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  1. #1
    splendid and tremendous
    somtamslap's Avatar
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    I spend the day in a Great British Kebab house

    Original Slap material for your perusal.



    I spent a day at my local kebab shop — because there's fuck all else to do on in this twatting country.


    A day in the life of a Great British doner kebab house

    The culmination of any good evening out customarily comprises plucking the last few pound coins from your pocket and making a ungainly yet desperate lunge towards the nearest purveyor of cooked flesh. And for those living in the UK, this is almost always a doner kebab house. What is it about those deftly sliced sheets of lightly seasoned mystery meat, stuffed unceremoniously into confines of a toasted piece of pitta that makes us Brits salivate so? Is an unholy quota of booze the secret ingredient, or is there a deeper nutritional force at work here?

    The doner kebab was first introduced to the United Kingdom by Turkish immigrants in 1966 - coinciding rather shrewdly with our one and only world cup victory. Perhaps our love for the kebab stems from a Pavlovian response: eat kebab, win football - not that it’s likely to, let’s face it, ever happen again.

    The inaugural kebab venture in the UK - based in Newington Green, London - was called Hodja Nasrettin and owned by a man called Cetin Bukey.
    I wonder if Mr. Bukey knew that he had just pioneered an entire British sub-culture. Tripe and faggots were so very 1950s. The kebab had arrived.

    Still flourishing to this day, the kebab house has - with the pizza parlour taking occasional, yet ultimately fruitless nips at its ankles - cornered the late-night-drunken-sustenance market. Our trips into the establishment are usually fleeting and fumbling affairs which invariably entail not a little drooling and a gallant (and usually failed) attempt at ordering your food in a semi-coherent tongue. Indeed it wouldn’t be unreasonable to suggest that sometimes we will not recall visiting the kebab house at all, but the telltale belch the following morning laced with half a raw onion, and the rogue strand of meat stuck fast to your left cheek should give you an inkling of where the previous evening concluded.

    So what makes us gravitate en masse to the kebab shop? I spent a day at my local emporium - where I, of course, am a regular, as far as I can recollect - in order to further investigate the British kebab culture.

    It’s just before noon as I approach my venue for the day, Al Pasha Kebab in Woking. I brush a light layer of autumn drizzle from my coat before breaching the threshold. I feel unusual. This is the first time I’ve ever set foot in a kebab house sans a skinful of premium lager beer. I approach the counter in a remarkably straight line, and am greeted by one of mein hosts, Ozzy. An genuinely affable sort, Ozzy finishes stocking the glass display cabinet while colleagues Jeff and Hassan continue to marinate skewer-bound strips of meat and chop up the omnipresent salad - “all the salad” - selection in the kitchen.

    Ozzy informs me that, due to the early hour, custom is likely to be sporadic, if a little slow. So I take this as an opportunity to dig a tad deeper, and find out more about the man who provides our town with these capacious pillows of meaty joy.
    He, as is true for the rest of the kebab shop staff (they are all related), hails from Ankara, the Turkish capital, and has spent the last 18 years in the UK, and when asked whether or not he might return to live in his motherland one day: “I’m not sure”, he replies, sliding another tray of freshly seasoned meat into the display window, “I have to think about work first”.


    At 12.45pm the day’s first customers arrive. Two twenty-something girls who, after a cursory, almost impulsive glance at the menu, order a pair of chicken doners. I ask them if this is breakfast or lunch. “A late breakfast”, they reply, perhaps a little abashed. I, however, approve. With half of the country jumping on the Jamie ‘Superfood’ Oliver bandwagon, it’s nice to see people getting stuck into a, erm, proper breakfast. “Chicken doners! The cornerstone of any nutritious breakfast.” I can almost feel Oliver’s piercing glare.

    Aside from the day’s initial sale, afternoon purchases begin to develop something of trend. Between the hours of 1pm and 5.30 nary a kebab is rung through the til, not a one - with customers instead tending to go the burger and chip route with the odd-chicken nugget order being placed. Ozzy looks restlessly at the virgin doner meat turning stoically against the heat in the corner. “This doner meat, this lamb, costs 350 nowadays”, he says gesturing towards the gargantuan column of flesh. But while sharpening what looks like a samurai sword, he assures me that “by 11pm tonight, it’ll be finished”. Looking around at the stark-barren wasteland that currently comprises Al Pasha Kebab, I’m wondering if this may be just a touch optimistic.


    But come 6pm, the mood changes. The team assume positions and are now in formation at the client interface. I think they’re about to perform a Turkish version of the Haka. Ozzy and co, by all accounts, are preparing for utter carnage. Pitta breads are toasted and scored 20 at a time, slivers of doner meat are dispatched into hotpots, and extra salad is added to the trays.






    And then they come. A calculated and sustained assault by the British public. It unfurls before my very eyes. By 6.30pm, Al Pasha Kebab is a hive of furious activity. Requests are hurled rampantly around the establishment: chilli sauce this, garlic mayo that, all the salad the other. This little, unassuming venue situated at the top the high street is now veritable battleground. The prevalent demographic at this hour appears to be fathers, offspring in tow, who have popped in for some dinner. Dinner! The doner kebab, it transpires, as well as late-night solace for inebriates, also doubles as an acceptable evening meal. Tremendous. Simply tremendous!









