Curry Club chairman Pat Chapman presented the Federation of Bangladeshi Caterers award to Polash owner Shafique Miah.

The family-run takeaway in Princes Road has been going 22 years but this is the first time its range of Indian and Bangladeshi-style balti and tandoori treats has received such acclaim.

Mr Miah commutes to work every day from Limehouse in east London; all for the love of the business started by his cousin Abdul Bari in 1991.

The 40-year-old said: "It was absolutely fantastic to win.

"We rely on our regular customers and I know more or less every person who walks in that takeaway.

"If someone says they don’t like something we take it on board and sort it out and that is probably why we have been around so long."

The dad-of-three says judges came to do a blind taste test sometime in the last three months, though he has not been told when.

A film crew then came to capture head chef Mr Bari in action and were served the eatery’s signature Polash Special dish of chicken and mincemeat in a blend of medium and mild spices.

Mr Miah added: "Getting the award from the business secretary made it even better.

"He’s an absolutely delightful person and not as miserable as he looks on TV."

Mr Miah was joined by nephew Abdul Kayùm in accepting a glass trophy and framed certificate.

The annual Asian Curry Awards reward excellence in food and service across the UK’s Asian catering sector.