A relaxing restaurant with loyal customers and a family feel has been named the Herald and Gazette Curry House of the Year 2017.
Little Magna, in High Street, Littlehampton, was voted first by readers, with Shaan Indian Cuisine, in Tarring Road, Worthing, in second place and Curry Zone, in Wallace Parade, Goring Road, West Worthing, third.
Owner Millad Chowdhury, 46, opened Little Magna in 2009, having previously owned a restaurant in Pagham.
He said: “It is a very nice atmosphere. The customers are really good, they are like a family. They are very friendly with me, very polite. I have had no problems in the last eight years.”
Millad came to England from Bangladesh in 1996 and has lived in Worthing ever since. Head chef Majnu Meiah, 38, has worked with him since the start at Little Magna.
Millad said: “We have worked very hard. I have a very good relationship with my customers, they are fantastic.
“The football teams like to come in here to support me and I try to do as much as I can to support them. All the school teachers are my customers, too. I try to donate to schools and help charity. I always do it to be part of the community. I never say no.”
As well as seated dining, the restaurant does a lot of takeaways and outside catering. Special events like Elvis and Bollywood nights are particularly popular with customers.
Millad is always on hand, offering personal service to his customers six days a week.
He said: “The local support is very good. My customers love my food.
“My chef enjoys making his recipes and that is why people love his food. We change the menu every few years but not the favourite dishes, they never change.”
The customers love duck, so there are six house specials, covering all tastes - madras hot with ginger, mild masala, fairly hot jalfry, medium bhoona, fairly hot chilli garlic and a little hot dansak.
Millad comes from Sylhet and local dishes from his home like satkora chicken, which has a lime-flavoured sauce with potato, prove popular with customers.
Other favourites are house specials like chatga prawns and flaming chicken or lamb, medium dish nepali chicken or lamb and hot dish tabasco garlic chilli chicken or lamb.
Little Magna in the running for Tommia Miah’s International Indian Chef of the Year and the Tommy Miah Roadshow came to the restaurant on Monday, July 31. The celebrity chef invited guests to meet him and gave demonstrations as part of a UK tour of major cities, promoting the 26th year of the competition.