A takeaway in Lyme Regis has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award.

Red Panda on Broad Street - a takeaway that aims to combine Chinese street food with healthy eating -  has been shortlisted for the Asian Curry Awards 2023.

The annual award is voted by the public to pick the best Asian cuisine in the UK.

Red Panda has been operating for six years and is owned by couple Natalie and James McCarthy.

Natalie said: "I opened Red Panda thinking it would be my semi-retirement and it turned out to be quite full-time.

"It was an unexpected success and we kind of ran with it. I am happy that people like our food; the chilli especially has taken off.

"We wanted to make it healthy. Like the typical food you might have at a family table."

The couple come from a corporate background and this is the first time either of them has worked in food.

James said: "It was quite surprising to be shortlisted. We don't really go after awards, but it is nice when customers nominate us. We just like to make good food and our customers happy."

The couple have two takeaways. The Lyme Regis takeaway is run by Natalie, whilst the Exeter branch is run by James. 

Natalie said: "It means we can work together and stay married."

Many of the vegetables are sourced from local farms. Some traditional ingredients have even been substituted with what could be sourced locally to create some slightly unusual creations.

James added: "It is taking what we can find around here and making it Asian."

The shortlist of over 200 venues across the country will now be whittled down to the top hundred by online votes from members of the spice-loving public, which will decide the eventual finalists.

These will be then assessed by a panel of judges from the Asian Catering Federation (ACF), who will determine category winners. 

ACF judges are currently visiting the candidates to determine the overall category winners.

The victors will be revealed at a glittering gala dinner and presentation ceremony, hosted by BBC news anchor Samantha Simmonds,  being held at the Grosvenor House in London on Sunday, November 19.

The Asian Curry Awards cover the complete range of Asian and Oriental cuisines: Bangladeshi, Burmese, Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Malaysian, Middle Eastern, Pakistani, Singaporean, Sri Lankan, Thai, Turkish and Vietnamese.

If you would like to cast a vote visit: asiancurryawards.com/2023shortlist/