English Curry Awards 2024

Zara Shelford


Zara Shelford opened its doors in March 2007. Unique in design, the building was once part of the Great Shelford Railway Station. With its quality and modern approach to Indian cuisine, Zara swiftly built up a reputation and became an instant hit with the locals; it sets standards high enough that customers often travel some twenty miles to dine in the restaurant. Soon enough, Zara became a household name in the surrounding villages and quickly established itself as one of the finest restaurants in Cambridgeshire.


Awards and inspiration

Zara wins Restaurant of the Year – Eastern Region
It was an incredible accolade to win from the Bangladeshi Caterers Association. Khaled Ahmed, the restaurant’s director, collected the award with his team and said: “We are very pleased to win such an accolade. especially as we have such brilliant restaurants in our region.

In recent years, Cambridgeshire and the East of England have been recognised as being home to some of the best Indian restaurants in the country, recognised by awards bodies for their high-quality food and service.

The Curry Oscars were back for their 17th year. The British Curry Awards delivered another spectacular night with leading figures from the Government and Titans of the industry gathering together with Dignitaries and Celebrities from around the world.

This year saw a record number of public nominations, with many fantastic restaurants from our region being shortlisted after a difficult year.
Zara was shortlisted and on the night awarded the Finalist of the British Curry Awards.


Our commitment is to fuel the members of our community with high-quality food, which brings out the best in them in the same way that our customers bring out the best in us.
The pandemic has confronted the hospitality industry with an unprecedented challenge.

Strategies to flatten the COVID-19 curve such as community lockdowns, social distancing, stay-at-home orders, travel and mobility restrictions have resulted in the temporary closure of many hospitality businesses and significantly decreased the demand for businesses that were allowed to continue to operate.

This was truly the most testing time in not only our restaurant’s history but world history. Throughout the pandemic, we remained focused on serving our community and keeping an optimistic attitude for the future. Zara served up food for those in most need by partnering with local food banks and charities. We also worked hand in hand with fellow restaurants all over the country as a show of unity and started a campaign called ‘Fill your foodbank collectively providing thousands of hot me for the NHS, frontline staff and the needy in community.

The pandemic forced us to focus on the tak away arm of our business. As a forward-thinking business with online ordering already in place, we pushed forward with mobile apps to make it even easier for customers to order. The demand for our takeaway food grew hugely. Zara continues to invest in technology to stay efficient and stay ahead.


“My family and I recently visited Zara for the first time, and I’m thrilled to share our experience. From the moment we stepped in, the atmosphere welcomed us with warmth and charm. The service we received was nothing short of excellent – attentive, friendly, and quick to accommodate our needs. As for the food, it was spot-on; every dish we tried was flavorful, perfectly cooked, and beautifully presented. It’s rare to find a place that hits the mark on every aspect of a great dining experience, but Zara did just that. We’re already looking forward to our next visit. Highly recommend!”

– Hussain (Google Review)

“Our favourite place when we fancy a curry. Food consistently good and can be tailored to your taste if you’re not sure. Staff welcoming and friendly. Been visiting here ever since they opened.”

– Maggie (Google Review)