Kebab Pilgrimage

I remember when I was a teenager, just a couple of years ago ;-) me and a mate had our regular kebab haunt. It was a dingy looking place in Kingsford, from memory the inside was tiled white with a white bench, but it never actually was white, more a beige or at best, an off white which slowly progressed into a brown. This didn't matter though, we were young, adventurous and had stomachs of iron, and the real reason why this didn't matter? The meat. To this day I have no idea what this old Lebanese (I think) man did to the meat, perhaps it's better I don't know, but the taste was remarkable, it was so good that sometimes I just wanted onions and meat in the bread, I mean lettuce and tomato was clearly this guys last concern, and so it should be, people came here for the meat. I remember studying it on one occasion, looking closely at the meat pieces, there were little green bits and sometimes red bits and a few white bits in it, It wasn't Kafta if that's what you're thinking, it tasted different, lemony and tangy, just incredible. I don't know what happened to this shop, the area has been completely redeveloped, but it wasn't that long ago, this man and his kebab skills must be somewhere.

Kebabs are close to all our hearts, the amount of saturated fats and oils will make sure of that! A staple food some might say, this wrapped up meal contains most of the 5 food groups in one easy to eat roll. Useful for helping the morning afters, filling empty stomachs after a hard long days work. Kebab-oSauras in Maroubra, on Anzac Parade right next to Video ezy makes a pretty good darn kebab, i've been eating kebabs for 15 or so years in this area so hopefully that's saying something about my qualifications to embark upon this pilgrimage. Over the years I'll make my way through the many kebabs on offer and like some other food sections I'll sometimes throw in a review from a foreign land, after all this is a pilgrimage.

The history of the kebab, also, and perhaps more well known as 'Doner Kebab' gets it's name from Turkish origins and means 'Turning Roast', coming from a town in Turkey called Oltu and later morphed into what we know today, being served on Pita and Lebanese bread with some salads. The Doner Kebab also has a cousin with the Greek Yeeros and Gyro. I of course plagiarised this information from Wikipedia but you already knew that. Please also remember, no matter what a twit tells you, the real takeaway kebab sandwich is beef... not chicken!

** Best so far - Princess Table **

Posted 21.04.2007

Lebanese Taste - Dubai

How can you go wrong with a place named lebanese taste?! One lonely evening I ordered a couple of the shawarma sandwiches from here, one on normal bread and one on my fast becoming favourite bread... saj, I also got a fattouch salad, because despite the spelling it's quite a healthy salad and would definitely counter the effects of the shawarmas and fries on my system, that's what I told myself anyway. After a pretty short wait they arrive at the door, nicely wrapped, still very warm and absolutely no sign of leakage. It's a good start.

The normal bread shawarma was started on, dissected down the middle for viewing purposes we can see a smallish looking roll that appears to be carefully constructed, nice layers of tabouli, pickles, onions and of course meat, I did think the meat appeared a little dry and there seemed to be a distinct lack of any sauce which added to this thought but as we know, looks can be deceiving, especially with doners. All fears were instantly laid to rest when biting into this sandwich, it was really quite nice, I think it was so good coz I was expecting something not so good, there was a nice coating of tahini throughout the sandwich which added some moistness to the very flavourful meat which kind of had this tanginess to it, this with the pickles and tabouli went really well.

The story pretty much continues along very similar lines when we move onto the saj bread shawarma, but with the slight toasted saj that has some nice crunchy edges the sandwich is elevated to another level. As you can see, in the middle it's almost identical to the previous sandwich, just the bread differs, differs so much that I didn't finish the first shawarma, I simply could not put this one down. I love the tanginess of the meat here, again its something different to other places and the tabouli is really nice.

I added a bit of hot chilli sauce that came with the shawarmas and wow... what a combination, the fiery hot sauce complimented the tangy sandwich really well. I really don't have much bad to say about these sandwiches, yes they could be a bit bigger, but shawarmas in general are actually always smaller cousins to the kebabs and doners so that's not really a minus point, the meat could have been juicier yes, but the tahini did a good enough job to making sure it was still good, and the hot sauce... they should have an option to have that put into the sandwich as they are making it.

Very happy with the taste from Lebanese taste, they will be had again, at some point, their fries also delivered surprisingly well, no doubt thanks to the speed of the delivery and the fattouch was fresh, light and had that nice tart dressing.

