Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Guilty Pleasures No7 - The Doner Kebab

KB's lamb doner
Everyone has special dishes which stir powerful emotions; your grandmother’s apple crumble; the dish you ate on the first date with your wife; the iced gems which you ate at your birthday party when you were around 5 years old.

However, there’s one dish which conjures stronger feelings for me than almost any other.

The Doner Kebab.

Make no mistake; I am referring to the Elephant’s foot; that rotating wonder of mystery meat.

The reason I have such a bond to the Doner is twofold.

It got me my first job out of university; a place on a training scheme at a top London ad agency. For the interview I had to talk about an object which best represented me. I chose the Doner. I waxed lyrical about how it's in touch with popular culture, how it’s misunderstood and how it‘s a perfectly balanced and refined individual. Somehow this charade worked and I ended up getting my dream job at the time.

The second reason I love the Doner is that it has been the closing chapter in so many of my most memorable (or should I say unmemorable) nights out. After a few too many shapes on the dance floor and a few too many shots down the throat, there’s nothing quite like a Doner to provide sustenance and to line the stomach for the difficult night’s sleep ahead. The Doner has it all. An endless mountain of spiced, homogenous shavings of processed lamb. Sweet and spicy chilli sauce. Creamy garlic sauce. A menagerie of palette cleansing salad. Finally the piece de resistance, a chewy, meat juice soaked pitta bread.

Not strictly relevant but a chicken doner from KB's
There have been many kebab shops which have held a special place in my heart. Athena in Newcastle, The Gardenia in Cambridge, Efes 2 in London and The Caspian in Chester. 

KBS on City Road in Cardiff is the current object of my affections. Their Doner meat is fresh and unelastic, they do a great range of salad and a darn fine mint sauce. You also have the option of a naan bread cooked fresh in their tandoor oven.

Where’s your favourite kebab shop in Cardiff? Is there a doner or a shish that’s too good to miss?

The Details:
KBS, 242 City Road - CF24 3JJ Cardiff


  1. refresh your german with that ad currently in berlin cinemas. the ad is copying an old hipp (baby food) ad. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ay898gbNDgg

  2. Lilo Grill on City Rd is amazing - their kebabs are what kebabs should be. Good quality, beautifully spiced and chargrilled meat with salad wrapped in stunning, authentic middle eastern breads. I'm also addicted to their lamb arayes - spiced, minced lamb in between two chargrilled flatbreads. And portions are huuuge. It's always packed with a relaxed, chilled out vibe and friendly, helpful but completely unintrusive waiters. Check it out!

    1. lilo has a number 1 hygiene rating, yeuch! i used to eat there frequently but the quality went downhill so quickly that after a year of eating there once a week, i've moved to la shish as it's far better quality.

  3. @KateB - Thanks for the tip. I've had takeaway from their a couple of times and really enjoyed it. Been planning on eating in for absolutely yonks. The lamb arayes sounds lush.

  4. Hi,
    Is the KBS on city rd related at all to the one on Clare Rd? I recently rang up the Clare Rd one (I live west of the Taff and didn't fancy nipping over to the usual suspects on City Rd) and they asked me if I meant them or City Rd KBS. When I collected my partner's shish I noticed a copy of the WKD review on the wall. Are they stealing the limelight or sharing it over 2 sites?

    1. @acetate monkey - Good question. I have no idea!

      Is it any good? I hope they're not stealing City Rd KBS's accolade if they're not related. Conversely, if they are related it's good to see KBS expanding. First Cardiff, next the world!

  5. The Clare Road KBS has absolutely no link or relation to the finer City Rd example. None at all.