Surbiton has the best Middle Eastern restaurant in the country, according to judges at the Asian Restaurant Awards.

Kookoo Seafood and Grill, a family-run Persian restaurant in Ewell Road, collected the trophy at a ceremony at the Manchester Hilton.

Restauranteur Kamran Abtahi said: “It’s a great honour to win such a prestigious national accolade, which vindicates our decision to develop a health-conscious dining concept and is just reward for our dedicated team who work hard to create authentic flavours.”

The menu is based on family recipes that have been handed down through generations, and Mr Abtahi has nine years’ experience as head chef at renowned Persian restaurants The Piano in Chiswick and Doost in Kennington.

Judges notes included: “Classic Persian dishes given a modern gourmet twist. Kookoo builds on a rich culinary tradition that absorbed influences from its neighbours, then exported them to northern India as the Mughal Empire expanded eastwards.

“Subtle touches, using light marinades and delicate spices, don’t overpower the food, allowing the natural flavours to shine through. Chicken, lamb and fish dishes were all moist and a succulent. Healthy eating at its best.”

The restaurant is holding a celebratory dinner on Monday, April 2, and advises booking in advance.