What is the Tiffin Cup?

Just what is the Tiffin Cup? I must admit I hadn’t heard of it until this week.

It’s an annual award made by the Tiffin Club, which is a club of around 60 MPs.

The idea of the award is to raise the awareness of the excellence of South East Asian cuisine as well as to raise money for charity. The award is not just for curry houses but curries do feature really highly on the menus of the competing restaurants.

The award has been running since 2006 and the past winners of the award are:-

Year Restaurant Location
2006 The Taj Mahal Indian Restaurant Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire
2007 Bekash Restaurant Romford, Essex
2008 Mint and Mustard Cardiff, Wales
2009 Tamasha Bromley, south London

Each MP in the Tiffin Club nominates the most popular restaurant in their constituency. The MPs usually ask their constituents to vote for their favourite restaurant and, quite often, local newspapers promote the event and get their readers to participate in the voting.

A restaurant from any South East Asian country can be nominated, covering a lot of great curry producing nations from Pakistan all the way to Vietnam. So it’s not just a competition for Indian restaurants although they do feature in the nominated, and award winning, restaurants.

A shortlist (of something like 10 – 15 restaurants) is compiled and the restaurant chefs are invited to take part in a “cook off”, in Parliament’s Bellamy’s Restaurant, where one is chosen as the winner of the Tiffin Cup.

This “cook off” is a popular event and lots of great food is sold off to those present to raise money for a charity. The charity for 2010 is World Vision

It’s too late to make any nominations for 2010 – the closing date for entries was 20th July.

We’ll bring you details of the winning restaurant just as soon as we get the news.

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