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Bengal Palace blog

Celebrating National Curry Week

Monday, October 22, 2018

This year is the 20th Anniversary of National Curry Week, and what better excuse do you need to enjoy a delicious curry?

What is National Curry Week?

It’s a week-long celebration of everything related to curry. Everyone loves a curry whether it is the gentle tikka masalas and kormas or the stronger madras and vindaloos that you enjoy.

National Curry week first started back in 1998 by Peter Grove, who decided to celebrate Indian cuisine and raise awareness of the wonderful dishes that are served up by chefs from the Indian continent while raising money for charity.

Peter was a food journalist with a terrific love of curry and ethnic food; he was a sports journalist for ITV’s World of Sport, the Daily Express and the Daily Mail.

When is National Curry Week?

This year it starts on 22nd October and runs until 28th October.

What are England’s most popular curries?

The UK's three most popular curries are said to be Chicken Tikka Masala, Korma and Jalfrezi with pilau the number one rice and garlic, the most popular naan.

Indian food was first introduced to England in 1809 during the Victorian Era and the period of British rule in the Indian subcontinent.

According to blog.eftours.com the first curry shop was opened in London over 200 years ago, and Indian Food is now among the most popular cuisines in the UK.

It is alleged that Chicken Tikka Masala was invented in Glasgow in 1971.

What is Balti? Balti is the actual term for the metal bowl or bucket your Balti dish is served in.

The largest naan ever made, according to the Guinness Book of Records, was made in Canada in 2016 and weighed a colossal 32 kg. It was 4.96 metres long and 1.26 m wide!

Did you know that London has more Indian restaurants than Mumbai or Delhi?

Did you know that the Portuguese introduced chilli peppers (native to Mexico) and tomatoes to India?

Each region of India has many traditional dishes and distinct flavours for example, in Kerala, in the south, you are likely to be served sadya which are dishes presented on banana leaves and seafood curries, while in the north-west, around Rajasthan, the cuisine is mainly vegetarian.

If you want to try some very different curries, the take a look at our menus. You can find the finest fish curries, the unique Achari curries from the Punjab as well as a plethora of dishes from mild to very hot.

Bengal Palace Staff presented with awards by world acclaimed chef, Chris Galvin

Saturday, August 04, 2018

Michelin chef, Chris Galvin, presents top prizes to Bengal Palace staff

Congratulations to Saif and Reea Hussain who have just been awarded prizes for Hospitality in the Welcome Skills national training awards. The prizes were presented by world-renowned chef Chris Galvin. Saif was presented with Manager of the Year Award (Level 3) for the student showing the highest level of commitment to their studies and excellence in Leadership, Supervision and Management. Reea was awarded Food & Beverage Student of the Year for showing the highest commitment to their studies and excellence in service standards.

Guests of Honour, at the Welcome Skills Awards Ceremony, were Lord Bilimoria, Chairman of Cobra Beer, one of the most highly awarded beers in the world and Chris Galvin, acclaimed chef and owner of a large portfolio of restaurants. Chris's career has spanned 30 years working in some of the finest restaurants and hotels on both sides of the Atlantic. The two most recent restaurants are Galvin Dubai and La Chapelle which are part of the portfolio Galvin at Windows, Galvin HOP, Galvin Demoiselle (Harrods), The Pompadour by Galvin and Galvin Brasserie de Luxe in The Caledonian, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel, Galvin at the Athenaeum, Galvin at Centurion and Galvin Green Man pub and restaurant.

Understanding Ramadan

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

This month is the holiest month in the Islamic calendar, and as Muslims, we undertake a fast for 30 days which ends in mid-June.

Muslims around the world will, together, adhere to the 30-day period of fasting and abstinence.

The dates of Ramadan change each year with the coming of the new moon. Because of this, come countries observe the fast on different days, but in the UK, Ramadan 2018 began on 15 May and finished on 14 June.

Most people are aware of the fast, which means that practising Muslims are not allowed to eat between sunrise and sunset. This teaches ‘self-discipline, self-restraint and generosity’. It is common to have a meal just before dawn and another directly after sunset.

Young children, the sick, people with mental health illnesses and the elderly as well as those who are breastfeeding or pregnant, do not strictly have to fast. Fasting can affect people in different ways such as becoming irritable or tired.

