Preston restaurant serves up award as best bistro in England

Being voted top bistro in England came as an almighty shock to staff at a Preston eatery - they didn't even know they had been entered.

By Brian Ellis
Friday, 10th June 2022, 4:58 pm

And the team at The Ginger Bistro in Fulwood are still pinching themselves after a mystery diner put them up for the award.

"It came completely out of the blue," said manager James Kacperek after picking up both the national and regional titles in the Food Awards England 2022.

"We didn't enter the competition. And we don't know who nominated us.

Owner Soji Joseph outside the award-winning Ginger Bistro.

"We don't do what we do to win lots of awards. But it's very nice when all your hard work is rewarded like this.

"Everyone here is over the moon."

The Ginger Bistro, owned by chef Soji Joseph, once of the Walled Garden at Barton Grange Hotel, opened in December 2018 in the former Slice of Sicily restaurant at the junction of Garstang Road and Broadway.

It prides itself in not only top quality food, but also a great atmosphere which has diners coming back for more.

"The thing we get from our customers is the friendly environment. They say it’s very relaxing and they really enjoy themselves.

"We have a good laugh with them and we get a lot of repeat business as a result.

"We try to create a chilled holiday environment - a sort of out of Fulwood and into a roof-top terrace kind of feel."

The Ginger Bistro was tipped off a few weeks ago that it had been nominated in the North West cafe/bistro award category. So, as a reward to the entire team, they closed the restaurant for the night and travelled down to Manchester suited and booted ready to just enjoy the occasion.

"We just thought 'great stuff - we'll go along and treat the team to a good night out.'” explained James. “There weren't that many nominations for the North West title so we thought we might be in with a bit of a chance.

"Either way we went there dressed up just wanting to have a good night out, nothing more.

"But we didn't only win the regional award, we went and picked up the national one too ahead of 48 other restaurants. It was a total shock to all of us.

"Hopefully it will do us some good publicity-wise. We’re only a little bistro in Preston and we tend to rely on word of mouth. But now this will give us a lot more exposure.

"It’s a reward for all the staff who have worked so hard, particularly over the last six months. And particularly our assistant manager Olivia who has been incredible. A lot of this is down to her.

"To be voted the best in England really validates what we are doing at The Ginger Bistro. We've had five stars on places like TripAdvisor and Google, but this is a national food awards competition and that is something really special."Another Lancashire eatery also picked up a trophy in the awards. The Zen Restaurant in Lytham St Annes was voted Best Oriental Establishment.