Top doner! Hackney restaurants in running for kebab award

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Three giants of Hackney’s Turkish food scene have been “pitta’d” against each other in the search for London’s top kebab.

Berber & Q, Mangal 2 and Pivaz have been shortlisted in the Best Kebab Restaurant in North and West London category at this year’s British Kebab Awards.

While the old pros at Mangal 2 has been dishing up doners for 20 years, Berber & Q and Pivaz are relative newcomers, offering high-end middle-eastern food.

“As a grill house serving food inspired by the whole region it’s wonderful to be recognised,” said Josh Katz, chef and owner of Berber & Q, Acton Mews, Haggerston. “The whole area’s food scene is really exciting with new restaurants popping up all over. This fresh talent is standing alongside age-old establishments meaning the east has the best of both worlds.”

One of those fresh talents is Pivaz, which has been in Chatsworth Road for two years and last year was crowned Best Newcomer at the same awards.

Owned by Tony Manconi and Hakan Karakollik, Pivaz offers a wide-range of Turkish cuisine for diners, as well as cocktails, coffee and even an English breakfast.

“The scene in Hackney is really getting better,” said manager Lorenzo Sini. “It used to be just kebab shops but now there are a lot of Turkish restaurants.”

So what do the newcomers think the secret is to the perfect kebab?

“It’s all about retaining flavour and ensuring the meat is delicately cooked as it’s continually turned,” said Josh, while Lorenzo said it was his chef’s secret recipe – which he was keeping close to his chest.

This article was written by Sam Gelder and first appeared in the Hackney Gazette on 8 March 2016

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