Edinburgh’s Sabzi battles it out for BBC’s Britain’s Best Takeaway title

A takeaway that started life as a weekend pop-up, presenting a variety of home-cooked Punjabi dishes from a hatch in Leith, could soon be crowned the best in the land.

By Gary Flockhart
Monday, 2nd May 2022, 12:11 pm

Serving up dishes made by mother and son Paula and Ryan Singh, Sabzi (pronounced sub-zee) set up shop during the pandemic – but the venture proved so popular with locals that the family decided to expand and add both indoor and outdoor seating.

Now, having opened a permanent eatery at aubergine-coloured premises on Ferry Road, Sabzi is up for the title of Britain's Best Takeaway on a new BBC TV series.

The show, presented by DJ Sara Cox and comedian Darren Harriott, will see some of the UK's best-loved independent takeaways battling it out in a culinary showdown that crowns a different winner each week.

Each episode features five takeaways from the same sector who will go head-to-head in the specially built 'Top Takeaway Kitchen'.

They'll have to cook up their best takeaway meals which will then be sent to local households who will ultimately decide that episode's winner.

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Sharing the news on social media, a post from Sabzi reads: “It’s been a tough secret to keep in, but it’s finally out.

Sabzi is up for the title of Britain's Best Takeaway on a new BBC TV series.

“We’ll be on Britain’s Top Takeaways, airing on BBC2, Tuesday the 10th May at 8pm. You’ll also be able to catch us on BBC iPlayer after.

“It’s crazy to think our wee family restaurant in Leith only started out as a pop up during the pandemic – and now we’re going to be on national telly.

“We’ll be flying the flag for Scotland.”

A spokesperson for the BBC said: “Each takeaway brings a delicious curated menu featuring a classic dish, chef’s special, vegetarian option and sides.

“Our families and friends choose dishes from the five menus but the takeaways have no idea when or what they'll order. It’s a fast and furious service.

“As soon the food is ready, it’s raced to the door of the people who ordered it who critique the dishes they've chosen.

"There's no let up for the takeaway teams as the next order comes in, and at the end of a frenetic night, they finally collapse while they wait for the final scores – to see if their business can triumph as that episode's Top Takeaway.”

Cox said: “When I first heard about this show they had me at takeaway. Especially in recent times, the takeaway has become something of an event in our house.

“I’m thrilled to be celebrating the takeaway and finding the very best in Britain, and if that means eating all the left over chips and putting on half a stone, so be it.”

Co-host Harriott added: "If there’s two things I love it’s takeaways and families, except at around 3pm on Christmas Day with all the relatives fighting over the remote control and that's when I'll be dreaming of ordering in a meal for one.

“Working on such a unique, fun show with the legendary Sara Cox and getting to know all the families was a personal highlight, I can’t wait for everyone at home to meet them.”

Britain's Top Takeaways begins on Monday, May 9 at 8PM on BBC Two and iPlayer.