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…
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.
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.