Meat - 6 | Bread - 7 | Chilli - 7 | Hommus / Tahini - 6 | Salad - 7 | Overall 7

Posted 16.03.2016

Flames Grills and Curries - Dubai

My first experience here was a delivery and what I received was nothing short of a disgusting mess that was barely edible and binned after about two bites. I was looking forward to merclessily destroying them in a write up to exact my revenge for being charged for such a disgusting filty doner, but I was contacted by the restaurant after my zomato write up and asked to give them another try. Obviously I refused any offers and decided myself to retry them secretly.

And here we have it, the lamb doner from Flames Grills and Curries eat in style, the difference between this and what I got is like chalk and cheese, this doner looked great, smelled nice and of course was nice and hot, dissected down the middle you can see the layers of meat, a decent thickness put together carefully under a bit of lettuce, the red sauce seemed to be around the meat nicely and together, this looked like it'd be a pretty tasty sandwich.

The doner felt great in the hand too, and from the first bite you can tell that this beauty is more than skin deep, this doner was delicious, the first thing that hits you is the meat and soon after you get a pleasant kick from that lovely slightly tangy, slightly hot red sauce, you don't even think about the bread, it's so thin and this is so meaty that it really is just acting like a sausage skin, the other surprising thing is the salad, again, you don't even notice it, yes theres a bit of crunch but the meat and accompanying sauce is so overpowering in this doner that honestly nothing else matters.

I think the meat could have been more flavourful but it was good enough to hold it's own and not make you feel like it was too much, I think a good hit of onions, raw or very slightly browned, would really elevate the sandwich. Just to be sure this wasn't a fluke I ordered it again delivery and they obviously learnt from my first zomato review and lifted their game, this delivered doner was just as good as the one I had eat in. They also do a mean butter chicken, and technically well made samosas, but the lamb variant definitely needs more flavour in the mince.

Meat - 7 | Bread - 6 | Chilli - 7 | Hommus - NA | Salad - 6 | Overall 6.5

Posted 09.03.2016

Doner Force - Dubai

Another joint doing 'proper' kebabs as I see it opens up in Dubai. Having several stores in Germany there's potential here for a good setup and more importantly a tasty kebab. I went their on their first day of operations and was interested to hear that the main delay in actually opening was getting the approval for the meat importation from Germany. That's a pretty big point, considering you're in Dubai a place that has a plentiful local supply of this style of meat, to choose to import your meat from Germany must mean something.

As I was trying this place with a friend we did decide to give the chicken a go too, let's get that out of the way now, it was good, the chicken was really delicious, quite moist and some bits even had a little crust to it giving the meat a good texture and extra flavour there, I must admit, with chicken kebabs like this I could give the white meat kebab a go more than I would normally. Back to the order, so yes, it was their first day and the person taking the orders was having a little bit of a hard time, this was clear later when we discovered she didn't get our order of fries.

Anyway onto the main event, the beef kebab, and a main event it was indeed. A nicely sized kebab that is very neatly put together, almost like a layer cake you can see the different parts so clearly. First the bread, the soft pita style bread used by these guys is perfect, it holds everything so well but its not thick and its not tough, you bite into it and you get a pleasant light doughy chewiness that disappears quite quickly revealing the fresh crunchy lettuce, cabbage and onions that then give way to this soft, delicate meat, shaved super thin and just stacked together, layer over layer that gives off the perfect amount of greasiness you want from a kebab. The sauces used by these guys is not hommus or tahini, but a garlicy sauce and a tomato based sauce too, all the ingredients of this marvellous sandwich come together wonderfully to make a delightful experience.

Meat - 8 | Bread - 8 | Chilli - NA | Hommus - NA | Salad - 7 | Overall 8

Posted 08.03.2016

Bosporus - Dubai

Turkish kebabs, currently holding the number one spot here on the kebab reviews, attention to detail and loving care is what brings a kebab to the top spot. Let's see how much Turkish delight is shown by the crew at Bosporus. A doner durum and a lahmacun durum, both in beef of course was what I ordered, from the pics on the menu it looked like the only real difference was that the doner durum was wrapped in an untoasted piece of flatbread and the lahmacun was toasted.

As we can see here, both come wrapped in foil and nicely labelled, and they both felt reassuringly warm. Both were longer than I had expected, however were still on the slim slide compared to fair dinkum kebabs from down under.

The doner durum was unveiled first, the bread looked soft and fresh, the salad looked pretty reasonable too with red cabbage accompanying the usual crowd. The first bite into the durum was a journey into mediocrity, don't get me wrong, it was nice, but nothing really hit me, the beef was nice, the salad was nice and the bread was soft and warm, but there was no punch, I enjoyed it but it was more a kebab for children aged 5 - 9.

