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Ali Baba wants to be more than a refuge for drunks

By 11 April 2012 27

ali baba

mUmBRELLA brings news that the Canberra spawned Ali Baba chain is bringing in new ponytails to change their image:

A spokesperson for the family-run Lebanese chain said the brand wanted to push the chain’s fresh food credentials, reach a broader section of Australians and help the company expand from suburban food courts to high street metropolitan areas.

Ali Baba currently operates 43 restaurants across the country.

A spokesperson said: “The brand has huge potential, but is a little tired. We want to not only be a Lebanese kebab chain targeting Lebanese people. We want to target the rest of Australia with a fresh proposition with a healthy food focus.”

“We also want to move on from the image the category suffers from – that it is a late night refuge for drunken people.”

With a possible name change being mooted what would make you more likely to partake?

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27 Responses to Ali Baba wants to be more than a refuge for drunks
#1
marcothepolopony1:00 pm, 11 Apr 12

I would be more likely to partake if the staff of Ali Baba recognised that any person over the age of 45 was a possible customer, particularly if they are standing at the counter waiving at $20.00 note in the air (yes, this happened in Garema Place recently).

But, till the fairer gender, over 45, are recognised as humans (cashed up humans at that) this takeaway will be off my list of dining establishments.

Give me sushi anyday! No overt sexism or racism there, and better for the figure.

#2
Alderney1:43 pm, 11 Apr 12

what would make you more likely to partake?

Beer!

What’s better than a lovely, juicy kebab on the way home from a bender.

#3
Jivrashia1:56 pm, 11 Apr 12

“that it is a late night refuge for drunken people.”

Now, now, mouthing off at your most loyal customers isn’t the way to go.

The real question is, why doesn’t it appeal to the masses?
The answer: Because the food is delicious, healthy, BUT messy.
By the time you get close to finish there’s sauce and various other juice pouring out from the paper bag or wrapping and, if unlucky, covering the consumer’s hands.

It just isn’t a meal-on-the-go like hamburgers and sushi.
Let’s look at them both.
Hamburger is a sandwich, and the sandwich was invented because some Count wanted a meal that didn’t interrupt his favourite pass time.
Sushi, or more specifically sushi roll, was invented for the travellers who could tuck away the neat roll in their kimono or their bag to be hand while on the road.

Unless someone can re-invent the kebab roll then it will remain the alternative choice for anyone who wants a meal-on-the-go…

#4
johnboy2:00 pm, 11 Apr 12

Earl, the Earl of Sandwich wanted to be able to eat and play cards IIRC

#5
Thumper2:06 pm, 11 Apr 12

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOZE!

#6
Bluey2:25 pm, 11 Apr 12

Id go there if they put more then 3 pieces of meat in your kebab. I stopped going years ago because for what you pay you get essentially a salad roll with some strips of meat in it.

Give me a roll bursting with tasty, juicy, flavorsome meat and some salad to compliment it, not dominate it AND not charge me for ‘extra’ and then maybe Ill consider trying you again.

#7
BelcoMan2:42 pm, 11 Apr 12

Great! Now where are the drunks going to go?

Maybe the drunks could get funded to travel to further away Kebab shops now?

#8
Keijidosha2:49 pm, 11 Apr 12

Ali Baba need to improve the quality of their product if they want to expand their client base. JB summed it up in a review of their questionable “Aussie pack”: “It was the most revolting lunch I’ve had in quite some time.”

Like a lot of chain/franchise stores they have dropped quality in favour of profit and efficiency. As a result their kebabs taste like old boots. Meanwhile there are some supremely tasty doner kebab offerings available from other local eateries.

#9
HenryBG2:57 pm, 11 Apr 12

Yeah, Ali Baba describes a previous generation’s experience with this culture.

A good update could be “Chk Chk Boom!”

#10
Micky_P3:18 pm, 11 Apr 12

If their kebabs were anything like a Turkish Halal Pide House (in Yarralumla) kebab I’d buy them again.

#11
Jim Jones3:26 pm, 11 Apr 12

Bluey said :

Id go there if they put more then 3 pieces of meat in your kebab. I stopped going years ago because for what you pay you get essentially a salad roll with some strips of meat in it.

Give me a roll bursting with tasty, juicy, flavorsome meat and some salad to compliment it, not dominate it AND not charge me for ‘extra’ and then maybe Ill consider trying you again.

+ infinity

Remember when Ali Baba first opened up and you got a decent sized roll, with plenty of meat and salad (in appropriate proportions) with hummus and tabouleh and sauce/s of your choice. Delicious!

Now you get a skinny little sickly looking thing that’s depressing to look at. If you want hummus – that’s extra. If you want tabouleh – that’s extra. If you want it not to be completely insufficient it costs more than a decent meal at almost any other fast food place.

I still eat kebabs regularly, but not from Ali Baba.

