Farnborough's Gurkha Palace has been crowned winner of the News & Mail’s first ever Best Bites contest.
The restaurant has been well established in the town for more than 10 years and has a loyal customer fan base.
Owner Surya Gurung was presented with the 2014/15 trophy this week at the restaurant in Farnborough Road, and said he had ‘no words to describe his thanks’ to those who voted.
Curry was clearly popular among voters, as the two runners up spots were filled by Indian restaurants in Fleet.
Golden Triangle and WE Indian, both in Fleet Road, were second and third respectively, in a close run contest.
Serving traditional Nepalese dishes that have been carefully selected and blended to give customers an authentic taste, Gurkha Palace specialises in curries, clay oven dishes, dumplings and curry house favourites such as saag aloo and saag paneer.
The restaurant has been shortlisted for the British Curry Awards for three years running after being nominated by its customers, and it holds annual charity nights in support of local and Nepalese charities.
Mr Gurung has worked in catering for more than 20 years and wanted to use his experience and passion to open Gurkha Palace.
He said: “It feels great to win the competition.
“This win holds a special significance for us as it is organised by such a reputable local newspaper – we thank the News & Mail team for this great opportunity.
“Many thanks to our loyal customers for their valuable votes, we believe customers are our true judges. Last, but not least, we thank our wonderful staff for their hard work day in and day out – this trophy belongs to them.
“Owning Gurkha Palace has been one of the biggest highlights of my life. It’s not only my business, but also my passion. Running a restaurant is not always easy due to the various challenges it comes with, however it is also very rewarding if you put in the hard work and dedication it demands.”
Golden Triangle co-owner and general manager Abdul Kadir said: “My staff and I are absolutely delighted that we’ve been selected as one of the top restaurants in the area.
“We are grateful to our customers and to readers that they hold us in such high regard.
“We’ve had a high profile since we were featured in the paper and it has meant our restaurant has seen an increase in our customer base.”
Abdul Mojid, who co-owns WE Indian with Sami Chowdhury, said: “I’m just so very proud.
“It’s great news for us and it’s great news for the town. The competition really has helped small businesses like us and we are delighted.”