The NHS publish tips for fasting on their website as some people have very responsible jobs and need to maintain a balanced diet.

So why is the month so significant?

Ramadan marks the month when Allah revealed the Koran to the Prophet Muhammad. Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam prescribed for all mature and healthy Muslims. It is seen as an act of worship, a way to become closer to Allah and more compassionate to those in need.

On the 27th day of Ramadan, Muslims mark the ‘Night of Power’ – Lailat al Qadr; the holiest night when many Muslims will spend the night praying, studying and reciting passages from the Koran.

To mark the end of fasting, a celebration called Eid ul-Fitr festival is held, starting with morning prayers and then a day of feasting with friends and family. As well as fasting, Muslims are asked to give away 2.5% of their wealth during the 30-day festival.

Many Muslims will celebrate Eid by wearing their best clothes and eating their first daylight meal in a month. They exchange gifts and decorate their homes, thanking Allah for giving them strength and self-control.

Double award in the Seahaven Business Awards 2018

Saturday, May 19, 2018

The 15th Annual Seahaven Business Awards was another great evening for us at the Bengal Palace. Once again we had been overwhelmed with fantastic support for the Best Eatery and the Best Customer Service with over 250 testimonials from customers from Seaford and beyond.

We were very proud to take two prizes – both seconds – in such prestigious award categories of which the Best Customer Service was across all businesses not just Restaurants, pubs and eating establishments.

Our customers had given us amazing feedback ‘Wonderful business, great service, very friendly staff without being too overbearing. Very knowledgeable, good family establishment, always remember my favourite dish, customer service is second to none and best customer service by far in any restaurant/business in the area.’

The compliments about our food were ‘It is the best food in the East Sussex area. Cooked to perfection. Always new and interesting items on the menu plus good old favourites. Delicious food – very high quality. Consistently excellent food. I would recommend to anyone to come and eat here.’

This year Tanim and Afsa represented us, and they were joined by dozens of local businesses for the reception whose guests including the Deputy Lieutenant of East Sussex, The Vietnamese Ambassador, MPs from Lewes and Brighton, the Mayors from Seaford, Newhaven and Peacehaven and Chambers of Commerce Presidents from all three towns.

We were delighted to receive our certificates, and they are proudly displayed in the restaurant for all to see.

Tanim and Afsa pictured with the Best Customer Service Winners and the Best Eatery Winners.


Celebrate Valentine's Day at the Bengal Palace

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Dine in style at the Bengal Palace Restaurant, Seaford on Wednesday 14 February 2018.

We have an exciting set menu for couples who would like to celebrate this special evening enjoying the pleasure of each other's company over a romantic dinner for two. 

Our mixed platter starter of Malia Murgh Tikka, Onion Bhaji and chicken wings in a special sauce will delight everyone. This is followed by two speciality dishes our Karahi Murgh and Lamb Dupiaza with Niramish Bahaji, pilau rice and nan bread.

This special menu is available at £34.95 per couple but you must reserve your places early.

We look forward to seeing you!

Thank you for 2017 from the Bengal Palace Restaurant, Seaford

Sunday, December 31, 2017

We just wanted to round up the year by thanking our valued customers for a super 2017. The year has been full of achievements for our restaurant and we want to thank all our customers for their support.

We celebrated our 30th Anniversary in April 2017

Introduced to the delights and intricacies of creating traditional Bengali cuisine by his father and uncle, Eleas Hussain said 'serving up exquisite culinary delights is one of life's pleasures'. Read the full blog post about how the family moved to Seaford in 1987 here. The anniversary was marked with a fabulous celebratory Indian dinner at the restaurant with invited guests and VIPs from across Sussex. 

Bengal Palace wins Best Eatery in the Seahaven Business Awards 

In May 2017, we were surprised and delighted to be awarded The Best Eatery in the 14th Annual Seahaven Business Awards at a glittering ceremony which was attended by the Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex, local MPs, Mayors and Mayoresses and VIPs from Seaford, Newhaven and Peacehaven. Our thanks to our supportive diners and, of course, our family and staff who work very hard throughout the year to produce innovative Indian cuisine and exceptional customer service.

Trip Advisor Award for Excellence 2017

In the summer of 2017, we were awarded Trip Advisor's Award for Excellence for our outstanding service and high-quality cuisine. Our Trip Advisor reviews increased through the year and it is fabulous to know that diners from far and wide take the time to review our service and cuisine. 

