A friendly and good humoured atmosphere that some say is worthy of its own television show greets hungry guests at Kebab Centre in Aldershot.
As the name suggests, the takeaway is a focal point for food-lovers in North Town, as well as being something of a destination kebab shop, attracting diners from as far afield as the affluent village of Crondall.
The Turkish family business celebrated 20 years of trade last year and marked this by opening a second shop in Farnborough Road, in Heath End, last October 20.
This was the same date that the North Town takeaway was opened in 1993 by Rustem Cinar, who moved from London to the relative peace of Aldershot to run the shop with sons Ozziie, Ziggy and Zico.
The brothers said their father’s business had grown as he socialised in North Town’s pubs, to the point where it was now regularly busy, especially at lunch and dinner times.
“For the first year or so it was hard to settle in, but once he started meeting people it became busy and has been like that ever since,” said Ozziie.
Ozziie explained that the characters that visit the shop help make it what it is. One regular is known for his argumentative nature, a second is encouraged to moon walk out the door after each visit, while others stop by after Weight Watchers classes.
The jokes shared between customers and the brothers has led to some calling for a documentary in the style of Channel 4’s The Fried Chicken Shop.
Ziggy said: “We get along with everyone and we know most of our regulars by name.
“Everyone says they go to other shops and while they wait no one talks to them. We have a chat, have a laugh and take the mick – they love it.”
The signature dish at the North Town Kebab Centre is the North Town Special, a monster kebab consisting of two pitta breads containing all the meat varieties and even the vegetarian filling thrown in for good measure, served with salad.
This is on the menu alongside family meal options, including a bumper sharing selection of kebab meats, pittas, chips and a bottle of drink, and lunchtime deals. All are available with the shop’s homemade chilli sauce.
Also popular is the chicken kebab, marinated and cooked on a skewer with onions and peppers, which is a relatively low-calorie option.
Testament to this is the fact that MMA fighter Nick Chapman, who owns the Maida Gym in Queen’s Avenue, is said to regularly select it when visiting with his trainers before a fight.
As well as visitors from the surrounding areas of Farnborough, Ash and Normandy, employees in North Town's industrial estates and the builders working on the development in the area also frequent the takeaway.
Following last year’s expansion, there are plans to open another shop in the Ash area to satisfy demand from customers there. The business also launched a delivery service nine months ago to bring their food direct to their customers.
The care taken when preparing the food, the brothers argued, made the takeaway stand out among from the competition. Now that the pubs in which Mr Cinar Sr built up the business have all closed down, the emphasis on quality meals is more important than ever.
Ziggy said: “We’re quite fussy about where we eat as well. If we get customers coming in for the first time then 99% of the time they come back.
“We are unique. You have to experience it.”
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