Local Lebanese Triumphs At National Awards Ceremony

Waleema scoops up a Deliveroo top restaurant prize

October 21, 2019

Waleema’s modern approach to the traditional Lebanese Feast proved a winner

Deliveroo’s inaugural Restaurant Awards took place on Thursday in central London following a public vote launched in August. Battersea’s Waleema finished top of the ‘Editions’ section in the ceremony which was attended by celebrities including Vogue Williams and Gemma Collins.

Waleema’s Fadi Chafi said, "It’s fantastic to win this award, and means that much more as it was voted for by the public.” Waleema started out as a traditional high street eatery but found the cost of running a physical site too high. It then became one of Deliveroo’s delivery-only Editions kitchens and is now based on the heliport estate.

Along with the award, Waleema will also now receive support from Deliveroo in growing its business including a presence in the delivery chain’s new marketing campaign which showcases the best of British restaurants. Waleema has already expanded its Editions sites to Whitechapel and Swiss Cottage.

The Awards, which Deliveroo intends to run annually with the public getting the final vote, are intended to “shake up the sometimes stale approach to industry awards, bringing in fun new categories for a generation of social-media eaters”. This year’s winners triumphed in categories such as Best Dessert-only Restaurant which was won by Kaspa’s in Colchester, and Best Cheap Eats which went to Chozen Noodle of Leamington Spa. Most Instagrammable Dish went to Pleasecakes in Redhill for its fancy, photogenic cheesecakes.

Other London-based winners included Kensington’s Poke by Tombo, Panda Kitchen in Newham and the Simple Health Kitchen in Baker Street. Most Innovative Dish went to Stratford’s May Cookie Dough for its Scotch Creme Egg.

More than a hundred restaurants made the shortlists for the public to chose from. Ashley Roberts from the Pussycat Dolls and the West End musical Waitress, presented the awards along with food writer and restaurant critic Giles Coren.