Restaurants in big cities can get away with serving below-par fare to their customers, but quality is essential in a small town like Berwick.
That’s the view of Jahangir Khan, who has owned Magna Tandoori on Bridge Street for nearly 30 years.
His Indian restaurant has again been rated among the best 100 in the UK.
Magna Tandoori has made it into the 2014 Cobra Good Curry Guide Top 100 for the second time.
The annual guide was first published in 1984 by Pat Chapman, founder of the The Curry Club, and identifies the UK’s best curry restaurants out of more than 9,000 across the country.
“The secret is fresh and quality food,” explained Mr Khan, who took over the restaurant in 1985, three years after it opened.
“You can get away with lower quality in a big city like Newcastle or Edinburgh because they can survive as a business with passing trade. But that is not the case in a smaller town like Berwick.”
Mr Khan’s business relies on regular customers, so he goes out of his way to keep them happy by serving up the best. In a town the size of Berwick, he says, quality food has to be the cornerstone of his business.
“It I serve one bad meal, then I’ve served ten bad meals,” explained Mr Khan, who runs the restaurant along with his brothers, Alamgir and Oliul.
“Most of my customers are regulars, so we always make sure we serve quality food. It is expensive, of course, but it is essential for the business.”
For Mr Khan and his team, authenticity is essential too. Food is prepared in traditional style, cooked in a charcoal tandoori clay oven.
“We only use the best quality meat and spices,” he said. “We prepare and marinade our meat fresh before cooking it in the clay oven.
“We don’t do it any other way. When we serve a meal it will be fresh. Good quality products and good methods, mean good quality food.”