Restaurant Sat Bains Harden’s No 1

3rd February 2022

A chef who started up a curry kit delivery service with his mother to keep himself and his staff busy under lockdown has seen his restaurant declared the best in Britain in a leading poll of diners.

In its 31st year, Harden’s Best UK Restaurants 2022, priced £16.99) places Restaurant Sat Bains in Nottingham at the top of its ‘Harden’s Top 100’ list of the UK’s best dining destinations.

Ratings and reviews in the guide are based on 30,000 reports from Harden’s annual survey of 3,000 regular diners. The guide is the most comprehensive print guide to UK restaurants with approaching 3,000 entries.

Opened by Sat Bains and his wife Amanda 20 years ago in a converted red-brick motel tucked away under a flyover off the A52, Restaurant Sat Bains attracts food-lovers from near and far to sample his 10-course tasting menus – and young chefs from around the world seek work in his kitchens.

The Harden’s guide says:

“Just outstanding in every way. It is testament to Sat Bains and wife Amanda’s hospitality that they have created one of the country’s best-rated gastronomic destinations in a former motel on the outskirts of an industrial estate. Once you find it, you will keep going back for more – superb cuisine and correspondingly varied wine list, full of surprises.”

For all the refinement of his menus featuring caviar and other luxury ingredients, Bains – who grew up in Derby in a Punjabi Sikh family – describes his venture as a “working-class restaurant”. During lockdown he launched a home-delivery curry-kit service with his 72-year-old mother, Tarsem, called Momma Bains. Bains said: “The curries have been flying out. They’re what she cooks at home and what I grew up eating – nothing like what you get in your local curry house.”

Peter Harden, the co-founder of the guide, commented:

“Sat Bains has been a leader of the national restaurant scene for more than a decade now, and his lockdown curry service is a superb example of the resilience and creativity demanded of the sector to survive the pandemic –qualities the best restaurants still need as we emerge from this national trauma.”