Can kebabs be eaten sober? The gammon food critic visits a Turkish bar and grill

Restaurant reviews by Justin Tanner, our retired food critic, who stands ready for the dawn of the Reform UK era

ASK me, all that Islamic terrorism was jealousy. They can’t drink, they can’t eat pork, and their birds can’t wear bikinis. No wonder they’re furious. 

Doesn’t help Turkey’s claims to have the best cuisine in the world, either. Be a place where the natural flavours of the West meet the East all you like, without bacon you’ve no chance.

And don’t even get me started on Turkish delight. Best thing to do with those is to break the chocolate off and throw the pink jelly shit in the bin.

But, despite the evidence I’ve marshalled, everyone is raving about the new Turkish grillhouse that’s opened in town. And grilled meat is the Lord’s repast, so I thought I’d pop along and indulge our brothers from Constantinople. Is that Turkish? If not, Marmaris.

First glance at the menu and I see they’re doing breakfast, or kahvalti in their lingo. No foreigner can do breakfast. A hundred kinds of cheese, fig jam and molasses spread and olives? No wonder they get up late. Can’t face eating that.

They sell beer, which seems like a positive until you taste it. Weak and gassy. No wonder it’s so easy for them to give up. But they’ve no Banks’s, so I line up three Efes instead.

We start with bread and dips which is them demonstrating that crossroads of cuisines claim: the bread from the white man, the dips from the Orient. And they mix well here because the bread’s in charge.

The mains? Yahni, a beef dish that can’t decide if it wants to be a curry or stew, I give a miss in favour of the grill selection. Cooked over charcoal and consists of shish, doner, kofte, and other words which basically mean barbecue.

Yet another English staple they’re claiming as their own, like the doner kebab, football hooliganism and St George. The meat’s palatable but there’s no sweet chilli sauce or minty mayo. If you’re going to steal from other countries, do your homework and get it right.

I ask for the bill – I’m not pulling the food critic line for a freebie here, say one wrong thing and they’ll probably have your head off with a scimitar – pay up and piss off. Would I eat there again? Well, the food’s good. But I can’t bear their prideful attitude.

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