Where did the good kebab shops go…

Abrakebabra… and then the magic was gone.

Yes, this is a story of my disenchantment with the state of the local purveyors of the bread wrapped meaty treat; the kebab.

I remember a time when getting a kebab was a bit of theatre. A middle aged gentleman with a black moustache, button up shirt and sensible trousers would take your order and then he would brazenly slice the meat to fill your order from a big spinning stick that would draw you in like a moth to a toilet light with the radiant glowing heat. He would then add lettuce, tomato, onion, burgul and parsley laden tabouleh and garlicky yoghurt sauce. Then it would be wrapped with the skill and efficiency of a man who had just wrapped his seven millionth kebab and still loved every minute of providing you with this service. Carnies would dance, music would fill your ears and you would be sent on your way…

But this was the opposite of all that.

The name of this kebab joint alone (that shall remain anonymous as this is one of those “if you don’t have anything nice to say…” moments that my ma would always talk about) should have been a beacon, a red light, a sign saying “Achtung! Minen! Do not enter!” But no, the kids and I had decided we wanted a kebab so a kebab it was going to be.

Not much going on here but it was still an arvo at the beach
Not much going on here but it was still an arvo at the beach

The guy out the front on the foot path, sitting on a lone melamine chair just like the one that was essential decor for all local fish and chippies on the 80s, smoking cigarettes and generally just looking like he was in a bizarre in the middle east (except he was sitting in the middle of a sea of schoolies* in main street Byron Bay) could have triggered an alarm to reinforce secondary fortifications, but no. Maybe the Swedish backpacker counter girl who was having a lot of trouble understanding what we were asking for could have triggered a tertiary defence mechanism in my culinary thought process, but no, none of my inner smart brains were on my side today.

We ordered and I watched in horror as she went to a bain marie at the side and pulled the meat for our kebabs from it’s sweaty bath. If I still had hopes of eating a decent kebab this afternoon, they were well and truly dashed at that moment in time. My utopian kebab dreams came crashing down to reveal a stark reality that did no please me at all. I wanted my mummy. I wished that I had deployed some kind of self-defence and preservation measures but alas, my decisions were void of these today.

The chickeefamb was a very interesting meat… and if you're wondering why it's almost gone it was purely because I was damn starving
The chickeefamb was a very interesting meat… and if you’re wondering why it’s almost gone it was purely because I was damn starving

Closer inspection of the meat in my kebab revealed… well, I don’t know what it revealed. It was really fucking processed though, I can tell you that. It looked like some kind of meat a spaceman might eat if he were on a three year long mission. I had the chicken, beef and lamb combo but I couldn’t find any chicken looking substance in there. Maybe they process all three meats together thus creating the chickeefamb. Yeah, I think that’s what they did.

The truly sad thing is the kids will probably grow up thinking that is exactly what a kebab is. What sort of chance does the next generation have if this is the caliber of the westernized middle eastern street food they will be eating? Not a big one that’s for sure. Believe me when I tell you if someone is born in a brothel to a prostitute mother, with a prostitute grandma and an uncle and aunty who are bisexual prostitutes specializing in “Harry Potter themed threesomes”, chances are that child is going to think sucking cock for a crisp fiver is not a bad deal at all.

Work that one out.

Please tell me if you know where the good kebab shops are…

Meh (this is me being totally unimpressed).

*Schoolies. School leavers. A celebration for the end of secondary school years. A big party. Schoolies generally swarm to seaside party destinations just like Byron Bay

24 responses to “Where did the good kebab shops go…”

  1. Kebab in Australia is nothing like the stuff you get in Turkey/Middle East/Greece. Even the souvlaki in Melbourne is a joke.

  2. Sydney my friend, Sydney. Southward bound, you know. 😁 Well, it’s got to be better than that. I was like, totally grossed out when you wrote that the meat was in a bain marie. (I think I may have vomited in my mouth a little.) This post had me actually covering my mouth and giggling like a schoolie!!

    1. Well maybe it’s time for us to head south then!!

  3. dude, i was dying laughing at this entire thing.
    So many just absolute gems here I don’t even know where to fucking begin.
    This is what made peoples head snap in my direction:
    “Believe me when I tell you if someone is born in a brothel to a prostitute mother, with a prostitute grandma and an uncle and aunty who are bisexual prostitutes specializing in “Harry Potter themed threesomes”, chances are that child is going to think sucking cock for a crisp fiver is not a bad deal at all.”

  4. I don’t eat meat anymore, but I know California has lots of nice little Persian &/or Mediterranean places. Hit & miss though, as with most things. :] // ▲ itsCarmen.com ▲

    1. Indeed hit and miss my friend 🙂

  5. oooh… no kebab? that’s poor… you could always make it yerself? http://cookingwithmrfitz.com/2014/01/16/homemade-kebab-yiros-gyros-kebab/ (i know its not the same as buying it ready done…).. and Abrakebabra..? my favourite kebab outfit in Eire!! http://www.abrakebabra.com/

    1. I make them myself mostly… Mostly. But sometimes I just gotta head into town for dinner 🙂

      1. agreed bro… and when you want those times.. you should be able to enjoy them…

  6. There used to be a kebab shop near us called Brief Encounters. We called it Beef Encounters and only ate there after a night on the beer and nightclubbing. One time, a friend bought his kebab and decided to take it home. He was a few over the limit. The next morning he woke up and thought he had been stabbed. He was covered in tomato sauce. He discovered the pitta bread on his foot in the bed. That was his last kebab. He only ate their burgers thereafter.

    1. Now that is a damn good kebab story!!!

  7. I love the photos in this post. Very beachy and atmospheric. They make the kebab look better than it actually is (until you get to the processed meat one, what is that shit?!). You, my friend, need to go to Berlin. Their kebabs are freaking amazing, served on house-made bread with incredible garlic sauce, fresh meat off the spit, cubed marinated eggplant, fire-roasted peppers… and you don’t pay anything extra for the trimmings. That’s just how they roll (ha, see what I did there?). So, that’s where the good kebabs went…. or where the Greek and Turkish immigrants have decided to set up shop these days 😉
    Cheap beer, too…

    1. Argh. Damn you and your great kebab stories!!!!

  8. Ah you never fail to entertain me… but seriously fire up that sexy bbq the lives in your back yard and I’m sure you can whip up something 100 times better than these processed meat factories. 🙂

    1. I know I know. It was just that one time I really wanted someone else to make it for me… I’m starting to feel like I’ve cheated on my firepit now…
      Cheers Matt 🙂

  9. Why does this have to be the ONLY reillbae source? Oh well, gj!

  10. naturally like your website but you need to check the spelling on quite a few of your posts. A number of them are rife with spelling issues and I in finding it very troublesome to tell the reality however I will surely come back again.

  11. Yay! It’s a really beautiful color and I think you’ll like it.Do you wear smokey eyes often? If you do you can have a lot of fun experimenting with different colors and layering.

  12. Is this the same Ben Ami that came out a few days ago with a statement touting Israel’s right to defend itself?I agree with the premise of this piece, there WILL have to be a shift eventually because Israel’s killing of Palestinians has become entirely too self-pleasuring for normal people to stomach (i.e. sicko), but I won’t believe there’s any significance in these particular statements until there’s some tangible signs that the co-dependency has ended.BTW, Great coverage of this latest round of gratuitous violence.

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