    The hordes now ebbing somewhat after a 90-minute continuous barrage, a welcomed lull falls over the shop, giving me a chance to inspect the aftermath. The spinning doner stick has been reduced to a slender staff, and the green chilli reserves are seriously depleted. “10 kilos! Every day!”, says Jeff refilling the bowl. “We sell more than 10 kilos of these green chillis everyday!”. Meaning, as a nation, we must be devouring literally tonnes of them on a daily basis.
    I also note that the chicken doner skewers have also taking something of a pounding. “They’re our best seller,” remarks Hassan, who studiously scrapes the griddle in preparation for another wave of punters.

    It’s just after 9pm when the first of the town’s drunken contingent enters the venue. A lone pisshead who cuts the figure of a chap who’s just spent a good few hours getting seriously acquainted with a keg of Kronenberg. Apparently he’d been holed-up against the rain in a nearby boozer. A likely excuse, but a convincing one on this miserable October day.

    “At least the bloody rain has finally stopped”, his statement, although entirely accurate, is sullied by acute slurring. He places his order - a large doner kebab - and Ozzy is further instructed to “stick everything on it please, mate”. People, it becomes apparent, are decidedly less finicky about their food after an evening in the pub.
    The night progresses and a steady stream of moderately intoxicated locals spill into the shop - from groups of lads clad in rugby apparel, to solo staggerers, to couples concluding an evening out before heading home and staring dreamily into one another’s eyes amid the tangy fug of chilli sauce fumes. Of course, it’s a Saturday night, what else would you expect? As Brits, it’s our God-given right to head into town of an evening and give it a lick of some seriously red paint. I mean, a Saturday simply isn’t a Saturday without a good drink, is it? Five minutes after boarding this train of thought, I alight back at the kebab house with a four pack of lager purchased from the off license secreted in my backpack. I drink them, one after the other. They go down sensationally well. And personally I can’t think of a better way to complement two litres Kronenberg than with a kebab - “with everything on it please, mate”.

    I bid my new friends farewell, and step into the cold autumn night. The streets are empty - the only sound coming from the erratic steps I take hastening my way home. I look behind me - the lights in Al Pasha Kebab have been turned off. But you can bet every green chilli in the United Kingdom that they’ll be back on again tomorrow.

  2. #2
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    snakeeyes's Avatar
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    Another great thread I need something to eat now , I'm going to get myself a red fish supper ,

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the history of how kebab shops invaded Britain, luckily there's a good one locally and at midday I went in and got a Lamb Kofta with all the salads and Chillie sauce.
    Yummy
    I also like Lamb Shish. Great meal for around a 5
    My local Kebab shop is Turkish run and they do long hours, must be 12 hour shift.
    Now what you didn't report is how late on a club night how the Turkish staff behave when young girls enter the shop.

  4. #4
    Thailand Expat Luigi's Avatar
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    Plick.


    Just heading to the fridge now, might have a frozen cardboard pizza or something that I can fashion into something resembling one of those.

  5. #5
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    As luck would have it, I have been ruminating on something different for my teatime snack. Then I remembered my mate, the pub landlord, who is also a big foodie. Reputed for his Sunday roasts and his pie and mash, he has also perfected the very best doner kebab. For just 250 baht you get the works including home made chips and a local beer.
    (I cheated and had draught Thatchers Gold with mine)
    I think his business model is based on Wetherspoons.

  6. #6
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    Food for wogs and drunken chavs

  7. #7
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    I friggin' love them peppers.....

  8. #8
    Thailand Expat Dillinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luigi
    cardboard pizza

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luigi
    cardboard pizza
    Great nik or band name...

  10. #10
    Thailand Expat Dillinger's Avatar
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    Bolognese and mushroom nan pizza. Half price on food panda

  11. #11
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    Reminds me of all the good kebab shops in Pattaya. Sadly most are gone now. Replaced by Thai stands handing over those tiny rolls of pus they call kebabs. Given time though, they could potentially get real good at it. Maybe..

  12. #12
    Thailand Expat jabir's Avatar
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    Stay clear of the diesel-kebab carts, but still a few excellent kebab places in Pattaya, not just in the Arab quarter, especially those dishing out laffa (aka Iraqi pita).

  13. #13
    Member cockneyboy187's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDukeofNewcastle View Post
    As luck would have it, I have been ruminating on something different for my teatime snack. Then I remembered my mate, the pub landlord, who is also a big foodie. Reputed for his Sunday roasts and his pie and mash, he has also perfected the very best doner kebab. For just 250 baht you get the works including home made chips and a local beer.
    (I cheated and had draught Thatchers Gold with mine)
    I think his business model is based on Wetherspoons.
    where's the pie and mash

  14. #14
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    Pie Mash and Liquor. Thursday nights at The Shakespeare Pub Plai Laem Koh Samui.

    https://www.tripadvisor.co.nz/ShowUs...e.html#REVIEWS

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonfly94 View Post
    Food for wogs and drunken chavs
    Never eaten one sober. Usually woken up with most of a kebab down my shirt, instead of down my throat. Fortunately.

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