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Hackney and Islington still kebab capitals as nine named in British awards

It's thought 1.3 million kebabs are sold in the UK every day. Pic: Lewis Whyld/PA It's thought 1.3 million kebabs are sold in the UK every day. Pic: Lewis Whyld/PA

Friday, January 10, 2014
2:43 PM

Hackney and Islington’s status as the kebab capitals of the country was confirmed with no fewer than nine establishments shortlisted for a prestigious national award.

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It’s a kebab fact

■ The UK’s first kebab shop was thought to have opened in Stoke Newington in 1966

■ Kebab businesses contribute £2.2billion to the British economy and employ 150,000 people

■ The word doner comes from the Turkish verb donmek, meaning to turn

■ The kebab is thought to originate via Urdu and Persian languages and means meat cooked with flames

■ 1.3 million portions of doner kebab are sold every day in the UK

The British Kebab Awards 2014, which take place at the glamorous Sheraton hotel in Park Lane on Tuesday, aim to recognise excellence in the industry and prove shish and doner are more than post-pub grub.

Stoke Newington, thought to be home to the UK’s first ever kebab shop in 1966, boasts three nominations; Mangal 2, in Stoke Newington Road, is up for best value restaurant and their cook Ali Dirik and is up for best chef, while celebrity favourite Best Turkish Kebab, just up the road, is in the running for best takeway.

Round the corner in Green Lanes, Newington Green, Ozden Catering has been shortlisted for best related business, and down in Dalston and London Fields Mangal 1, in Arcola Street is up for best customer satisfaction and Tony Manconi, of Broadway Market’s East End Kitchen could be named young restauranteur of the year.

Tad Restaurant, in Mare St, Hackney Central, has also been nominated in the best value category.

Holloway is another area that’s done itself proud, with Constolia, in Holloway Road, named in the customer satisfaction category, and nearby Holloway Kebab House up for best newcomer.

Gurndane Duzgun, who runs the restaurant with her brother, said: “It was such a surprise, only been open three month so it was a real shock.

“It’s a huge compliment so we are very happy.

“The secret, as with any restaurant is good quality ingredients with everything made on the premises.

“The marinade is also very important. We have a Turkish chef who worked in a very well regarded kitchen in Istanbul for 10 years.

“We are fortunate to have him now, but he won’t be giving up his recipes.”

Ibrahim Dogus, who is organising the awards, said; “We rate the nominees on quite a complex points system. We have judges who will go in mysteriously and take notice of the several criteria - the quality of the product, the service, the customer satisfaction.

“We want to raise standards in the kebab industry. Currently it’s seen as a late night post-pub snack in many parts of the country.

“We want to make sure the people who have given so much culturally and economically though kebabs are recognised.”

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