Sabzi appears on BBC Two's Britain's Top Takeaways - the Edinburgh restaurant tells us about their television debut
and live on Freeview channel 276
It’ll be appearing on Britain’s Top Takeaways on BBC Two on May 10 at 8pm.
This new series is presented by Sara Cox and comedian Darren Harriott, and pits five local restaurants of the same genre against each other.
The premise is that the contestants have to deliver to local households, who then vote for the winner.
The Singh family, who offer a menu of Punjabi street food - including dishes like Bombay chilli cheese toastie, aloo anda and mattar paneer samosas - didn’t apply to be on the show.
Instead they were approached directly by the production company back in April 2021, when the restaurant was still operating as a lockdown takeaway.
“We initially put it down to spam because it sounded too good to be true. After we wrapped up our weekly pop-up, I finally sat down with the family and had a thorough read over the email”, says Stevie Singh, who runs the restaurant with his mum, Paula and brother Ryan. “We just couldn't believe what we were hearing and it can only be described as winning the lottery! What we couldn't understand was how they found us on Instagram. I guess that's the power of social media. It was a bit of a shock that our wee family pop up that'd only been going for three months, had gained so much traction”.
At that point, they had just been shortlisted, so the production team came along to meet them.
The family dynamic, with matriarch Paula working the kitchen, was what really appealed to them.
“The final process then involved us being filmed in our work environment and the team seeing how we worked together,” says Stevie. “They really liked the mother and son element of Sabzi and the traditional home cooked food. A few weeks later, we received a call to confirm we'd been selected for filming on the show. At that point the nerves had well and truly kicked in”.
For the filming, they were asked to design a menu that featured a classic option, a special, a veggie dish and two sides. They plan to also offer some of these dishes on the menu, on the week of the show’s airing. Although they’re not allowed to share how they fared on the series, it’s been an exciting 16 months for the business. This is just another string to add to their bow.
“The last year or so has been an incredible rollercoaster of emotions, both in our personal and work lives. We've learned lots about ourselves and each other. Prior to Sabzi, as a family, we'd never really worked together this much so there were some concerns, but we've rolled with it and we're loving it. We always remind ourselves to keep moving forward which keeps us motivated and wanting to be better,” says Stevie. “Sabzi wouldn't be where it is without mum. She'll kill us for saying this but she's turning 60 this year, so we'll be taking some time off for that which we're really looking forward to”.
162 Ferry Road, Edinburgh, www.sabzistreetfood.com