After my first encounter with a doner kebab in London in 1997 I quickly realised that I am a shish man. Waking up in the morning and seeing the reminder of how distorted your judgement regarding a quality meal can be when intoxicated is not something you do more than once.
It was thus with trepidation that I followed my host in Istanbul to his favourite kebab shop for lunch.
The restaurant is open and inviting with staff bustling from grill (skewer) to tables like ants preparing for the rain. They swiftly pushed tables together to facilitate the 6 of us and the menu is simple: the picture is on the placemat and the complexity of your order involves how big you want it and what to drink. It is a dry house, so Coke does it.
Food is served quickly and knowing I am going to eat a doner filled me with regret, but one should not upset one's host. The food arrive and like a Turkman I am tearing the fresh bread (no dodgy pita here) and layering the salad and meat in a handy bite size pouch. The meat looks completely different to the London twirling towers of disappointment and by Jove, taste is fantastic. Everything about this kebab shouts "have another massive bite!!!"
I was knocked for 6 and subsequently ordered another with my host giving me a knowing smile and his colleagues very happy with a foreigner not getting enough of their favourite.
£23 for 6 people (7 if you count my extra order) and drinks and tip is very good value for money. I shall not insult my tastebuds by going to another kebab house for a doner and will return in 2014 to have a double large.
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