Birmingham has missed out on being crowned the curry house capital of the UK
A town in southern England was instead handed the accolade for out-spicing areas with a strong tradition of Indian restaurants.
A study by Cobra beer found one curry house per 853 residents in Bromley, south east London, with other hot spots including Epsom, Reading, Leicester, Cardiff and Doncaster.
But despite Birmingham, having it famous Balti belt, it did not even feature in the top 10.
The study also found the Taj Mahal was the most popular name for an Indian restaurant, followed by Taste of India, Maharaja, Akash, Spice Lounge and Monsoon.
Quirkier names included Posh Spice, Urban Turban, Ace of Spice and Some Like It Hot.
But Raj Rana, owner of Birmingham restaurant Itihass, on Fleet Street, hit out at the study and said quality and heritage make Birmingham the undisputed curry capital.
“Curry is synonymous with Birmingham,” he said.
“Bromley is a nice, quaint, tourist town and it’s a relaxing environment. But if you go back to the first Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi immigrants, they didn’t settle in Bromley, they settled in Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham.
“The balti revolution was a western concept and it began in Birmingham. Chicken tikka masala was invented in Birmingham. A chef poured a can of tomato soup into the dish and invented the masala.”
And as well as the heritage, Mr Rana said the quality of Birmingham’s balti-belt was well recognised.
“If Bromley have more Indian restaurants that’s great, but you can’t ignore where it began, that was Birmingham.”
Aktar Islam, head chef at restaurant Lasan, which was crowned Britain’s best local restaurant on Gordon Ramsey’s F-Word, also dismissed the study.
“It’s not just on concentration,” he said. “It’s about quality. Outside of London we’re a culinary hot-spot for the country. The quality in Birmingham is second to none.”
The first curry house opened in London in 1810 and there are now over 9,000 across the UK, with one in five people saying Indian food is their favourite meal.