#FtLionAwards 2018 – Best Newcomer of the Year?

After the #FtLionAwards 2018 Best Curry House of the Year (sponsored by Chai Naasto and the newly opened Patri), we continue with the Best Newcomer of the Year category.

After much debate and dialogue, we’ve shortlisted the following six nominees.

And while you consider yours, remember that not only can you also vote for your favourite on our Instagram and Facebook pages, but in doing so you’ll automatically be entered in our prize draw with the chance of winning a fantastic Celebration Set Menu for 2 at Chai Naasto’s west London branch in Hammersmith.

SHORTLIST – Best Newcomer of the Year

We want you to either: 1) vote for the following nominees, or 2) let us know of yours, all on our Facebook and/or Instagram pages.


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Halal-friendly, fine dining Indian restaurant Chokhi Dhani opened earlier in April along the River Thames in Battersea. They have pedigree behind them too with the talents of Mohammed Naseem Qureshi, latterly of Bombay Bustle and the now closed Lotus, who’s seniour sous chef, as well as both Rakesh Sharma (Chutney Mary, Mint Leaf) as pastry chef, and Rajasthani cuisine expert Bhagwan Singh of award-winning Cinnamon Culture.

With dishes up for best starter, dessert, and seafood, they impressed us with a solid 4/5 ROARS and 4.3/5 from the Pride.


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Hankies latest addition is their 5 star boutique hotel-based restaurant in Marble Arch impressed the hell out of us with a solid 4.5/5 ROARS.

Specialising in small plates of Indian fusion cooking, chef Anirudh Arora has given great thought and consideration to his menu to the point that his dishes are in the running for best main, dessert, steak, and veggie, with a possible look in with best restaurant too in two days time.


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Issho-Ni may be a Japanese restaurant looking to present higher end food in the humble locale of Bethnel Green Road in East London’s Shoreditch, but boy is it ambitious.

With head chef Eduardo Aguiar, who’s worked at high profile restaurants Roka, Moshi Moshi and Chisou while having created menus for Kiri and Bone Daddies, behind the helm, is there any surprise that there’s two dishes for best kebab and steak up for consideration. A 4.5/5 ROAR-rating means that this too could probably be up for the Best Restaurant award.


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Another Indian fine dining restaurant that’s opened this year, and one we had the privilege of being the first to review, is Kahani in Chelsea.

And Chef Peter Joseph has done a remarkable job having put together a varied menu that not only scored 4.5/5 rating with us, but is now in with a chance of winning with two mains, a kebab, seafood, and veggie dishes, respectively.


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As is obvious by now, these Indian chefs are certainly doing something good; at least for us here at Feed the Lion. Matsya is another contemporary fine dining restaurant located in the swanky district of Mayfair.

With a rating of 4/5 ROARS very shortly after they opened, these guys have a very sophisticated menu from which there’s three dishes in for the running: best main, seafood, and dessert.


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The second Japanese restaurant that impressed us enough to warrant inclusion was Mitsuryu. With a rating of 4/5 ROARS, and being located in none other than Chinatown, they are perhaps the first restaurant to offer a fully Halal food menu; and from this, their Chicken Katsu Curry has been nominated for best main.

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