THE first Bangladeshi restaurant in Halesowen has celebrated 40 years serving up the finest curries to its loyal customers.

The Ameena, Hagley Road, is now a landmark in the town and is one of the longest running Bangladeshi restaurants in Britain.

Generations of customers, staff, local dignitaries, the Mayor of Dudley Councillor Alan Finch, politicians and the mayor gathered at the restaurant for a week of celebrations.

Restaurateur Mohammed Hiron Miah opened the Ameena in 1974 and has been the beating heart of the restaurant ever since.

Mr Miah helped create the clamour for Asian food in the 1970s by giving the people of Halesowen what they did not even know they wanted but then soon came to love.

The favourite dish of customers remains the chicken jalfrezi followed by the tandoori fish.

A prominent businessman in the town Mr Miah has seen his restaurant evolve and be extended and now has his son by his side at weekends.

Long serving Ameena's front of house man Ali Mohammed has been welcoming people to the restaurant for 24 years.

He said: "We had two celebration meals and it is great to see so many loyal customers come and enjoy our 40th anniversary.

"We were delighted to welcome the Mayor of Dudley Councillor Alan Finch as well as our local MP James Morris.

"It was especially nice to have three generations of Halesowen families who are our customers at our anniversary as we are a very family orientated business."

He added: "The secret of our success is giving people what they want and not changing things to much, we know what people like and we serve it them.

Regular customer and Halesowen and Rowley Regis MP James Morris praised the staff at Ameena.

He said: "Congratulations to Hiron and all the staff, over the past forty years, the Ameena has become a key part of our local community.

"People who, like me, enjoy both the wonderful food and the welcome provided by Ali and his team, will look forward to look joining them for their fiftieth, sixtieth and, hopefully, many more anniversary celebrations to come."