A TALENTED chef at a Renfrew restaurant has tasted success at the 2019 Scottish Curry Awards, writes Gregg Kelly.

Yaghha Murti Dhakal, of Heera Indian Restaurant, proved he is hot stuff by winning the title of Best Chef in Scotland.

He saw off the challenge of would-be curry kings across Scotland to claim the prestigious crown.

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And Yaghha insists there is no ‘secret ingredient’ behind his success.

He told The Gazette: “It’s all about using fresh food. Every meal is prepared fresh.

“Our customers know each order is made that way and that it will taste better because of that.”

Having served up tasty food for more than 40 years, family-owned Heera has become an integral part of the Renfrew community.

And the fact that members of the public were invited to vote for the winner of the Best Chef award shows just how highly respected the restaurant is.

Yaghha, who worked in India before moving to Dubai and later settling down in Scotland, said: “We’ve been a restaurant for 43 years and I’ve been head chef here for the last five years.

“Running a kitchen is difficult and trying to run a restaurant can be stressful as well but, when customers want to come to the kitchen and compliment me on the food, it makes me feel very proud.

“Our lamb jodh puri and chicken tikka butter masala are chef specialities.”

The Gazette: Yaghha Murti Dhakal was named Best Chef at the Scottish Curry AwardsYaghha Murti Dhakal was named Best Chef at the Scottish Curry Awards

Based in Porterfield Road, Heera was nominated for the Outstanding Restaurant prize in last year’s Scottish Curry Awards and was also in the running for the Best Dining Experience in the 2017 version.

Yaghha was unable to collect his prize at this year’s awards ceremony, staged at Glasgow’s Marriott Hotel, but his son and Heera owner Sunny was there to represent him.

“I couldn’t make it along to the ceremony but Sunny had a live video of my name being announced as the winner and him collecting the award,” said Yaghha.

“I couldn’t believe I had won. It was unreal. I’m so happy to be voted Best Chef in Scotland.”

Sunny has heaped praise on his dad and said the award is richly deserved.

He added: “We are buzzing that a small restaurant such as ours has won a top honour at the Scottish Curry Awards.

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“No-one from Renfrewshire has won Best Chef before and, this year, we’re the only restaurant and takeaway in Renfrew to win an award.

“Congratulations go to our head chef Yaghha and we would also like to thank everyone who voted for us and has supported us over the years.”

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