Family-owned kebab restaurant in Portsmouth has been nominated for national award for best new takeaway

A KEBAB restaurant has been shortlisted in the top 10 best newcomer takeaways in the UK.

By Sophie Murray
Thursday, 9th September 2021, 4:44 pm
Owner Mehmet Ulucan
Picture: Chris Moorhouse
Owner Mehmet Ulucan Picture: Chris Moorhouse

Mehmet Kitchen in Copnor Road has been nominated for the Best Newcomer Award in the British Kebab Awards 2021.

Since opening in January this year, the restaurant has served freshly-made traditional Turkish cuisine to the Portsmouth community.

The owner, Turkish-born Mehmet Ulucan, 41, from Hilsea, feels ‘honoured’ to have been nominated, and said he loves bringing a smile to his customer’s faces.

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With 21 years of experience in the food industry, and having won awards at his previous restaurants, Mehmet said he is passionate about serving quality food and that he only serves food that he would eat himself.

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Working alongside his family, Mehmet loves getting to know his customers, their families and their stories, and giving back to the community that has been his home for the past 21 years since he moved to Portsmouth as a refugee.

Mehmet loves supporting and working with charities in the area.

Owner Mehmet Ulucan serving customers at their table Picture: Chris Moorhouse

He said: ‘It doesn’t matter what they do, they do it for the best of the people and I love to help them.’ This was reflected when one of his other businesses, Copnor Grill in Tangier Road, offered free food to the homeless during the pandemic.

As well as gaining support from its loyal customers, Mehmet Kitchen has also been visited by Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt, who tweeted about her visit last month and urged her followers to vote.

When asked what makes his kebabs the best, Mehmet said: ‘Everything we do is fresh.

Kebabs at Mehmet Kitchen Picture: Chris Moorhouse

‘We make kebabs that are traditional, we serve them differently to everyone else and the same as how they’re served back home.

‘It is the most authentic place probably in Portsmouth and maybe even Hampshire.’

Mehmet said ‘the future is bright’ and that he has plans to open the restaurant during the day, offering Mediterranean breakfasts and lunches.

He also said he wants to open earlier ‘especially for mothers’ who he said will be able to visit and use the space socially after dropping children off at school and before picking them up in the afternoon.

Mehmet Kitchen in Copnor Road Picture: Chris Moorhouse

To everyone who has already voted, Mehmet said: ‘Thank you for believing in us, thank you for being there for us and supporting us. As a small business we need their support, and the best part of this business is being recognised and awarded by the people.’

The winner will be announced in October and is decided by public votes. To vote for Mehmet Kitchen, visit

Mehmet Kitchen in Copnor Road Picture: Chris Moorhouse