London’s Chutney Mary, Indian Diner Wins Restaurant Of The Year
Image Credit: Instagram/Chutney Mary

Chutney Mary, one of London’s most popular Indian restaurants that serves everybody from British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to celebrities, has won the Restaurant of the Year title at the annual AA Hospitality Awards. The win matters because the AA Restaurant Guide not only celebrates the United Kingdom’s top restaurants, hotels, spas and pubs, but is also known to be at par with the French Michelin Guide. This was the 30th edition of the AA Hospitality Awards, and the fact that an Indian restaurant has topped it is incredible indeed. 

Established by sisters Camellia and Namita Punjabi, and Namita’s husband Ranjit in 1990, the 33-year-old Indian restaurant was originally started in Chelsea, London. In 2015, the fine-dining Indian restaurant was shifted to St. James’ Street near London’s Ritz Hotel. With a glamorous, modern interior and plenty of private dining spaces, Chutney Mary’s menu offers contemporary Indian cuisine, ranging from elegant plates of Kathal Biryani to Lamb Kormas. Their beverages menu, with favourites like Hot Toddy, also reflect the best of Indian cuisine. 

It is because of this originality and expertise over Indian regional cuisines that Chutney Mary was awarded with the Restaurant of the Year title. With this award, Chutney Mary became the only Indian restaurant in the UK to be recognised for its incredible contributions. The award ceremony, held at JW Marriott Grosvenor House on Park Lane, was attended by 1,000 representatives of the British hospitality industry. 

"This award is completely unexpected, but greatly appreciated by my fellow directors and the committed long-serving team at Chutney Mary," said Camellia Panjabi at the award ceremony. "It is particularly noteworthy since Chutney Mary is a 33-year-old restaurant; to be acknowledged now for this significant and esteemed achievement is especially touching, considering the focus among media is so often on the newest restaurants, food trends and rising star chefs.” 

It must be noted that the hospitality company run by the Panjabis, MW eat, is also behind other popular Indian restaurants in the UK, including the Michelin-starred Veeraswamy and Amaya. "Chutney Mary is one of London's finest restaurants and a class act. It combines a wonderful stylish location and interiors, accomplished cooking, and delivering exceptional dishes with fantastic hospitality and service. Such a great restaurant, loved by so many, is so deserving to be our AA Restaurant of the Year for London," said Simon Numphud, Managing Director of the AA Media Group. 

Apart from Chutney Mary winning the Restaurant of the Year award, the ceremony also saw Chef Angela Hartnett winning the Outstanding Contribution Awards. Tom Aikens’ Muse received a Five Rosette status, The Lanesborough won the London Hotel of the Year award, while Chef Paul Ainsworth won the AA Chef’s Chef of the Year award for his work at No6, Padstow, Cornwall.