The ‘Evening Standard’ reports the great news about The Cedar in Fernhead Road;
“A chef who turned down a job at five-star hotel The Dorchester to set up on his own in west London was today celebrating after his restaurant was named Britain’s favourite take-away.
Lebanese diner The Cedar, in Maida Vale, received the most positive votes from millions of reviews of more than 9,000 eateries posted by users of online delivery website hungryhouse.co.uk .
Owner Sami Khoueiry put The Cedar’s secret of success down to the secret recipes his mother taught him as a child growing up in Beirut.
He said: “All my recipes are 100 per cent home made and my mum has given her seal of approval. I go back to her now and then for tips.”
The 34-year-old took a gamble when he turned down a job at The Dorchester in Park Lane three years ago to take the business over from his cousin.
He had previously spent five years as sous-chef at the Marriott Hotel in Mayfair as their Lebanese specialist.
He said: “I was accepted to work at The Dorchester, but I decided to start here a few years ago. It’s hard running your own business, but I love my job.”
Twice a week he heads down to Smithfield meat market in Farringdon, every Friday morning he is at Billingsgate fish market and fresh vegetables are delivered daily.
He said: “I love to spend my time going about getting ingredients and fresh products, and then coming back to make my secret marinades. Once you’ve eaten here, you know why we came first. It’s the freshness. Everything is made with care. I’m a perfectionist. Every single plate I do, I say I’m doing it for my family.”
Having beaten off competition from traditional favourites Indian and Chinese cuisine, he said Lebanese is becoming an increasingly popular choice for Londoners.
“I have lived here for 10 years and I have seen the difference. Before, people had the idea that Lebanese food was expensive and only for special occasions but a lot of people are enjoying experimenting and discovering everything we offer,” he said.”