A total of 24 cafes and restaurants were nominated by the food-lovers of St Albans – providing a sumptuous task for our hungry mystery shoppers and judges.

Councillor Melvyn Teare, introducing the award, joked that his strict new diet had prevented him form frequenting all the establishments concerned but was fulsome in his praise of quality of dining available in the city.

Eventually overall winner, Chez Mumtaj, claimed victory in this category, ahead of Freddie’s, in Adelaide Street, Bar Espresso, in Victoria Street, Café Nes, at the Alban Arena, and Kashu, in Hatfield Road.

Owner and executive chef Chez Mumtaj said: “I feel very proud of this award and very grateful to all my customers.”