Official: Britain's top pizza is right here in… Tufnell Park

East West are victors on BBC's search for best takeaway

Thursday, 19th May — By Harry Taylor

toptake

Devinder Singh on Britain’s Top Takeaways

A TUFNELL Park restaurant that combines the best of Napoli and the Punjab has won an award for the BBC’s top pizza takeaway restaurant.

East West in Fortess Road was on TV on Monday night as they faced off against four competitors to be crowned the best in the country.

The episodes of Britain’s Top Takeaways were filmed in June last year in Manchester.

The four takeaways would prepare meals and send them to families on the show, who would score them and whoever came out on top was named the winner.

The winner was announced on Monday night on BBC Two, in the show presented by Sara Cox and Darren Harriott.

Devinder Singh, who opened the outlet in the former Stingray site in 2020, just before the pandemic said: “It was very surreal. We watched it upstairs with people and my phone was buzzing all night. Obviously we knew the result since last year so we were really pleased.

The staff at East West celebrate back in Fortess Road this week

“It was an amazing experience and they made it really easy for us when we were up there. We had producers on hand if needed.”

Mr Singh, 41, who lives in Archway, was a former engineer for Thames Water before deciding to change careers completely and open his eatery.

He was born in Punjab, India, but loves Italian food and thought the combination would work.

Dishes include a CTM pizza, with chicken tikka masala, the OG, featuring a butter chicken sauce and Mr Singh’s favourite, the Fickle Pickle, featuring achari sauce with a spice mix similar to the one that his grandmother would use to pickle mangoes back in India.

There are even twists on the Italian favourite arancini.

He said: “Some people are sceptical when they hear it at first, but then people say when they try it they wonder why they’ve never had it before. I’m not aware of anyone else in the UK doing it.”

The restaurant opened three weeks before Covid, and the restaurateur admits that the financial pressures during the pandemic nearly forced it under, but the competition win spurred them on, even if they couldn’t announce it publicly. Like others, he has faced difficulties with mounting stock costs and staffing.

The father-of-two said: “Before Covid everyone was more keen to take risks – both with business but also with what they were eating. And people retreated into a place of safety and where they knew what they wanted to do.

“Then during Covid people had less income, and it meant we had a really, really difficult first year. We almost didn’t make it. A few times I thought ‘this is the end really’. But then when we went on to the show and won, we thought ‘maybe we are doing something right here’, and people have kept on coming back.”

Related Articles