A popular Indian restaurant in Preston received an award for being the best Indian restaurant in the country for the first time since opening.
Barton Bangla Brassiere has grown into an established restaurant in the small village of Barton since it opened in 2006 and has been family owned ever since.
The restaurant was voted the country’s best Curry restaurant at this year’s prestigious Curry Awards hosted by Britain’s top-rated Curry magazine at a sparkling event at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London.
Although the restaurant has claimed the top spot across the country, the team remain humble and firmly committed to their roots in the village where they have led their success.
Barton Bangla Brasserie owner Firoz Ali recalled the early days of his business, remembering the hard times and trials the family went through.
Read more: Popular Preston pub to close after ‘constant noise complaints’ from new apartments across the street
Setting up an authentic Indian restaurant in a village that lacks diverse cultural ties became difficult for the family as they soon realized that if the restaurant was to function, they had to tailor their menu to the tastes of the local community.
âThe community in the area wasn’t really used to the food so we had to adapt the food a lot to meet the taste buds of the locals and that’s what we’re known for now,â Firoz said.
“The recession was very difficult, even though it is a very wealthy region, it had an effect on the business recovery because it took about three years.”
Over a decade after resolving the initial start-up issues and recovering from the impact of the recession, Barton Bangla Brassiere has grown steadily stronger.
The team became well-known figures in their community and welcomed people not only from the village, but also towns and cities across the county.
It was clear to see the restaurant’s growing popularity, but in March 2020 the lockdown forced their doors to close and the business took a bigger hit than the last.
âWe continued to navigate to where we are today, but then we got to the pandemic, it was really, really tough,â Firoz said.
“It was unprecedented and we weren’t expecting anything like it, so we went from a crowded restaurant to all of a sudden saying okay, shut down the restaurant.”
Due to uncertainty and difficulty opening with restrictions, Firoz and his family made the decision not to open when the government announced restaurants were allowed to reopen.
With many restrictions and procedures in place at the time affecting the work and dining experiences of staff and clients, Barton Bangla Brasseries only welcomed people three months after the July 2020 announcement.
âWe didn’t open right away even though we had the social distancing space – we thought we weren’t quite ready,â Firoz said.
âWhen we were closed we opened take out and it was even more difficult because we are a very busy restaurant that goes into a take out service and where we are is very rural.
“Our main customers came from maybe seven or ten miles – for us to take it was a waste, but we did it anyway, we gave it a try anyway.”
A year later the team are back to serving customers and providing quality food and after being recognized as the best Indian restaurant in the country, Firoz says their recipe for success is their team.
During the first five years of establishing the restaurant, Firoz encountered difficulties adapting the menu to customers and found that the solution to their problem was for the family to go to the kitchen themselves.
In 2013 Firoz and his family made the decision to reinvent the restaurant’s menu and style to infuse both Indian and British culture, which involved the transition from the front of the house to the back of the house. .
Firoz said: âWe went back to basics and went into the kitchen ourselves, spending time learning how to cook and following the advice of other family members and generated a new menu.
âThe first thing customers tell their friends and family is the food and if the food isn’t good then we’ve lost the focus of what we’re trying to achieve.
“We’re very, very passionate and that’s because we’ve been through so much hardship with the business – in a way it’s the best thing that has happened to us because we’ve learned to do everything in our business. . “
After years of dedication and hard work, Barton Bangla Brassiere and the team behind were recognized for their efforts and were crowned the best Indian restaurant in the country.
Firoz said: “We are absolutely delighted to even receive this award – it is an achievement for us and it is really good that someone recognized us because we are in a quite rural place and people do not know not even that we’re here.
âThat our customers continue to support us and that we are subsequently nominated and winners, we are thrilled. ”
Download the LancsLive app for free at iPhone here and Android here.
To stay informed, follow LancsLive on Facebook and @LiveLancs on Twitter.
Do you have any news for us? Contact our editorial staff at [email protected].
Get all the latest news, sport and stories sent daily to your inbox with the LancsLive newsletter here.