Few thing are as well loved in the UK as the humble takeaway.
Whether it’s a treat built into your family weekend schedule, or a spur of the moment decision after a long day, ordering a takeaway means a night of fantastic food. You might order you trusty favourites, or delve into new dishes you’ve never tried before. Either way, a takeaway means everyone getting what they want, whatever age you are. And best of all after a busy week, it means you barely have to lift a finger to enjoy delicious food.
After ordering a takeaway, there’s always that impatient wait for the doorbell. For us, when the bell rings my kids jump up and down, bursting into life knowing something tasty is now only moments away. I’m a little more restrained with an internal ‘yes!’ and a mini fist pump as I hurry to answer the door.
The British Takeaway Awards
In a bid to celebrate the joy of the takeaway and the talented people who prepare them, the British Takeaway Awards in association with Just Eat are on the hunt to crown every UK region’s best takeaway, as voted for by you.
The awards, now in their third year, celebrate local takeaways across the nation, from the traditional local chippy to places that offer some of the best dishes the world has to offer.
Across the nominations, there’s a huge range of dishes and cuisines, from Italian pizza to Indian daal, Thai green curry to Greek salad and more – as a nation of takeaway lovers, we really are spoiled for choice!
During the nomination phase, I put my vote in for a takeaway near me in for the East Midlands, Alton Restaurant on Radford Road, Nottingham. They do yummy falafel with humous and baba ghanoush and deliver at lunch time, so they’re a paritular favourite of mine when we have guests.
Last week, the finalists for every region were announced and although Alton didn’t make it through to the finals, I was excited to spot a Nottingham takeaway among the East Midlands finalists that I had never visited before.
With such a well-loved takeaway so near by, I just had to pop in to try it out.
Aroma, Watnall Road, Nottingham
Aroma is an Indian takeaway that strives to do everything right. They use quality ingredients to prepare dishes from fresh on a daily basis, giving each dish the attention, time and love it deserves.
I met with the owner, Waseem, who amazed me by sharing that he had contracted meningitis a few years ago, and wasn’t expected to live. He was in a coma for six weeks and in hospital and a rehabilitation unit for a further nine months. He told me of how even after his release from hospital, he worried that he may no longer be employable and how that, in part, motivated him to start up Aroma, which is now one of the best loved Indian takeaways in Nottingham – an accolade that is well deserved.
I tried a whole range of dishes during my visit. The onion bhaji was perfectly cooked with a crispy outer and light, rich inner. Divine.
The rice was well cooked and fluffy, and the poppadom was crisp and dry with a good range of tasty assorted dips.
I was especially enamoured with the Mataar Paneer, which was fragrant, subtle and with a fantastic texture thanks to generous cubes of paneer.
Mark opted for the Butter Chicken, which was melt in the mouth with a perfectly balanced creamy tomato sauce with traditional Indian spices adding up to very flavourful, moreish dish.
Mark also opted for the Chicken Pakora, Aroma’s signature dish and I can see well as it’s as striking to look at as it is delicious. Succulent chicken and a light, perfectly spiced batter. All in all, an exceptionally delicious meal.
So now, Aroma must wait another week to find out if they’re won the coveted title of Best takeaway in East Midlands.
Do make sure to check who’s made it to the finals in your region. And pop back on award’s night, 27th November, when finalists will gather at The Savoy in London for the big reveal.
This is a commissioned post for Just Eat.