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Best of Canberra Taste Off – Kebabs

By Canfan - 9 October 2014 16

This week I went out in search of Canberra’s best kebab. Nominations sent me off to taste Yarralumla Halal Pide House and Kizmet in Manuka. Everyone I spoke to seemed to be a big fan of Yarralumla. A friend even said ‘If the Yarralumla kebab place doesn’t take it out, I’ll be very surprised.’ I had high hopes for our kebab challenge.

You can see where this is going…

kebab-taste-off-b

I sent my husband out for two kebabs from Yarralumla. One chicken, one doner – both served up with salad and garlic dressing. He ran into another friend while he was there (seriously, does everyone frequent this place?) who shook his head when he ordered and said ‘You’ll never be able to get through one of those each.’ My husband and I laughed and laughed at this idea when he got home. I mean, who can’t finish a kebab on their own? But then we opened them up. Well, I stupidly opened the chicken one up to get a photo and it went a bit wrong. They pile a LOT of stuff into these bad boys. They were enormous and mostly meat which was the opposite of what I usually expect in a kebab. We were both pretty excited (great value for $10).

But then we tried them and they were… OK. Yes, they were huge. Yes, the meat was kind of tasty and non offensive. Yes, there was some salad. Yes, the wrap was soft. But it didn’t have that all encompassing combination of flavor that really makes your tastebuds dance a merry jig in your mouth. We were left a bit, well, disappointed.

kebab-taste-off-a

Then I headed to Kizmet and sampled a lamb kebab. Here, it was a different ball game. There was the smallest amount of meat you could get away with and call it a kebab (and even then, it was a bit insulting to the $9.50 I had handed over) and loads of salad which took over the flavor. The wrap was a bit dry and it just a bit disappointing.

If I could take the Yarralumla kebab and put half the amount of meat and a bit more salad for a really fresh crunch we might be on to something. But, for me, it was still missing something.

It does make me wonder if my time in London has converted me to viewing the kebab as post booze food. And maybe that’s what was missing – a belly full of beer.

I know this isn’t going to win me any friends. If I had to choose one it would be Yarralumla, but in honesty I hope I’m still searching for the Best of Canberra when it comes to kebabs because I didn’t love either of these.

What’s Your opinion?


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16 Responses to
Best of Canberra Taste Off – Kebabs
rosscoact 8:06 am 14 Mar 15

Sultans Turkish Pide always satisfies my kebab craving. The heaviest meal I ever have. Must be a half a kilo or more

backinthecan 10:59 pm 13 Mar 15

I have to add to the Charnwood pile. Their bread is delicate and beautiful, quite unlike anything I’ve had a kebab wrapped in. I find the lamb a little over spiced, but the chicken is on the money. And definitely get a big tub of hommous. My wife doesn’t want my hommous anymore! I have to drive over to Charnwood to get some of theirs. (OK, I’ll admit theirs is better…)

I used to work in Yarralumla and frequent the shop there, and my wife got some hommous there last week while passing nearby, so we ran a side by side test on the hommous and I’m as surprised as the next bloke to say that little old Charnwood Turkish was better on both counts! Their Pide is excellent too.

shirty_bear 11:46 am 22 Oct 14

Definite priority for quantity at Yarralumla. Which is a problem when they’re busy (Thurs/Fri lunch spring to mind) … the meat gets served hot but insufficiently cooked … not raw, but not right either.

Surprised no-one has thrown in the Star kebab shop at Fyshwick markets – always good.

GForce 8:35 pm 21 Oct 14

As a self confessed kebab connoisseur I challenge you to put Kabul Kebab House in Manuka against your best offering this far… http://www.kabulkebabhouse.com.au

nsh 8:22 pm 12 Oct 14

From memory, the taste of Yarralumla Kebabs are very variable depending on when you go and who is making your kebab. As is Mavi in Barton who seem to have two different quality of lamb meat that they use in their kebab.

Zultan 9:27 am 11 Oct 14

Since re-opening under new management recently, the kebab place in Kippax gets my vote.

house_husband 4:49 pm 09 Oct 14

Dork said :

I rate Charnwood much better than either of these. They make much better bread there, it’s adds so much more to the taste.

+1. I wouldn’t consider myself a kebab connoisseur but the ones at the Charnwood Turkish shop are very generous in size and are much better tasting than those from places like Ali Babas.

Canfan 2:40 pm 09 Oct 14

Holden Caulfield said :

Maybe, in light of your beer belly experiences, you just need to go with Ali Baba and be done with it. No messing about, straight for the lowest common denominator!

Hahaha – maybe you’re right!

Antagonist said :

Just out of interest, what salads did you ask for from Yarra? I always shake my head at those who go for lettuce and a bit of cheese, then complain it is no good.

The pics do not do either place justice, but kebabs aren’t really supposed to be elegant anyway 🙂

Both were lettuce, tomato and red onion I think. Cheese on a kebab? Never!

Antagonist 1:52 pm 09 Oct 14

Just out of interest, what salads did you ask for from Yarra? I always shake my head at those who go for lettuce and a bit of cheese, then complain it is no good.

The pics do not do either place justice, but kebabs aren’t really supposed to be elegant anyway 🙂

Southmouth 1:14 pm 09 Oct 14

Due to a Riot Act contributor recommending the kebabs at Fig and Olive in Chisholm I gave it a go. It was great. I’ll be back there. Although the girl got a bit confused and my wife ended up with not quite what she asked for, but you get that.

Dork 1:05 pm 09 Oct 14

I rate Charnwood much better than either of these. They make much better bread there, it’s adds so much more to the taste.

arescarti42 12:02 pm 09 Oct 14

I’m a big fan of the Kebabs at Yarralumla, although I guess it depends on what you’re after from your kebab.

The place on the outside of the Woolworths building in Gungahlin does good kebabs in my experience as well.

I’ve tried the place at the Lyneham shops, but found their kebabs to be pretty disappointing.

Alexandra Craig 11:06 am 09 Oct 14

One place I didn’t think to suggest in your original post is Mavi at Barton. It’s in the Realm complex and their kebabs are good. I think they’re about $11 but I like one as a treat every few months.

Holden Caulfield 10:24 am 09 Oct 14

Oops, meant to add, based on the pics, an Ali Baba kebab looks way better than either of the two sample options you tried anyway.

A chicken kebab with humus, tabouli and sweet chilli sauce; it always hits the spot for me.

Holden Caulfield 10:23 am 09 Oct 14

Maybe, in light of your beer belly experiences, you just need to go with Ali Baba and be done with it. No messing about, straight for the lowest common denominator!

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