3 Hastings restaurants make it to semi-finals of British Kebab Awards

Three restaurants in Hastings and St Leonards have been shortlisted as semi-finalists in this year’s British Kebab Awards.

Staff at The Hempist's opening in March 2020. SUS-200319-081553001

The Hempist, in Marine Parade, is competing for the Best Takeaway Regional award in the semi-finals.

Batman Grill, in Battle Road, St Leonards, has been shortlisted in the Best Kebab Restaurant Regional category and King Kebab, in Queens Road, Hastings is competing for the Just Eat Best Delivery award in the semi-finals.

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Dan Wiltshire, owner of The Hempist, a vegan and vegetarian restaurant, which opened in March last year, said: “It’s a real accolade for us in our first year of trading to get straight to the semi-finals.

Staff at Batman Grill with MP Sally-Ann Hart in March 2020 after the shop received its award. SUS-201003-093351001

“We provide alternative meat substitutes and one of the products we make is a kebab. We use seitan, which is basically wheat gluten. It smells and tastes like a kebab.

“There is a revolution going with veganism and and we feel that we are leading that charge.”

At last year’s awards, Batman Grill won the Chef of the Year accolade and was high commended in the Just Eat Best Delivery Award category.

The shop was also given the Best Delivery prize at 2019’s British Kebab Awards and had been shortlisted for several awards.

Emin Yalcin, owner of Batman Grill, said: “We have had great success over the years and our support is growing stronger every year.

“Last year we came away with the prestigious award of Chef of the Year and we would like to go down in the history books as one of the very few that have won three years in a row.

“Since Covid began, we have got involved in supporting our community. This involved sending out more than 3,000 meals to all staff and departments at the Conquest Hospital.

“We also took part in Marcus Rashford’s #nokidgoeshungry campaign and fed 125 kids during that week completely free of charge.

“We have also sent 100 meals to care home staff, school teachers, milkmen and all key workers who were nominated by their friends and family as a way of saying thanks for all the hard work that they have put in since Covid began.

“We are proud to be able to give back to our community and hope to continue this for as long as we possibly can. We are urging all our customers and the people of Hastings to vote for Batman Grill on the British Kebab Awards website.”

The British Kebab Awards, which are run in association with Just Eat and supported by the Kebab Alliance, the sector’s trade body, are in their ninth year.

Ibrahim Dogus, founder of the British Kebab Awards and Director of the recently formed Kebab Alliance, said: “Kebab eateries are a key part of the local community and it’s great to see so many entries at the end of a year that has tested every business operating in the hospitality sector.

“Getting to the semi-final is a real achievement given the competition across the country and all outlets should be rightly proud. We wish all semi-finalists the best of luck.”

Andrew Kenny, UK managing director of Just Eat, said: “We’re delighted to continue our sponsorship of the British Kebab Awards, which recognises individuals and businesses at the forefront of the kebab industry.

“Not only do the longlisted restaurants and takeaways serve fantastic food, they also offer a vital source of local jobs, bring diversity to our high streets and make a significant contribution to the UK economy, particularly important at the end of a challenging year.”

The semi-finalists all have a chance to secure one of 18 awards at a ceremony at the Park Plaza, Westminster Bridge Hotel, on October 26.

For more information and how to vote, visit www.britishkebabawards.co.uk.

* Got a story? Ring reporters Richard Gladstone on 07803 505794 or Stephen Wynn-Davies on 07393 754494.

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