Asian Restaurant of the Year: Great Food Club Awards 2020

Winner

Sanctua, Oadby, Leicestershire


Finalists

Sarpech, Oakham, Rutland
Gurkha Lounge, Peterborough, Cambs
Herb, Leicester


Sanctua is the winner for its stunning vegan cooking.

We ordered Sanctua’s vegan banquet, which combined extraordinary flavour combinations. The main – ‘A Celebration of the Sweetcorn Harvest’ – comprised smoky, charred lime, herb-and-chilli butter corn on the cob with peanut-butter curry, coriander chutney, pepper, tomato and corn salsa, plus crispy spicy fried corn nuts. It was served with tadka couscous, garlic flatbread and kachumber salad.

‘A Celebration of the Sweetcorn Harvest’ at Sanctua

Sanctua’s chef-patron Bindu Patel’s cooking is inventive and tasty, embracing Ayurvedic principles (one of the world’s oldest holistic healing systems). Her experience working at Michelin-star restaurants, including Gymkhana and Trishna in Mayfair, has provided her with all the tools to excel.

Green falafel at Sanctua

Other Sanctua dishes we recommend include a starter of green falafel and pomegranate chaat with pickled beetroot, carrot and tahini chutney, ‘green goddess’ dressing and tamarind chutney. And the dessert of warm tapioca, vanilla bean, toasted almond and brown sugar kheer with caramelised spiced roasted chilled plums.

Amuse bouche at Sanctua

Sarpech in Oakham served an excellent Thali for Sunday lunch in bright surroundings with very helpful and friendly staff. Sarpech is a truly excellent restaurant and comes highly recommended.

Our thali at Sarpech

Herb in Leicester provided tasty vegetarian dishes from Kerala, such as a fresh-tasting and vibrant Green Papaya Stew. 

One of the dishes at Herb in Leicester

And the Gurkha Lounge in Peterborough transported us to Nepal to sample authentic dishes, such as ‘Mo Mo’, cooked by an owner who regularly visits his homeland to collect recipes from his mother. 

The Gurkha Lounge
Philip Seaman
The author:

Philip lives in West Cambridgeshire in the Parish of Catworth with his wife. He loves eating out which he does for both pleasure and business. His other interests are collecting cookery books and menus, driving his tractor and working on the renovation of their old farm.