Next up on the chopping block was the lahmucan, this interestingly named kebab was not only toasted but the bread seemed to have a bit of tomatoey parsely rubbed into it, and it smelt great. After biting into this kebab, the medicore memories of the durum earlier were instantly erased. This lahmucan was an incredible meat, salad and sauce fest that was happening in my mouth. A beautiful experience with meat that was slightly spiced, the flavoured bread and an inside that was definitely different in that it seemed to have less salad but still had crunch and moderate freshness, something that is more than adequate for a kebab. A quick mention for the rocca salad has to be made here, a deliciously simply salad of primarily rocca leaves and tomato is so refreshing and cleanses the palate for more feasting.

Meat - 8 | Bread 8 | Chilli - NA | Hommus - NA | Salad 7 | Overall 8

Posted 26.09.2015

The Switch - S'Wich - Dubai

When ordering from S'wich the predominant thing you remember is being thanked for making 'the switch'. I must have been thanked twelve times in my ordering experience, to be fair this is probably because I had to call them back and give them a serve of my own as my order was extremely late and pretty much cold. After verbally whipping the call centre sideways and being thanked probably eight out of the initial twelve times I was given the order for free. S'wich have an extensive menu, you can order one of the predesigned sandwiches or create your own from the massive array of ingredients on offer. I chose the predesigned beef s'wich which most resembled a traditional kebab and also got a chicken make your own one with avocado and harissa sauce with rocca, pickles, jalapenos, green olives and red onion to be honest this was only got to fill the gap in the stomach that invariably is always there after the rather small shawarma sandwiches are eaten.

S'wich use saj bread, which is paper thin and obviously something that doesn't travel to well, so I'm ignoring the fact that the bread has gone quite limp and in some parts even soggy, I'm quite certain had fresh at the outlet it would be a totally different experience. Overall this is really a delicious concoction. The beef is so superb, I don't think this is proper shawarma, it's more like a pulled beef, it so tender and so incredibly delicious, the rest of the ingredients on the sandwich support this beef so beautifully, the tahini with the little tabouli and red onions and pickles is just perfect.

The chicken sandwich was good too, however it really paled in comparison to the beef, I really wish I had ordered two beef ones. The added bonus of these sandwiches is they don't leave you feeling too guilty, they actually feel and taste fresh, given the flavour I am confident they are still packing the fat on, but at least you don't feel as bad about it! In addition to this the cucumber and cabbage salad these guys do is incredibly delicious, the crunchy, fresh relief this salad brings to even these lightish kebabs is very welcomed and makes you feel even better during the stuffing of your gut.

Meat - 9 | Bread 7 | Chilli - NA | Hommus - NA | Salad 7 | Overall 8

Posted 26.09.2015

The Kebab - The Kebab Shop - Dubai - Cost - 36AED

They don't have beef. I only learned this after walking around for quite sometime thinking about whether I should get a kebab or not, of course when that question pops into the mind there's usually only one answer, a yes, so upon entering the establishment I was perusing the menu looking for the beef option, there was none. Despite looking it over and over, up and down, side to side there was only chicken and lamb on the menu, I slowly approached the counter and asked whether beef was available, the answer was a firm 'No, only chicken and lamb'. At this point I'm at a dilemma, all my reviews are strictly on beef kebabs, chicken is laughed at and there's no mention of lamb. After some careful consideration I decided to go ahead with this review, for two reasons, I really wanted a kebab and over here in Dubai, lamb is a much more popular meat in doner kebabs, so it's likely I'll be in this predicament again, so best to just embrace. The Kebab Shop has a big menu, there's three different ways to bread your kebab, theres an oriental version as well, a bbq option, donner burgers, donner salads and donner plates, you can also add extras to your kebab like mozzarella or pineapples or olives, theres also seekh kebabs, chicken tikka and shish tawook, they do fish and they top off the mains menu with a selection of curries and briyanis. Variety is the spice of life, having choice is great, but for me, at a kebab place, especially one that calls itself 'The Kebab Shop' this is a big worry, and nearly had me walking back out the door, changing my decision to do a review. However the smell in the restaurant was fighting that urge, it smelt good, a mix of bbq, spices, and grilled onions filled the air. I was ordering.

