A halal Asian fusion restaurant in Kirklees has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award.
Sibu Asian Soul Food in Batley has only been open for a little over a year but has found itself shortlisted for the first ever Uber Eats Restaurant of the Year award.
The restaurant is owned by two South Asian travel agents turned restaurateurs and features an amalgamation of dishes found across East Asia including Thailand, Vietnam, China, Malaysia, the Philippines and Japan.
After spending over thirty years travelling around this area of the world, the entrepreneurs decided to bring back the flavours, aromas, and experiences of some of their favourite Far East dishes to West Yorkshire and open their first shop in Batley.
The restaurant boasts that they serve something different to your normal “burgers, pizzas and chips” and employ a team of chefs spanning from South and East Asia to serve up anything from Korean chicken to pad thai and sushi to loyal and new customers with all the meat products being halal.
Confusingly, the Yorkshire restaurants are categorised in the North East regional category. Sibu is competing against nine other restaurants including neighbouring Shimlas and Mr T’s, both in Bradford, for the trophy.
The Asian soul food restaurant is found on the exterior of the newly opened Batley Plaza on 80 Commercial St, Batley WF17 5DS.
The manager of the restaurant, Ismail Ali, said: “We opened the restaurant just over a year ago. To be nominated for such an award is brilliant for the restaurant and a step in the right direction as to where we want to be.
“There was a gap in the market for a restaurant like ours in Batley, but it was also a passion project after we experienced so many amazing flavours and dishes on our travels. We noticed that this kind of food, especially in the halal market, is not readily available in the UK and so it was something that we wanted to do.
“Batley is a foody hotspot in Yorkshire, especially in the last year. Speaking with landlords in the area, units are much more in demand than ever before. Previously, the town was in decline but especially with the new Batley Plaza opened, there are a lot of new businesses supporting the economy. Batley deserves it.”
Matthew Price, Uber Eats general manager, said: “There are so many amazing independent restaurants on Uber Eats and the shortlist really demonstrates the vast number of options and cuisines available across the UK and Ireland.
“I can’t wait to see the fantastic stories that are brought to light, try some of the best food available on our high streets up and down the country and recognise the pioneers and innovators shaping the future of our restaurant industry.”
Customers have until 16 June to cast their vote to ensure their pick makes is named the best in their region.
The top restaurant from each location will then be invited to a judging day where their food will be tasted by the likes of Great British Bake Off ’s Prue Leith and vegan chef and author Rachel Ama.
The full short list for the North East category is:
Sibu Asian Soul Food – Batley
Shimlas – Bradford
Mr T’s – Bradford
Let’s Sushi (West One) – Sheffield
Imran’s London Road – Sheffield
Friends of Food – Leeds
Farsley BBQ Smokehouse – Farsley
Eat Clean – Whitley Bay
Davey’s Breakfast and Sandwiches – Gateshead
Casa Rosa- Birtley