AN award-winning Indian restaurant has made way for a taste of something different in the UK.

The Valley restaurant, in Hexham’s Market Place, won countless curry awards during its 18-year spell in the town but has recently closed to be replaced by Cilantro, a tapas restaurant combining Indian and Latin American cuisine.

The owner of the Valley, Daraz Aziz, will concentrate his efforts on running the Corbridge restaurant, allowing his son Nabs to build on the food trend which is new in the UK.

Nabs, who has travelled the world through a career in the performing arts, said: “This project is three years in the making. I originally wanted to open Cilantro in London but I was persuaded back to the North-East by an uncle to start the business in Newcastle, but that didn’t come off due to unforeseen circumstances. But then my dad gave me the opportunity to open in Hexham.

“I’ve tried cuisines all around the world and I think there is a market in Hexham for something different.

The fusion between Latin American food and Indian food is different to everybody and has already raised a few eyebrows.

“If you want your more traditional Indian food, there is the restaurant in Corbridge, but if you want something a bit more funky and want to have a bit of a dance, then come over to Hexham.”

Cilantro head chef Atindra Naskar has worked in the catering industry for 20 years and is excited to be given the opportunity to experiment with developing new dishes.

He said: “We have got some new ideas to fuse Mexican and Indian food, and it will be of interest to the people of Hexham. There is nothing like this anywhere else and I want to create a new concept of food, and Nabs shares that idea.”