#12
SnapperJack4:37 pm, 11 Apr 12

johnboy said :

Earl, the Earl of Sandwich wanted to be able to eat and play cards IIRC

Reminds me of when I was in Year 4 in 1969 and the teacher was talking about Captain Cook’s death in the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii). “And they made a sandwich out of him!” chortled our teacher. Can you imagine the reaction if a teacher said that to his students nowadays?

#13
Keijidosha4:50 pm, 11 Apr 12

For anyone who dares venture to Charnwood the Turkish takeaway out there does a very tasty kebab for under ten bucks, and from memory you can tick boxes for whatever toppings are available at no extra cost. It is wrapped in delicious fresh bread, made on site.

I also recommend the lamb and chicken (karisik?) pide… delicious.

#14
Thumper4:55 pm, 11 Apr 12

johnboy said :

Earl, the Earl of Sandwich wanted to be able to eat and play cards IIRC

The Earl of Cardigan was feeling quite chilly one day.

#15
Grrrr5:06 pm, 11 Apr 12

Micky_P said :

If their kebabs were anything like a Turkish Halal Pide House (in Yarralumla) kebab I’d buy them again.

+1. Ali Baba seemed OK a few years ago, but now it just tastes a bit average. It just doesn’t compare to Yarralumla, either. Any kebab made with bread they baked about 15 minutes earlier is great.

#16
EvanJames5:09 pm, 11 Apr 12

Thumper said :

johnboy said :

Earl, the Earl of Sandwich wanted to be able to eat and play cards IIRC

The Earl of Cardigan was feeling quite chilly one day.

…so he led the Light Brigade in a suicidal charge on Russian heavy artillery.

Ali Babas used to be OK, but it got a bit slick and plastic. Confess I haven’t been there in about 10 years.

#17
Ello Vera5:12 pm, 11 Apr 12

When they started out, the kebabs were much tastier than now. “Quality control” I suspect is at fault. It values consistency of product over quality and ends up a blander product; something that is meant to be acceptable to more customers. Stronger flavours might be too strong for the kiddies.

It all started with Macdonalds. Good business model but dreadful food.

#18
Diggety5:41 pm, 11 Apr 12

I just can’t stop thinking about this.

It even made me open a tinny.

#19
Frustrated6:30 pm, 11 Apr 12

Grrrr said :

Micky_P said :

If their kebabs were anything like a Turkish Halal Pide House (in Yarralumla) kebab I’d buy them again.

+1.

Ali Baba seemed OK a few years ago, but now it just tastes a bit average. It just doesn’t compare to Yarralumla, either. Any kebab made with bread they baked about 15 minutes earlier is great.

+2

When i worked in Deakin, I heard about this place in Yarralumla shops that made the best Kebab in Canberra. After trying it once, I visited every friday lunchtime after that. One of the best things I have tasted. Unfortunately, because they built a reputation, their prices went up as well.

One of things I miss not working at Deakin these days.

#20
switch7:09 pm, 11 Apr 12

Frustrated said :

One of the best things I have tasted. Unfortunately, because they built a reputation, their prices went up as well.

Familiar story. Did you have to wait for over an hour for your burger, sorry, kebab?

#21
Holden Caulfield11:05 pm, 11 Apr 12

The answer is obvious.

Cinema ticket’n'kebab combos.

#22
poetix11:31 pm, 11 Apr 12

johnboy said :

Earl, the Earl of Sandwich wanted to be able to eat and play cards IIRC

You do yourself a disservice, Sir. The Fourth Earl of Sandwich was apparently christened John, not Earl, according to the genealogists at the House of Wiki. And we all know that’s an infalafelable sauce.

#23
c_c12:05 am, 12 Apr 12

Holden Caulfield said :

Cinema ticket’n'kebab combos.

Three separate food stores tried that at the Hyperdome – they all went bankrupt.

#24
dpm7:27 am, 12 Apr 12

switch said :

Familiar story. Did you have to wait for over an hour for your burger, sorry, kebab?

Good point! If they want to hugely increase their trendy folk audience, they simply need to make people wait 60+ minutes for their food! Making them wait outside on winter nights would bring them cult status…

#25
2.09:06 am, 12 Apr 12
#26
dpm9:53 am, 12 Apr 12

2.0 said :

Kebab in a can anyone?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUYdVu8wlp4

Never mind that. This is where fast food is at now:
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-57412379-10391704/pizza-hut-unveils-hot-dog-stuffed-crust-pizza-burger-king-offers-bacon-sundae/

Gotta keep pushing the envelope…..

#27
watto2310:01 am, 12 Apr 12

I find their kebabs have gone down hill.
The place at Yarralumla does great kebabs, several other smaller stores also do great kebabs. Plus there is zambreros which actually also taste a lot better also in the rolled in a flat piece of bread market.

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