Lala’s scores again with top win at Asian Restaurant Awards

Lala’s Restaurant has been named as the Best Asian Restaurant in the North of England 2022 for the year in a row.

Junior Rashid won two awards at the ceremony in Manchester.
Junior Rashid won two awards at the ceremony in Manchester.

The popular Kashmiri restaurant was given the top honour at the 6th annual Asian Restaurant Awards, which was held in Manchester on Monday.

The owner of Lala’s Restaurant, Junior Rashid, was also awarded the Young Entrepreneur of the Year at the prestigious event.

The owner of Lala’s Restaurants, Junior Rashid, said: “This is the second time we’ve won the award as we won it last year.

Junior Rashid opened his first restaurant in Wakefield in 2009.

“We’re going from strength to strength. We’re living in hard times but we’ve still got a fantastic following, we are keeping our meals good value for money, looking after our customers and maintaining our standards to the highest standard.”

The chain began with a branch on George Street in 2009 before moving to bigger premises on Westgate. The Bradford-born business owner credits the district for giving him his start as a restaurateur.

He said: “My first restaurant was on George Street opposite the Ridings. I started from humble beginnings and Wakefield has been a great part of the last nine years of my life.

“We have a great customer base in the district, it has given me so much and I am forever grateful to the city,”

Lala’s also has branches in Huddersfield and Bradford-Pudsey, with a further restaurant planned for Bradford city centre, turning David Hockeny’s old art college - the Grove Library - into his newest restaurant, which was recently approved by Bradford Council.

Lala’s competed against some of West Yorkshire’s biggest names in the Asian restaurant sector, including Akbar’s, Aagrah, Jinnah, Mahmood’s, Mango, Manjit’s Kitchen, Mumtaz, MyLahore, Saffron, Shama, Shimla Spice, Tattu and Zouk Tea Bar for the trophy.

Junior credits his team and his mum for the success of his business.

He added: “We were up there with a number of big name restaurants that have been around for many years. I’ve got a fantastic team behind me who work very hard and the credit goes to them.

“The success of the business also comes from the support of my mother, without her it wouldn't have been possible.”

The restauranter aims to consolidate his businesses in the next two years and to “raise the bar” on his three sites from a “curry house” to “luxury dining”.

He said: “I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but I want to make my restaurants a destination spot for people to come and enjoy a good meal, a bit of light entertainment, and have more of a wine bar aspect.”