DORSET’S oldest Indian restaurant, The Taj Mahal in Westbourne, has won the title of Dorset Best Restaurant of the year 2018, given by Dorset Ethnic Minority Awards.

It's the latest accolade in a series of awards for the family-run business in Poole Road owned by Mo Rahman and his cousin Giash Uddin.

In 2016, chef Akhtar Hussain won Best Chef at the National Curry Life Awards, followed by the Best Indian Restaurant in the 2017 Euro Asia Awards.

So what is the secret of their success?

Mo & Giash who took over the 100-seater restaurant in 2015 told Taste: "We are so proud to have own this award, It's all about passion, dedication, hard work, focusing on service and freshly prepared great quality of authentic food in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere within reasonable price and most import is to listening to your customers. When we took over the restaurant three years ago, we were planning a big refurbishment.

"We were going to make it more modern and bright, but when we spoke to our customer, that’s not what they wanted. They preferred a traditional style curry house, with an emphasis on good quality, authentic Indian food and good customer service."

The title of Best Restaurant is based on several criteria including food hygiene, quality of ingredients, service excellence, supporting communities and finally a public vote.

Dorset Ethnic Minority Awards (DEMA) are the county’s first mainstream awards seeking to celebrate pinnacle members of the ethnic minority community in Dorset.

DEMA, which is co-founded by Bournemouth University alumni Nanzy Sebata, is supported by local government officials and prominent organisations, including AFC Bournemouth, Bournemouth University, Dorset NHS, Dorset Race Equality Council and local businesses in Dorset.

Nanzy said: "These awards aim to showcase, celebrate and highlight positive ethnic minority trailblazers, who are excelling in their chosen fields across a broad spectrum of industries."

The Dorset Ethnic Minority Jury, made up of professionals and community leaders in Dorset, research the nominations and the shortlist of the most deserving candidates in each category is then opened to the public for voting.

Mo and Giash would like to thank all of their loyal customers for their support over the years and the team of Taj Mahal for their hard work and passion in achieving this awards .