Eight months after it was named North East Restaurant of the Year at the prestigious British Curry Awards, Raval Luxury Indian Restaurant is fast becoming a magnet for business leaders.
And some have revealed to owner Avi Malik that they have closed megabucks deals whilst tucking into one of his award-winning curries.
“It seems top business people now regard Raval as the place to be seen,” said Mr Malik, who collected his award from former England rugby coach Sir Clive Woodward in the presence of Prime Minister David Cameron and host Chris Tarrant, of Who Wants to be a Millionaire fame.
Due to its location – just a short walk from the Hilton Newcastle-Gateshead – Raval is hugely popular on weekdays amongst travelling businessmen.
However, its reputation has grown considerably since last November’s success at the top awards event, nicknamed the Curry Oscars.
Mr Malik added: “We actually took some businessmen with us to the awards as a thank you for their continued support.”
Two of the region’s high-fliers – Richard Dodd of British Engines Limited and Robert Bowles, Chairman of Barrier Group – even joined Mr Malik on stage when he collected the prized accolade.
The restaurateur, who has since been dubbed the North’s Curry King, said: “Richard and Robert are among our most valued customers, so it was only fitting that they were able to celebrate our success with us.
“Our relationship with them has continued to grow to the point where they, and other customers, regularly bring clients here to discuss business deals.
“I think our location – away from the hub hub of the city centre but close enough to be part of the quayside scene – gives Raval a feeling of exclusivity and intimacy that many restaurants lack.
“I can only assume the region’s business leaders like that!”