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Best Middle Eastern Restaurant 

Gold Winner Mezza, Quinpool (now closed)

Silver Winner Tarek’s Cafe

Bronze Winner Turkish Delight

“We just wanted to do our thing and had no expectation and low budget. It was a calling,” says Saronn Pov of the collaboration with her partner, chef Ray Bear, that gifted the city Studio East. Building on her already popular market-based business Saronn’s Kitchen, with the added bonus of Bear’s “more daring” skills in the kitchen, the casual north end restaurant and bar offers a unique and flavourful menu that highlights Pov’s Cambodian background with an exciting selection of Asian fusion dishes, as well as a total love of Nova Scotia-grown ingredients. “It’s real. It’s something really real you can’t buy,” she says of the restaurant’s fans who’ve voted it the Best New Restaurant of 2016. “Getting that great response back, that encouragement—it’s exciting.”

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