Scrolling through TikTok can feel like a drag after a while. In between fitness tips, political rants and poorly performed dances, the thumb aches and it all looks a little… samey. But that’s often when suddenly something catches your eye; something special, something a little different. We stumbled across the TikToks of Bristol-based Urban Tandoor earlier this year and we have become hooked to the Indian restaurant’s hilarious, slightly surrealist, videos ever since.
We’re not the only ones who have become addicted to their unique spins on trending memes, either. With 30k followers on TikTok and 14K followers on Instagram, Urban Tandoor have gained quite the cult following in Bristol. Part of the charm of the Indian restaurant’s videos is that not only are they hilarious and sometimes strange. But, performed by the charming staff, they give a funny glimpse behind the scenes of an often hard working and very serious restaurant industry.
Unsurprisingly, they picked up the Diners Choice Award – “a new category that rewards curry establishments that are able to engage their customers through social media” – at this year’s British Curry Awards (November 28). They galvanised their fanbase by gaining the highest number of live public votes on the night to win.
Starting on Small Street in Bristol in 2014, before later launching a second location on Whiteladies Road, Urban Tandoor has gone from strength-to-strength since then. Something not just down to their social media presence either. We’re pleased to report that Urban Tandoor also cook some of the best Indian food in Bristol. Firm favourites include the Lamb Shank and the King Prawn salmon moilee.
To learn more we spoke to owner of Urban Tandoor, Sujith D’almeida:
How did Urban Tandoor begin?
Sujith D’almeida: The idea was to create a delightful environment with healthy cuisine and welcoming service, coupled with an atmosphere and décor to complement it. As with any new business, the takeoff was difficult at first, but it eventually gained popularity and started making headlines for its distinctive style of operation.
What is your ethos for the restaurant?
SD: Everything in Urban Tandoor revolves around the guest. Customer satisfaction is our topmost priority. Over time we’ve won many accolades however our goal has been constant. The best award to date is still seeing every guest leave the space smiling and delighted.
How did you start making TikToks?
SD: We came up with TikToks during the pandemic. There was so much doom and gloom about the year in 2020. We decided to add some positive vibes to cheer and uplift people. Soon they became a hit and presently, we have followers from the world over. Most of them become patrons of our restaurants. Our TikToks include lighthearted humour that make people smile without offending anyone.
Is that connection with the community important to what you do?
SD: Diners are a crucial component of our business. In good times and bad, we will go above and beyond for our customers because they are the ones who made us. It is very important for us to engage with the community because it is their continued support and encouragement that got us where we are and we owe our success to them.
Anything you would like to add?
SD: Urban tandoor is for one and all. It is a place to celebrate, renew, recharge, and re-energize so that one can keep going and create joyful memories. We live by the adage: ‘life is short; keep it sweet.’
Next time you’re in the mood for Indian food, or simply a good time, look no further than Urban Tandoor. To learn more head here.