It took about fifteen minutes to properly look at the menu, and of course I came back to the standard kebabs, however, as mentioned earlier, there's three ways to bread it, pita, wrap or naan. Naan was out of the question for a kebab review, pita also felt like cheating unless it was their only option, the wrap I thought would be the standard way they'd do a kebab in a rolled fashion. At the counter I ordered a large classic lamb kebab wrap. Of the choices to sauce there was no hommus, but surprisingly tahini was, I asked for it only to be told it's not available at this location! The nice lady suggested I go for a mix of all of the three available, that's mint, garlic and chilli, after initially not liking the idea at all, I thought if that's the way they recommend it, I'll go for it, I went for all the salad but no tomato as I wasn't sure how well it would travel, which left, lettuce, cucumber, red cabbage, pickled chilli and mix pickle. Within 7 minutes my order was up. Upon opening the styro foam container the first thing I thought was 'alot of meat' but the second thought was that this was the largest of three options?... I was wondering just how small the small would have been. All these thoughts, including where I was, what my name is, whether I had clothes on, what day it was, and all other general info you take for granted knowing disappeared on first bite. This kebab was incredibly good, absolutely delicious, the super thin wrap holds together the layers of juicy lamb and the bit of salad they add for that textural crunch beautiful, and how this all falls apart in your mouth is just sensational, this was the thinnest bread I've ever had on a kebab and its an experience I want again, the flavours of whatever they do to the meat really punch through, its so hard to describe the amazing taste.

Another wonderful thing about this kebab was there was no visable fat on the meat, something that is almost impossible to get on a normal lamb kebab, infact, in my limited experience with lamb kebabs one of the things I find myself often doing is removing chunks of fat from my mouth, this was just, dare I say, quality, tasty and I guess pretty fresh meat, it just tasted so good, the sauce combination was reasonable, the mint and garlic mixed with the chilli made for a sauce that complimented and did not challenge for specific identification by your pallette. The lettuce, onion, cabbage and cucumber worked really well with both the sauce and the meat, to be honest I didn't get much of that pickled veg flavour but with the flavour I did get I was not complaining one bit. Despite the bread being almost paper thin it did the job of keeping the structural integrity of the kebab very well, there was no leaks or excessive dripping, this is also due in part to the nice wrapping paper the kebab is served in. Below you can see the 'Donner Naan' with 'Special Lamb', this is basically lamb kebab meat sauteed on the grill with onions and capsicums then placed onto a naan bread with the salads and sauces you desire, interestingly it's served unwrapped, you role it up yourself, which to be honest was quite difficult with all the contents inside, after doing the wrapping myself I'll admit I had a much harder time eating this, and was glad I wasn't out in public trying to devour this beast. This donner naan isn't affecting my review, but I thought I'd try another one to ensure the quality I had the first time wasn't a one off, and it wasn't, the donner naan was absolutely superb, however I'd stick with the wrap, it's just a better overall kebab, and it comes wrapped already!

All in all this was a beautiful kebab and arguably the best I've ever had. However I am left with a slight conflict in my head about it... was it really a kebab as I know it? As I've been judging the rest of them here? Going against it, it had no hommus or tabouli, it wasn't beef, but in it's favour, it was a red meat, properly shaved off doner style, it had salad and sauces and was inside a wrap. Through my travels here in Dubai I have noticed alot of doner outlets that have this style of kebab, I think in order to keep reviewing doner kebabs here I need to allow for these different styles and incorporate them into the reviews as best as I can.

Meat - 9.5 | Bread 8.5 | Chilli - 6 | Hommus - NA | Salad 7.5 | Overall 9

Posted 17.11.2014

Dubai Doner - Doner and Gyros - Dubai

Here in Dubai I was totally expecting more kebab joints, but there isn't as many as in Sydney where in nearly every suburb there's at least one. Here it's more like they're part of a restaurant, don't get me wrong they exist but not as many, and the great thing is, like everything here, they are deliverable!

Doner and Gyros is one such place, dedicated to these delicious sandwiches with other a few other side items. After placing an order and waiting for our kebabs to travel to us in the food box on the back of a bike, with the salad wilting, the meat drying up and the sauces soaking into the bread and generally deteriorating in transit.

When kebabs are delivered there is an expectation of a little bit of a mess, one cannot seriously expect a perfect, fresh kebab when opening up after it sweats for 15 - 20mins on the delivery. This was the first surprise from Doner and Gyros, the kebabs were so well packaged they travelled remarkably well, the salad still looked really fresh. The second surprise was the bread, this was no Lebanese (or Arabic as it's known here) or pita bread, no, this was kind of like a flat square bread that had a waffle like imprint on it.

We had a beef kebab and a chicken one, we didn't ask for anything added or different sauces, just thought we'd try it how it's made as default. Of course we ordered some fries too. The visual freshness of the salad completely translated into a fresh taste, the vegetarian parts of this kebab were actually crunchy, with firm tomato, crisp lettuce, onion and red cabbage, the sauce was a little strange, like a ranch flavoured tzatiki, I would have much rathered hommus but this was still quite good, and the bread, my main concern, was good enough, not as nice as a soft and warm pita style bread but it did the job well enough. A very decent kebab that will definitely be had again.

