Middle Eastern takeaway serving ‘daily fresh’ dishes opens in Norwich

A new Middle Eastern takeaway has opened its doors in Norwich, with options such as kebabs and wraps, and it is already proving a hit.

1st Shawarma opened in 137 Unthank Road on September 8 and is owned by Ali Khawer, who is originally from Kurdistan, and he has lived in Norwich for over a decade with brother Dyar.

Customers can either sit inside or on the terrace, where they are also given a free Kurdish tea, or order a takeaway at the counter.

Their signature dish is the shawarma, with meat cut into thin slices and roasted on a spit, and they offer a choice of chicken or lamb served in a wrap, which is made using their own dough, or on a plate with chips and salad.

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They also do shish kebabs on a stick, lamb chops, chicken wings, with mixed grill options for groups, and a fatayah, a traditional bread which has meat and cheese on top.

Mr Khawer found out about the empty unit as his friends run G&T Barbers next door, which opened in June 2019, and they both rent from the same landlord.

Candice Li, waitress at 1st Shawarma and whose mum owns the building, said: “They had been looking to open in December 2019 but had to wait for a fan for council regulations and also it took a long time to get the front design done.

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“It was then delayed because of lockdown, but it has been good so far and people are interested in traditional Kurdish food and the culture.

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“It is a step away from just a kebab takeaway as you can eat in and the meat is daily fresh.”

Dyar Khawer, the owner’s brother who also helps out, said: “We do a couple of things that have never been done before in Norwich and it is something new for this area.”

The head chef Ryan Aziz has over 15 years experience and there is currently limited capacity inside due to social distancing.

1st Shawarma is open Monday to Saturday 11am to 10pm and Sunday 11am to 8pm.

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