Delight as Coventry restaurant scoops gong at The Food Awards England 2022

A Coventry restaurant is celebrating after tasting success at a national awards ceremony. Blue Orchid, in The Butts, was the only eatery in Coventry and Warwickshire, out of eight finalists, to leave The Food Awards England 2022 with a trophy after being namedBest Oriental Establishment Midlands.

The restaurant, which serves Thai and Indian cuisine, did however miss out on the national title to the Zen Restaurant in Lytham St Annes, Lancashire. Saif Ali, manager and owner of Blue Orchid, said the award had almost made all the lockdown struggles worth while.

“We are very pleased and it’s just very nice to be recognised in this way,” Mr Ali told CoventryLive. “The lockdown was a very difficult time. But we tried our best to boost the business after that and now we have this award to show for it.”

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Blue Orchid has been trading for around 15 years, but Saif only took over the running of the restaurant from his cousin around four years ago when his relative launched a business in Birmingham. “It’s the same name and in some ways the same restaurant,” Saif added.

“It’s popular in Coventry because there’s not many Thai restaurants in the city. A lot of people asked if we could also serve Indian food so we expanded to cover Indian cuisine too.”

Sadly, our region’s seven other finalists walked away empty-handed from last night’s ceremony at The Mercure Manchester Piccadilly Hotel. Nailcote Hall in Berkswell, on the outskirts of Coventry, Coventry-based Brackenwood and Spon Street’s Selminas Restaurant & Bar came up short in the Hotel Restaurant, Caterer, and Best Mexican Establishment categories, respectively.



The Phad Khing (stir fry ginger) dish at award-winning Coventry restaurant Blue Orchid
The Phad Khing (stir fry ginger) dish at award-winning Coventry restaurant Blue Orchid

Like Coventry, Warwickshire had four regional finalists hoping to advance for a shot at a national accolade. Stratford’s Fourteas, recently named in the UK’s top ten tearooms on the back of their five-star TripAdvisor reviews, featured in the Café/Bistro of the Year West Midlands section and The Pickled Crab in Warwick was up for Best Seafood Establishment in the Midlands.

Henley Ice Cream in Henley-in-Arden had hoped to scoop Dessert Outlet of the Year and Warwick’s Dough & Brew had been aiming for a slice of recognition as Pizza Restaurant of the Year. Now in their seventh year, Food Awards England, celebrate ‘everything food related by recognising and rewarding the best in servers, specialists and manufacturing’.

Speaking ahead of awards night, a spokesman said: “The finalists were voted for by the public for providing authentic recipes and unique dishes to their diners, creating memorable experiences for both residents and visitors. Undoubtedly, there are some amazing specialists around the country, who know how to offer great service, delicious food and meet the expectations of their diners. These are the professionals that we aim to reward..”