An Ashton takeaway has made it all the way to the semi-finals of a prestigious national competition.
Al Noor Cafe, on Penny Meadow, has been named one of the best newcomer restaurants in the country at the British Kebab Awards.
It’s well deserved recognition for owner Amir Iqbal, who has battled lockdowns and contracted Covid himself.
He explained: “It’s been tough. As soon as negotiations were completed and everything was signed for, I was meant to open last year but then lockdown happened and I went through Covid myself.”
However, once back to full health Amir’s food has been a hit with the local community.
Restaurants are nominated anonymously so he has no idea who put him forward.
“I’ve never managed a business before, I’ve worked in takeaways and restaurants but I’ve never managed my own so to be nominated in my first year is a big thing,” he said.
He says it’s been a fantastic lift for himself and his staff and says he can’t wait to welcome customers to the restaurant from May 17.
Amir puts his nomination down to the quality of the food, preparing all the meat by hand with his father to a secret marinade recipe.
“Everything is made from scratch. We don’t buy anything ready made and we cook everything fresh,” he said. “It’s marinated beforehand but it’s a secret recipe!”