A coveted curry award is back on show at a Northampton town centre restaurant, after a replacement was commissioned to replace the original that was stolen during a break-in, writes Dan Owens.
Thieves broke in to Saffron in Castilian Street, Northampton in January, making off with thousands of pounds worth of alcohol, electrical goods and the Tiffin Cup – a prized crystal trophy won by the restaurant following a cook-off at the House of Commons in 2016.
Despite the restaurant offering a £1,000 reward for information leading to its safe return, the original trophy remains at large. A specially-commissioned replacement has now been presented in Westminster following a joint intervention by Northampton South MP Andrew Lewer and Keith Vaz, MP for Leicester East.
Owner Naz Islam said: “Having worked incredibly hard to bring the trophy back to Northampton, it was sickening to have it snatched away from us.
“We are extremely grateful to both Andrew Lewer and Keith Vaz who have helped issue a replica so we can still have the trophy on display in the restaurant.”
The Tiffin Cup is an annual competition run by the House of Commons to honour the UK’s best South Asian cuisine. It is awarded by the Tiffin Club of MPs, formed in 2006.
Andrew Lewer MP said: “I know how much hard work the restaurant team put in to win the cup and the senseless theft was a bitter blow to them. I am so glad that it is now replaced and back where it should be in the restaurant.”
Saffron became the first Northampton restaurant to ever win the competition and the trophy took pride of place in the restaurant until the theft. The break-in was captured on the restaurant’s CCTV system and detectives from Northamptonshire Police are still investigating.
Keith Vaz MP said: “We were all saddened to hear of the break in and theft of the Tiffin Cup. It truly is back where it belongs once again at the home of the winner of the Cup. I look forward to visiting Saffron again to rediscover what made this the best curry house in the UK.”