Meat - 7 | Bread - 6 | Chilli - NA | Hommus - NA | Salad - 9 | Overall - 7.5

Posted 03.11.2014

Royal Kebab - Princess Table - Maroubra - Cost - $8.00

Okay folks.... massive news here, we have a new Kebab King! Sadly Kebab-osauras closed it's doors a number of years ago, maybe it's coz I stopped going, not that there was a problem, it's just that my routine changed so my usual Kebab fix just wasnt happening. Anyway there's now a new Kebab King... or Princess...

Princess Table... a Turkish restaurant in Maroubra, funny name, but really good food. They do full mixed grills, Turkish pides, the salads, the dips and of course.... kebabs. Anyway we're here to talk kebabs, and kebabs they do good... very good. First the bread, they use the pita style, not the standard lebanese bread, big points there, they also toast the bread on the grill with oil, even more points there.

My standard kebab here is pretty simple, beef, onions, tabouli, hommus and chilli, somtimes I add red cabbage, as pictured here, and I tell you this is combination is to die for, Princess Table also grills the kebab meat for a bit on the hot plate, letting it crisp up just a tad, and they really pile on the meat. The combination of chilli and hommus with the hot sweaty meat and warm toasty bread with cold crisp salad really makes this a meal wrapped up. I've also been told that the chicken and mix (chicken and beef) kebabs are excellent, as a result Princess Table kebabs have been a regular for our lunch runs, they are consistent, well priced, and very tasty... finally, a kebab you don't have to be drunk to truly appreciate, but you can be coz they deliver too!!

Meat - 9 | Bread - 9 | Chilli - 8 | Hommus - 8 | Salad - 8 | Overall - 9.5

Posted 25.08.2013

Prepaid Kebab - Telstra Arcade - Pitt Street - Cost - $7.00

Much like the last time I had a kebab quite some time has passed, similarly I had also just finished a mini shopping spree, and I was with V2daP and he felt like something from David's Kitchen in the Telstra Arcade on Pitt Street, I thought this would be a good oppurtunity to sample the kebab offering this food hall had.

There were two people behind the counter working frantically, I was surprised as there was only two customers, and it took them ages to ask me for my order, usually kebab places ask you as soon as you rock up so there's little chance you will walk away. Anyway after what was a long wait for a kebab place I get my kebab, hook up with V2daP and head back to work. After opening up the wrapping I was looking for the meat, wasn't really a good start to be honest, and I wa sstarving so extra unimpressed. This is another kebab joint that just puts the kebab straight into the foil bag, there's nothing wrapped around it. Let's hope this kebab can stay together.

After a few bites, had to take a few to get to the actual kebab, I could taste what was a reasonable kebab. The beef flavoured meat seemed to mix quite well with a very good, solid hommus, the proper lebanese bread used held the contents in well, and the tabouli was there but not overpowering, this kebab was shaping up! As far as kebabs go, this one wasn't too bad, I mean it had nothing special about it, just the run of the mill inards, and stock bread, but together it all worked with an end result of a very decent lunchtime kebab.

Meat - 5 | Bread - 5 | Chilli - 5 | Hommus - 7 | Salad - 6 | Overall - 6

Posted 02.06.2008

Jet for a Kebab - Mascot Pizza and Kebab - Botany Rd. Mascot 2020 - Cost - $7.00

Jeez it's been ages since a kebab, like a really long time, so unlike me, anyway here's my thoughts of my recent visit to Mascot Pizza and Kebab, I of course had the beef kebab with the usual trimmings. I've been to this place many times, although this is the first time I've had the kebab, I usually go for a mixed meat plate, which is delicious and reasonable value. I quite enjoyed this kebab, I thought there was a great mix of the beef with salad and the bread was great, toasted so slighty so it was still soft, the hommus was fantastic and was very good with the beef and chilli sauce. I also liked the way there was alot of beef, but not enough to over power the flavour, you could definitely still taste the quality in the tabouli and the relative freshness to the rest of the salad.

If kebab-o-saurus wasn't so close, I reckon this would be very close to my regular kebab when not in the city, from the look and feel of the establishment I'd say the kebabs would be consistent and as fresh as a kebab can get. Although I will say, I'd rather pay the extra and get the mixed meat plate, 3 skewers of meat roasted over charcoal to order served with a toasted pita breat and some salad, as much as I love kebabs, I'd have to recommend this if you ever went to Mascot Pizza and Kebab.

