Namji owner crowned ‘Curry Queen of the Year’!
Namji Restaurant has put Milton Keynes firmly on the map for Punjabi cuisine – by taking not one, but two awards at this month’s seventh annual Asian Food & Restaurant Awards (AFRA) event.
Dozens of eateries competed for the title of Best Restaurant of the Year in Buckinghamshire at the glitzy awards show held in London, but Namji fought off spicy competition to take the award.
Owner Naseem Khan went home with a gong of her own, too – she can now officially be known as the UK’s Curry Queen of the Year!
“I was absolutely staggered to win the award for Best Restaurant for a second consecutive year,” Naseem said, “It is such a hotly contested category, and I am so proud of my whole team who are all responsible for Namji’s success.
“Being declared the UK’s Curry Queen was something I never expected. It’s a wonderful endorsement of all we do.”
Naseem opened Namji in Wolverton back in 2017, and her second branch, in Xscape in Central Milton Keynes, has proven a huge hit with locals and visitors alike since opening its doors last year.
“I’d love to be able to share the secret behind the success, but the recipes are a Namji secret!” She said, “This title really belongs to my late mother, Munawar Sultana – all the recipes are of her creation, so I accepted the award on her behalf.
“Food has always been at the heart of our family time, and her passion lives on through Namji. She would be thrilled to bits by this award.
“Namji’s success is only possible because of the support I get from my husband Malik and my son Adi. They push me to achieve and are so patient – it really is a group effort.”
Her restaurants aren’t the only places where Naseem serves up courses – she also set up her charity Give Back 2U UK to educate and advance skills of women from ethnic minority and disadvantaged backgrounds which is making a difference locally.
During the pandemic, Naseem opened up a soup kitchen to help families in need, and as the cost of living crisis deepens, her kitchens are busier than usual too; each week Namji delivers 100s of meals to the homeless and the vulnerable across Milton Keynes.
“It’s important to feed mind, body and soul,” Naseem said, “I feel immensely privileged to be able to help people through the restaurant and the charity.”
Discover more at www.namji.uk