Oriental food was celebrated in London last night at a special awards ceremony

The judging panel (Pic: Golden Chopstick Awards)

The Grosvenor Square Marriott was the venue for the first ever Golden Chopsticks Awards last night. Hosted by Gok Wan the awards were presented to 16 different restaurants and chefs. Celebrity chef Ken Hom led the judging panel for this years event, which also included TV chefs Ching-He Huang, Jeremy Pang and Simon Rimmer, among others.

Gok, who also founded the awards, said: “The Golden Chopsticks Awards was everything I dreamt it would be and so much more. To be on stage in front so many brilliant, creative and passionate food lovers was a real honour. Last night, not only did we celebrate oriental food we also celebrated the heroes who have dedicated their lives to it. The Golden Chopsticks Awards in one night has cemented itself into the culinary calendar and I cannot wait for next year when the chopsticks will rise again, only bigger and better!”

 

One of the actual awards (Pic: GCA)

The Panda Radio team were at the awards too, we spoke to one of the judges, TV chef Ching-He Huang.

      LISTEN Panda Radio speaks to Ching

It wasn’t just a London event, it was a UK wide event. The best restaurant in Wales was won by Gigi Gao’s, which plays jazz from Shanghai in the evenings. Ireland’s best was Mandarin Palace, in Derry, which opened in 1989 and one online reviewer described as five stars not being a high enough rating.

We also spoke to Ken Hom OBE, a judge and award winner.

      LISTEN Panda Radio speaks to Ken Hom

Chinese culture and cuisine has been part of the UK dining scene for the past 60 years with Chinese food voted the nation’s favourite year on year.

An awards spokesperson said that they wanted to recognise the breadth of Oriental dining options available today. “Nowadays joining the well-established Japanese and Thai food scene we see Korean, Malaysian and Vietnamese dishes growing in popularity together with specialist regional Chinese offerings”.

Here are the winners:

Best Newcomer Award – Dragon Inn Club

The Golden Noodle Award – The Royal China Club

The Best Takeaway Award – Tai Pan Express

Best Restaurant Wales Award – Gigi Gao’s

Best Restaurant Ireland Award – Mandarin Palace

Best Restaurant Scotland Award – Chaophraya

Best Restaurant England Award – Jinli

Food Blogger Award – Lizzie Hollowlegs

Ching-He Huang Innovation Award – Duck & Rice

Community Award – Ming I

Best Fusion Award – Hotpot

Best Restaurant Chain Award – Ping Pong

Fine Dining Award – Yu, Alderley Edge

Golden Chef Award – A. Wong

Founders Outstanding Contribution to Business Award – The Royal China Group

Founders Outstanding Contribution to Food Award – Ken Hom OBE

Founders Lifetime Achievement Award – Stanley Tse

 

(Editor’s Note: Ching did have her dancing shoes on… They were much better than any of the Panda Radio team’s dancing shoes)

 

EJ Ward

EJ manages all news content for Panda Radio in the UK, and prepares news for other stations in our radio group. Experienced in news reporting, and specialising in breaking news and political reporting, as well as on-the-ground reporting from conflict and hostile environments and major UK incidents. EJ is always on the hunt for hard news, specifically content relating to the UK, Europe and China. Find him on Twitter @EJWardNews