Meat - 6 | Bread - 6 | Chilli - 5 | Hommus - 6 | Salad - 7 | Overall - 6

Posted 06.05.2008

Scruffy Kebab - Emre's - 49 Goulburn St. Sydney 2000 - Cost - $6.50

It's been a while since I had a kebab so after a hectic lunchtime shopping spree I thought I'd grab a kebab and head back to work. Emre's is a small kebab shop that's more a hole in a wall next to the famous Scruffy Murphy's pub down the south end of the Sydney CBD. How much better a position can a kebab shop get I don't know, right outside an Irish pub. Everytime I look at Emre's there is someone waiting to get a kebab, and I can just imagine the rush he gets at all hours of the night and early morning of a Friday and Saturday. I was happy to see that Emre's had a nice array of fresh looking salads to choose from to put on themmm Jalapenos kebab, I went for the cabbage salad, which looked sensational, some onions which had parsely (I think) mixed in with them, some tabouli which looked a much lighter green than other taboulis, and a tad of lettuce. I also had a line of jalapenos added. The beef was shaved straight off the rotating slab, which was good as he didn't appear to have a hot grill to warm anything up on, after the addition of squirted on hommus and chilli sauce it was put under the toaster.

First thing I noticed when unwrapping the kebab was the lack of supporting paper, Emre's just wraps Breaking apart....the kebab up and put it in one of the foil lined kebab bags, not too much of a drama you might think, but this starting posing a problem as the kebab began losing structural integrity, and this started after only just two bites! The bread used was standard lebanese bread but did seem slightly thinner and definitely contributed to the kebab starting to fall apart. Immediately I wasn't too impressed by the meat, it seemed to lack anyInside flavour, and looked a little too pink for my liking, I don't mind pink in a good cut of steak, but this is kebab meat, and I'll be posting any updates should my gastro intestinal health take a beating as a result. Not only was the meat not too thrilling, there was also a small amount of it, given the taste and look of it, that was probably a plus however.

Oddly enough what saved this kebab from being a terrible meal was the salads, the cabbage salad mixed with the tabouli and the jalapenos combo'd with the onion and the sauce was really great, fresh salad that actually is Inside again!crunchy on a kebab is a rarity and deserves appalause. All things considered I wasn't very impressed with Emre's, I don't expect the salad part of a kebab to 'save' it, most people couldn't care less about the salad in a kebab and often omit it when ordering, it's all about the meat, and Emre's is a very ordinary and boring story in this department. Given the fact this area is saturated with kebab shops, visiting Emre's again is unlikely.

Meat - 2 | Bread - 3 | Chilli - 5 | Hommus - 5 | Salad - 8 | Overall - 4

Posted 17.07.2007

A Classic? - Classic Kebabs n Pizza - 94 Liverpool St, Sydney (02) 9283 6212 - Cost - $7.00

Having the word 'Classic' in your name is a pretty big call, you're trying to tell your prospective customers that your item will be exactly as it's meant to be, without any unwanted modifications, a creation of the highest excellency. Now I don't think buyers of a 'classic' kebab would be anywhere near as fussy as say, a buyer of a classic car, but nonetheless, the word is there, so they've set an expectation. This kebab shop is under heavy competition, Where's the meat?it's got Ali Baba around the corner and Liverpool Street kebabs just a few doors up, and that's just the other kebab shops within a stones throw, there's many more in the greater area, so this, coupled with their classic claim had me thinking this was gonna be one helluva kebab. The ordering process was simple and before I could ask for anything apart from a beef kebab, the lady turned away, opened up some container and with some tongs took some beef out and threw it onto the grill together with a piece of bread. she then proceeded taking other orders.

When it was my turn again I asked for the usual condiments, I guess no one is going to just put tabouli on these days, and before I knew it I was on my merry way, one kebab heavy, as I was walking I did notice this kebab didn't feel as fat as some others. After unwrapping this kebab I was left wondering where the meat was, this was a shock to me, I think it's the first time I have seen a kebab without at least some meat showing, apart from Indonesia, but that's another story. Anyway I got stuck into it and the first impressions from the bites were quite good, I like the taste of this kebab, in particular the bread, it was like a blend of the traditional Lebanese bread and the newer softer style some shops use, and it was super thin, and toasted to the point that the certain parts were crunchy.

