love middlesbrough logo love middlesbrough logo love middlesbrough logo love middlesbrough logo love middlesbrough logo


Published 20th Sep 2011

Akbar’s Middlesbrough manager Amer Ditta (centre) with, from left: head chef Abid Iqbal and restaurant staff Alka Tarafdar, Imra

Hot stuff! A Middlesbrough-based restaurant is celebrating after serving up a hat-trick of awards.

Akbar’s were the proud recipients of the Business of the Year prize at the second Tees Valley BME Achievement Awards, acknowledging the contribution and talents of the black and minority ethnic community.

Presented in front of more than 300 guests at a prestigious ceremony at the Thistle Hotel in Middlesbrough, the award recognised the Indian restaurant’s outstanding contribution to the local economy.

The BME award capped a tremendous period for the restaurant, as Akbar’s was also recently voted ‘King of Curry’ in the 2011 English Curry Awards, while chief executive Shabir Hussain received the Entrepreneur of the Year award in the Pakistani Achievement Awards.

Part of a restaurant chain owned by Mr Hussain, the 200-seat Middlesbrough branch of Akbar’s has gone from strength to strength since opening on Linthorpe Road just two years ago.

It now claims to be the most successful restaurant in the Tees Valley, employing more than 50 local people and setting ever higher standards for the quality and consistency of its tasty food.

And it has achieved a five-star rating for excellent standards in the Tees Valley Food Hygiene Awards ever since its opening.

Adil Ditta of Akbar’s said: “Winning the BME Business of the Year Award is a fantastic achievement for such a young restaurant and great recognition for the hard work the management and staff have put into the business.

“All of the other Akbar’s restaurants are in major cities so Shabir Hussain took a bit of a risk when he listened to some gentle persuasion and agreed to open one in Middlesbrough.

“But the risk has paid off. Going for a curry is something of a tradition on Teesside and I think the area needed something like Akbar’s. We have been busy ever since we opened.

“We pride ourselves on being the place to be - offering a great atmosphere, consistently outstanding food and, crucially in today’s financial climate, excellent value for money.

“We’re also proud to employ in excess of 50 local people, the vast majority of them born and bred on Teesside. We pride ourselves in investing in the area and offering our customers a truly memorable experience.”

BME Network partnership manager Idrees Rashid said: “Akbar’s were worthy winners of the award because they are achieving success in a very difficult economic environment.

“We were impressed with the fact that not only are they providing jobs for many people from the local ethnic community but are helping to put Pakistani food on the map in the north-east.”

About Akbar's

The Akbar’s chain also features restaurants in Newcastle, York, Bradford, Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield and Birmingham, with a first move into London planned in the near future.

Useful links


BME Awards

Photo caption: Akbar’s Middlesbrough manager Amer Ditta (centre) with, from left: head chef Abid Iqbal and restaurant staff Alka Tarafdar, Imran Qaasim and Arslan Ahmed.

Spotlight on stage opportunities for Middlesbrough youngsters

Youngsters with stars in their eyes have a new opportunity to hone acting, dancing and singing skills, in Middlesbrough.

Middlesbrough over 50s meet in Dundas Indoor Market to combat loneliness and isolation

More than 40 older people gathered at a café in the town’s Dundas Indoor Market, as part of Ageing Better Middlesbrough’s on-going initiative to reduce loneliness and social isolation among older people.

Apprentice Beth weighs in with wagon-loads of talent

Seventeen-year-old Beth Carwardine is showing she’s no lightweight when it comes to tackling an apprenticeship – because she weighs wagons for a living.

Top crime author to give Central Library talk

North East crime author Mari Hannah is giving a talk in Middlesbrough next month.