The year has been a brilliant one with the team achieving a Score on the Door of 5, a third place in the Curry Awards across the Eastbourne, Hailsham and Seaford District and new dishes launched with a sparkling new menu in November. We thank our families and staff for the work they have put on over the year and we look forward to 2018 to see what the new year has in store for us.

In the meantime ...

We wish all our customers, friends, family, colleagues and people in the community, a very happy, healthy and successful 2018.


Bengal Palace earns 2017 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

We are very proud to have earned Trip Advisor's Certificate of Excellence for 2017

We are delighted to tell our customers and friends that we have received Trip Advisor's Certificate of Excellence for 2017. The Award, now in its seventh year, recognises and celebrates achievements in the hospitality and restaurant business. Restaurants, hotels, accommodation, eateries and attractions across the world, that have earned great traveller reviews during the past year, have received a Certificate of Excellence for continually delivering a quality customer experience.

Idris Hussain, a Director of the company, said 'This recognition has followed on from celebrating our 30th year in Seaford, winning the Seahaven Business Awards for the best eatery and receiving a 5 for Scores on the Doors. We are a family run business and it is all credit to everyone in the team that we continue to receive praise for outstanding service and high-quality cuisine. I also want to thank our many diners, both from Seaford and beyond, who take the time to write great reviews and compliments.'

The Certificate of Excellence recognises the quality, quantity and recency of reviews submitted by restaurant reviewers on Trip Advisor over a 12 month period. To qualify, a business must maintain an overall Trip Advisor bubble rating of at least four out of five, have a minimum number of reviews and have been listed on the popular review site for at least 12 months.

Mouthwatering Indian dishes

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Mouthwatering Indian Dishes – what makes our cuisine so delicious?

Spices to warm and entice the palate

There are thousands of regional dishes originating from the continent of India and Asia most of which are flavoured with spices and date back centuries. Some of the Indian spices are Chilli Pepper, Turmeric powder (said to possess antiseptic properties), Ginger, Garlic, Fennel, Fenugreek, Coriander, Black Mustard seeds, Cumin and many more.

Our sub-continent has a wide and varying climate providing the ideal conditions to cultivate many of these spices which have resulted in hundreds of regional variations and given us the exciting cuisine that so many people love today.

One of the ingredients we use widely is the chilli pepper, but this was originally imported from Portugal and picked up by enterprising locals virtually establishing it as native produce.

Cooking techniques

To cook and prepare the wide choice of dishes, we also have an enormous variety of cooking techniques and to prepare traditional recipes, which have been handed down through the generations, the precise selection of spices, which can be a matter of family tradition. Some of our dishes are named after their ingredients, the spices we use or, cooking methods. This is particularly noticeable for food cooked in a Tandoor, a charcoal-fired clay oven, where the dishes are described as Tandoori dishes.

One of the traditional spice mixes is Garam Masala, which means Hot Spices Mix. This is made up of five or more dried spices and, every chef has their unique recipe. Food cooked in the home will vary considerably from that prepared in Indian restaurants due to the methods of preparation.

Spices can be used ground or whole, raw or cooked and they might be added at different times to the cooking process to produce different results which is why what you cook at home is very different to what is prepared in the kitchen of a traditional Indian Restaurant such as the Bengal Palace in Seaford.

Curry has become synonymous with Indian Cuisine

The word ‘curry’ frequently epitomises how people refer to Indian dishes, but the term is one that has been popularized by Western culture. Your curries can come from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Thailand or other parts of Southeast Asia and they contain a much less complex mix of spices and herbs.

Curries can contain meat, fish, poultry, shellfish or, be entirely vegetarian. A ‘curry-powder’ as such is a commercial combination of spices thought to have been prepared by Indian merchants for sale to British colonials.

You can also have ‘wet’ and ‘dry’ curries. The former has large amounts of sauce or gravy based on yogurt, lentils, coconut milk or stock and dry curries are cooked with very little liquid which evaporates during cooking leaving the dish coated with the mixture of spices.

History has seen our cuisine evolve

The diversity of our cuisine is, in part, a reflection of the many different cultures and conquerors that have been part of the making of the Indian subcontinent. From the Asian and Afghan conquerors right through to overseas visitors from the Caribbean and the British, have all had their influence and helped make our dishes unique, diverse and ever popular.