The salads were great, the lettuce was amongst the best I had, the tomatoes were firm and the onions were fresh as was the tabouli, perhaps I'm praising the salad alot as there wasn't as much meat, and in some parts this meat, you could tell was definitely not the freshest as far as kebab meat goes, God only knows when it was cut off the roast and how long it was sitting in that container, as mentioned it was on the grill for some time, and this has turned bits of the meat hard. Overall I'd say that 60% of this kebab was great, but as I started progressing through it, I noticed the lack of meat, the lack of quality in the meat, and even the great bread started splitting at some parts, nothing fell out, but it was starting to happen. Given the competition in the immediate area I'd say head up the road for a better


Meat - 3 | Bread - 7 | Chilli - 5 | Hommus - 5 | Salad - 6 | Overall - 5

Posted 12.06.2007

Jurassic Feast - Kebab-osauras - ** CLOSED ** - Cost - $6.00

Not entirely sure what the name means, perhaps it's got something to do with the size of the kebabs, they are quite big, maybe it's to do with how long Kebab-osauras has been in the area, with businesses closing, and relocating all around it, this kebab joint has stayed stedfast, just a few doors up from McDonalds in Maroubra. Kebab-osauras has even outlasted Ali-Baba which opened in Maroubra next to Oporto's only to close down a while later, I remember talking to the Kebab-osauras owner a few weeks after Ali-Baba opened, he dismissed them, refusing to acknowledge them as actual competition to him, even telling me that at least one staff member from Ali-Baba came to his shop to eat kebabs! After the first unwrapI've been going to Kebab-osauras for years, it used to be my standard Saturday morning hangover cure, with a nice healthy dose of beef kebab meat and a coke. In the last couple of years though I haven't been, only frequenting them once every few months, today was one of those times, heading on over in the early afternoon. I ordered my kebab and was pleased to see little had changed. I was asked if I wanted tabouli rather than having to ask for it, my onions and tomato were thrown onto the grill with the beef to sizzle away.

After the lebanese bread warmed up slightly, it was dressed with lettuce and tabouli, then the chilli and hommus sauces were put on top, by this time the meat was ready, the onions grilled and tomatoes hot and juicy. all this was then heaped onto the waiting to-be-kebab and rolled up in one fat neat package. When you bite into this kebab you can see why this place has been there so long, the delicious mix of meat, salad and sauce is present from the the first to last bite. I loved the bigger slices of meat, rather than having shaved off meat from the rotating slab of kebab meat, these guys cut thicker, chunkier style bits off, and it works, it works because the meat actually tastes good, a few years back I had been in the prep room at the back of the store, and they actually have some trade secrets to liven things up bit.

The bread is the standard lebanese variety and is fresh, thin and unobtrusive, it also manages to hold the inners of the kebab together neatly, the tabouli is great but easily the next best thing after the meat is the hommus, its like there is a good percentage of tahini in it, you can really taste this stuff and its fantastic, eating this combination of hommus and meat with some chilli really made it taste like food from a Lebanese restaurant. Very impressive. The fact of the matter is you have not had a kebab until you have had a kebab-osauras kebab, they are bursting with consistent flavour, turning the usual kebab mix of meat, salads and sauces into a party that's going on in your mouth. They also do other stuff like hamburgers, falafels and other Lebanese items upon request such as Kafta. At six dollars this kebab is incredible value which is a must try for kebab fans. Whether your next door or in the next state this kebab is highly recommended and worth the 'pilgrimage' to experience the taste sensation that this is.

Meat - 8 | Bread - 6 | Chilli - 6 | Hommus - 8 | Salad - 5 | Overall - 8

Posted 02.06.2007

Phat Kebab - Liverpool Kebab House - near cnr. Liverpool St. and Pitt St. Sydney CBD - Cost - $8.00

The Liverpool Kebab House is your typical kebab shop that also sells pizza's by the slice and a few other fast food items. Being right opposite the Shark hotel would no doubt be beneficial for them, getting plenty of customers with a few drinks under the belt craving for that meaty kebab goodness. The size of this kebab is rather impressive, there's quite a good helping of meat with the standard salads. Like Ali Baba you have to specifically ask for hommus and also for tabouli, as 'all salads' means lettuce, tomato and onion. The tomatoes on offer here were ageing, the half slices stacked next to each other certainly looked like they have been there for quite sometime, the lettuce, while looking better than the tomatoes didn't look that crash hot either, but hey, that's not a huge deal now is it? After all this is a kebab shop.

I was pleased to see my shaved beef thrown onto the hot plate and allowed to sizzle and warm up, right next to the bread which had a healthy dose of oil squirted around it, staying on the bread for a moment, I love it, the bread they use is great, its like a softer lebanese bread, like a mix between a pita and standard leb bread, it really was very nice, and watching it glisten with oil and toast slightly along side the fat from the beef running off on the grill was making my tummy rumble! When I parted with my cash and grabbed my kebab I was actually surprised at just how hot the bag was, I was pleased my kebab would be hot to eat. The meat used here seemed quite good, as far as kebab meat goes, had a reasonably good flavour and the spooned on hommus together with the chilli made a really nice mix with the beef. Liverpool kebab house puts the sauces you want directly on the meat before putting on any salads, it's a good move and you can taste the difference.

