A RESTAURANT in Bolton has been named the 'champion of champions' of the UK's Asian food hotspots, beating more than 2,000 contenders to the prestigious prize.

Hot Chilli, based in Dunscar Business Park, has claimed the crown in a competition to find the country's best restaurants and takeaways.

The restaurant was in the running for a host of categories at this year's Asian Restaurant and Takeaway Awards (ARTA), including the North West's finest eateries. But Hot Chilli managed to beat the highest number of entrants ever take home the biggest prize of the night — the Champion of Champions Award.

The grand prize, given out on Sunday night, is only awarded to the very best of a group of entrants from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland each year.

Shek Abul Bashar of Hot Chilli said: “Wow, what an honour. To be named the Champions of all Champions is something everybody in this industry dreams of – it is an overwhelming honour."

After collecting the prize, Mr Bashar spoke of how it felt to beat more than 2,400 other applicants.

He said: "Asian food continues to rise in popularity in the UK. Without our loyal customers in the North West this would not have been possible, and we pride ourselves highly on the fact that people enjoy our food just as much as we enjoy making it.

"To be named the best is something we will cherish forever”.

The finalists for the awards were narrowed using an online survey of more than 350,000 customers. Winners were then carefully selected by a judging panel including celebrity chefs, a former international cricketer and MPs.

Salik Mohammed Munim, Founder Member and CEO of ARTA, said: “Year on year, the standard for this competition continues to defy imagination. With more entrants than ever before, we have been immensely impressed by the quality on show this year. The selection process has been rigorous, and we witnessed some remarkable contestants."