Bengal Palace wins Best Eatery in Seahaven Business Awards 2017

Sunday, May 14, 2017

The 14th Annual Seahaven Business Awards was a very special night for the Bengal Palace Restaurant in Seaford. We had been overwhelmed with our customers support and 200 testimonials which spoke so highly about our Bengali and Indian cuisine and our personal service.

I arrived, with my wife Rheea, and we were warmly welcomed by the President of Newhaven Chamber of Commerce, Annie Lorys and their committee members. We joined dozens of other local businesses for reception drinks and mingled with VIPs from Seaford, Newhaven and Peacehaven, MP Maria Caulfield, Presidents of the towns' Chambers of Commerce and the local Mayors. We were both quite nervous as we had not attended the awards evening before but everyone was so kind and friendly, we relaxed and joined other nominated businesses at our table before the arrival of the Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex was announced.

Following a delicious three course meal the ceremony got under way with speeches, nominations and prize-giving. As the nominations were called out for the Best Eatery, we really didn't have any idea that we might be the winners. I couldn't believe the applause when they called out our name as winners and proudly walked up to accept the trophy from sponsors Fundraising Auctions.

What an evening. It was fantastic and we shared our good fortune with other prize-winning businesses on the table.

We are delighted to have won the award and are very proud of our hard-working staff and family members who have all contributed to us winning this trophy. I thank them all whole-heartedly and know that we are very lucky to have so many customers and regular dinners who enjoy our innovative dishes, support our business and also recommend us. Without our fantastic customers, this would not have been possible. Thank you all so very much.

Award winners from the night are pictured below with the Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex, Peter Field and His Excellence the Ambassador of Vietnam and his wife.

Bengal Palace celebrates 30 years in Seaford

Sunday, April 02, 2017

'Serving up exquisite culinary delights is one of life's great pleasures,' said Eleas Hussain, owner of the Bengal Palace restaurant in Seaford. The Hussain family have been part of the community since 1987 and Eleas and his wife Reea, have brought up their children as part of the local community. Their grandchildren, in particular, are very excited about the Bengal Palace's big birthday.

Eleas said, 'My father and uncle first introduced the exciting tastes of our traditional Bengali cuisine to Manchester in a restaurant called Chittagong in 1958. In 1970, the family moved from Salford to Belsize Park, Hampstead and opened Curry Manzil. I was always inspired by the exciting and traditional dishes that were conjured up in our family kitchens and I was determined to open my own restaurant one day.'

Aged 19, and with his father and brother,  Eleas opened his first eatery, Jamuna, in Gravesend, Kent. 'I think I was probably the youngest Indian restauranteur in the country at that time. I moved from Jamuna to the Swan Tandoori, in the Drive, Hove and later opened the Bengal Spice in Eastbourne. Our move to Seaford was a good choice as was the opening the Bengal Palace Restaurant in Church Street, which has always been our pride and joy.'

If you've dined there, you may have tasted some of the innovative regional recipes from their Adventure in Taste menu, which is truly food-inspired.

Refining traditional recipes and adapting them to contemporary Indian dishes has been one of the keys to the family's success over the years with the other being their outstanding customer service. Their standards certainly came to light recently when they decided to enter the Seahaven Busines Awards for the Best Eatery and, in no time at all, they were overwhelmed with testimonials from their customers.

Traditional recipes from the Indian continent are varied and exciting and India offers familiar favourites such as rogan josh and chicken tikka masala, but at the Bengal Palace, you can find so much more to entice your palate. Not all Indian food is spicy. Fresh ground, roasted and whole spices are common and chilli, is not always needed. Taste buds frequently enjoy milder delights and diners are treated to cumin, ginger, fenugreek, coriander and other aromatic spices and herbs. The dishes are sometimes cooked in the tandoori or slow cooked but are always fresh and enticing with tastes that explode and delight.

'We shall be celebrating our 30 years in Seaford from Wednesday 5 April, starting with a special evening event at the Bengal Palace with VIP guests including the Mayor of Seaford, Lindsay Freeman. The month of celebrations will also include special offers to customers who book tables in advance to celebrate the 30th anniversary. 



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