Scotland’s first vegan kebab shop opens in Edinburgh

Scotland's first vegan kebab shop opens in Newington.
Scotland's first vegan kebab shop opens in Newington.
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Doner look further than Newington as new restaurateurs are pitta-ing the vegan into tasty take-away staple – the kebab.

Transforming the contents of not only the premises of a former meat-heavy kebab operation, but also the traditional carnivorous filling are business partners Alan Collinson and Wade Tidbury.

Alan Collinson and Wade Tidbury at their new premises in South Clerk Street.

Alan Collinson and Wade Tidbury at their new premises in South Clerk Street.

In not only a Capital first but a first for the country, Karma Kebabs will be the first 100 per cent plant to sprinkle some magic onto the conventional Middle Eastern delicacy as it opens on South Clerk Street tomorrow.

Over 18 months in the planning, Alan and Wade decided to offer a new takeaway experience to those who follow a plant-based diet or anyone keen to try it and with an “abra-kebab-ra”, the former Aleppo Kitchen has transformed into vegan-friendly Karma Kebabs.

On offer will be a selection of kebab khobez wraps that will be filled with seitan – a plant-based source of protein – or falafels with fresh salad, poutine, chips as well as a choice of delicious cakes and sweet treats. The drinks as well as all food will be also be vegan-safe.

Bringing Scotland’s first vegan restaurant to Edinburgh has been a long journey but Alan and Wade are very excited about finally opening the doors to the public.

Karma Kebabs' ''falafel in a freshly toasted khobez wrap.

Karma Kebabs' ''falafel in a freshly toasted khobez wrap.

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“We are aiming to have a place that offers a welcoming and popular atmosphere and great tasting food that everyone can enjoy, we are really excited to be opening our first branch of Karma Kebabs,” said co-­director Alan.

“After many months of planning and testing out our 
recipes on family and friends we are looking forward to the big opening on Saturday.”

Having taken on the site of a former traditional meat kebab café, two doors down from The Southsider, the shop has stripped, redecorated and completely refurbished giving the place a completely new and inviting feel as well as new meat-free equipment fitted throughout and a spruced-up kitchen area.

Alan and Wade said a whole new look and a new feel was an important part of their vision, to convey to customers the values behind the new business.

“We have set up Karma Kebab with values that are important to us,” Wade explained. “Our aspiration in our planning was that we are setting up a place that is fun to come to eat with friends but also knowing that we have the wider environment and how we employ staff in mind.

“The environmental case for going towards a plant-based diet is now overwhelming and we aim to make that easier for people as well as a fun experience.”

Seitan, which features as one of the filling choices at Karma Kebab, has a long history in countries such as China, Japan, Vietnam and other east and southeast Asian countries since as early as the 6th century.

A popular option with Buddhists who are, in the main, vegan or vegetarian, it is a completely plant-based source of protein. Alan and Wade have adapted their own seitan recipe for over the last year and will be served in the traditional method, freshly carved from a doner rotisserie.