Hassan’s beaten to van of the year at British Kebab Awards

This article was first published on the Cherwell on 12 March 2018.

The Broad Street establishment came a narrow second to last year's winner, Atalay's.

Broad Street establishment Hassan’s has missed out on the title of best kebab van in the UK.

The student favourite was pipped to the award by Atalay’s in Thame, Oxfordshire, at the British Kebab Awards ceremony at the Park Plaza Westminster hotel on Monday night.

Hassan’s came second in the voting, winning a highly recommended certificate.

This is the sixth year that the awards have been held.

Hassan told Cherwell: “It’s disappointing, but we were very privileged to be nominated in the first place.

“But at least we won a highly recommended award, which we are very happy to have received.”

According to the competition’s website, over 1200 guests, including more than 300 MPs, lords, baronesses and councillors, and 800 businesses and community representatives attended last year’s ceremony.

The awards were founded in 2013 by the Centre for Turkey Studies, and celebrate an industry which brings £2.8 billion to the British economy annually.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and London Mayor Sadiq Khan were both guests at the awards in 2016.

Tickets for the ceremony started at £216 including dinner and drinks, and are regularly snapped up by politicos and journalists.

The award was voted for by the public, and it was hoped by many that Hassan’s popularity among students might lead to victory: a post on Oxfess encouraging students to vote received over 400 reactions, while Hassan’s own post was reacted to by over 250 people.

However, it was not to be, as Atalay’s retained the title it won in 2017.

At the time of his van’s nomination, Hassan told Cherwell: “At first we were not even aware we were nominated until we actually got a call from the British Kebab Awards.

“We were completely happy and shocked. We do our best to provide good customer service and food with a smile.”

Two weeks ago, Hassan’s was forced to stop trading on Thursday night after heavy snowfall in Oxford city centre.

In a 2016 interview with Cherwell, Hassan revealed that his favourite item on the menu was a “chicken wrap, with cheese and chips, chilli sauce and garlic mayonnaise… just a little bit of chicken and just a little bit of chips and I’m done for the whole night.

“The most ordered item has got to be chips and cheese, and then chips and cheese and meat – chicken or lamb,” he added.

The kebab awards were the fourth-most mentioned topic on Twitter on Monday night: #BritishKebabAwards was trending in the UK just below University Challenge, Russia, and Stoke City vs Manchester City.

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