AFTER hearing that the head chef at Burnley’s Usha restaurant was in the finals of the World Curry Expo, we just had to go and find out what was so special about his food.

And when we turned up on Saturday night, it seemed like half of Burnley had decided to do the same as the place was heaving.

The restaurant has been running since 2002 and is situated on the outskirts of the town overlooking Hameldon Hill.

It was once a public house known as The Running Pump, but the building was destroyed by fire the day after head chef Ibrahim Ali and his family took it over.

But the restaurant has risen from the ashes to become one of the hottest venues in the north west, winning several accolades.

Ibrahim has also recently published a cook book, entitled A Pinch of Spice, containing a selection of his recipes, so customers can try out them at home.

But one recipe which he is keeping under wraps is his signature dish lamb tarka bhuna, which is made from a secret blend of spices, which earned him a place in the World Expo final.

Three of us ordered it for our mains along with starters of king prawn puri, garlic mushroom puri, fish tikka, shish kebab and popadoms with chutneys.

Within minutes, our food was being served up which was excellent service given how busy the modern restaurant was.

And all the starters were very nice and perfectly portioned.

Then came the main course which was excellent and the dall puri, which is a flatbread stuffed with lentil and spices, was a very good accompaniment.

It is no wonder the judges thought it was dish worthy of a national final.

If Usha carries on serving food like this, it won’t be long before it wins a national award.


  • Food: 10
  • Drink: 9
  • Service: 10
  • Atmosphere: 9
  • Value: 10