As I was eating this kebab I was thinking all along of how I could definitely go back, the whole package is what you would expect, the beef was good standard kebab meat quality, the onions where fresh and plentiful, the rest of the salad was irrelevant, and that's a good thing as the old tomatoes didn't bother me or get in the way and the lettuce seemed to come to life when coated with the fats, oils and other sauces swimming around the roll. The hommus was great and as mentioned, blended perfectly with the chilli and meat to create a great overall taste, and of course being wrapped up in that nice soft and slightly toasted oily bread was a marvellous finishing touch. If I had to pick a negative it would be that a tomato, some lettuce and a bit of the tabouli had fallen out the rear of the kebab into the foil bag, interestingly though no meat had, and the foil bag saved me any embarrasment of spillage, I simply crushed it up and threw it away! This kebab is definitely recommended!

Meat - 6 | Bread - 8 | Chilli - 6 | Hommus - 6 | Salad - 5 | Overall - 7

Posted 29.05.2007

Taste Sensation? - Ali Baba - Cost - $6.90

Ali Baba, probably the largest chain of kebab shops around town. It's a reasonably popular choice amongst lunchtime kebabers, there's quite a few locations and from the few different ones I have been to there seems to be a relative level of consistency, which, I'd imagine, would have a degree of difficulty considering the product. The packaging of the kebabs are great, they are wrapped in a white paper then inserted into a foilish paper hybrid type bag which securely traps any escaping juices and, more importantly, bits of meat. First impressions of Ali Baba kebabs are they are not as big and fat as other kebabs, although this may seem a bad thing, the only thing that makes them this thin is less salad, Ali Baba does not skimp on the quanity meat. This is clear during preperation of your kebab, however, the minute amounts of salad placed on the bread never ceases to amaze me. Something that kinda annoys me about Ali Baba is that you ALWAYS have to ask for hommus, they don't put it on by default (which I think is wrong) and they don't ask you if you want it, further to this, there is no mention of tabouli, you can answer 'yes' to the all salads question but you don't get tabouli, again, you have to specifically ask for it, and even after asking you get approximately a tablespoon and a half. I should add however, despite asking for these 'extras' I was not charged for them. Whether this is standard practice or just a fluke I'm not sure.

During the dressing process you can ask for all kinds of extras like jalapeno peppers, cabbage, olives, anything thats on display is fair game, whenever I get a kebab from Ali Baba, I always get jalapenos added. You then get to choose what sauce you like, I must say there is a huge range, something like seven to choose from, although I stick to the basic hot chilli. Now the meat goes on, and it's a big serving, I pretty much always go for beef kebabs, coz let's face it, no matter what twit says, beef is the REAL takeaway kebab goodness. It's then, left unwrapped and put through a toaster convenyor oven, just a small one that seems to warm the bread perfectly. After a quick wrap and parting with some money, you're on your way with a kebab.

Taste wise these kebabs are not too bad, they certainly are not the best, but are far from the worst. The meat however doesn't look or taste the freshiest, now any dimwit knows that you're not going to get particularly fresh meat on a takeaway kebab but I'm talking relative to other takeaway kebab shops. The strips of beef seem to be a tad tough, but when mixed in the bite with the sauces and salad its quite acceptable as far as kebabs go. The lettuce is not worth talking about, however the tomatoes could have been firmer, the fact that I felt this way with them being in a kebab should give you an idea of just how soggy they must have been. The chilli sauce used at Ali Baba seems to have the consistency of sweet thai chilli sauces but its darker and is not sweet at all, it's a very nice addition to the kebab IF you want your kebab HOT, I obviously love the heat, and even the addition of jalapenos on my kebab wasn't enough to make me think it was hot enough. The bread was of a high standard, it's just ordinary lebanese bread but it wasn't old and the toasting was perfect, it didn't leave the bread crumbling or stiff, it was warm and soft. I'd have to say these kebabs are well worth a try, they are pretty much right down the middle as far as kebabs go, some people hate them, some people only eat Ali Baba kebabs, so try one next time you get the opportunity, chances are you'll think it was reasonable

Meat - 4 | Bread - 5 | Chilli - 6 | Hommus - 5 | Salad - 5 | Overall - 5

Posted 18.05.2007

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