It’s a Thursday in February. Where are we? Angel, Islington and I’m about to try my first German doner kebab. Now I’m not 100 percent sure exactly what the difference is between a normal doner kebab and a German one, but I do know that from my personal experience in Germany, they are a pretty meaty country so I think they will have their heads in the right place for this. Carry on reading to find out what we thought!
For a bit of background, the simply named German Doner Kebab (GDK) were founded in Germany in 1989, when I was just a toddler. Since then they’ve worked on their brand, product and ingrained attitude of excellent customer service.
GDK are promising a new style of restaurant for us and to “reinvent the kebab” for the British public. That’s quite a big promise for a nation who love a kebab, when sober or intoxicated. In fact a friend of mine regularly sneaks out of the house accompanied by his dog to get his chops round a kebab from a van. So we are a nation at near “kebab affair” level. The kebabs offered by GDK are aimed at changing our perception and experience from an unhealthy, greasy, after-pub snack to something more wholesome..resembling a fresh, tasty and healthy meal and using high quality produce. And it’s Halal so there’s a wider customer base too – I like the inclusivity!
First impressions from outside the restaurant are it does look like a kebab shop over being a restaurant, but the seating may be be hidden at the back. It is advertised as fast food though so I’m not expecting five star surroundings here. There is an accessible Pokestop which I know isn’t something most look for but being one of the five people left playing Pokémon Go, this pleases me.
Entering the restaurant I found it to be completely different to how I’d imagined. There’s the ‘theatre’ at the front which allows customers to come and see how their food is prepared and cooked, then further in there’s a modern looking ordering desk and beyond that we have a bar for quick stop customers along with a larger seating area for those who wish to dine for a little longer. The décor is themed for Berlin and there are large photos of Berlin landmarks on the walls, incorporated into the modern orange and monochrome overall shop design. The place was very clean and during my visit I noted how efficient the staff were at clearing tables when customers left without disposing of their rubbish/leftovers. This is great to see and have the knowledge that as a customer I am eating in a clean environment.
Food-wise, GDK offer 5 main dishes; a kebab sandwich, a kebab wrap, a kebab box, a kebab burger and lahmacun (pronounced lac-ma-jun). along with a vegetarian alternative and some ‘standard sides’ (chips, onion rings etc..). The drinks available were standard softs, fruit juices, freshly squeezed juices and a few different options in the shape of coconut water, aloe juice and Ayran.
We tried the Ayran drink which is a traditional Turkish bevvy of yoghurt blended with salt – unfortunately it wasn’t for us and is probably more of an acquired taste if you’re familiar with Middle Eastern cuisine. I am a fan of Aloe juice, so opted for an Original Aloe which always goes down nicely.
When it came to the food we had to get a look at (and of course have a taste of) the five different options, for professional purposes of course.
- Chicken Kebab Sandwich – This was really good, very juicy and fresh with lots of meat. The meat to veg ratio was great and there was a whole array of greens stuffed into this sandwich – standard salad and red cabbage plus some garlic sauce. The bread for this sandwich was a reasonably thin (comparing to bread) envelope which was really good – not too thick but fluffy and crispy at the same time. We liked.
- Chicken Wrap – This one was quite similar to the sandwich, but…surprise surprise….in the form of a wrap. Also really delicious, didn’t taste greasy or leave a greasy feeling and more of the fab meat to veg ratio we mentioned above. It was really juicy and filling, probably due to the quality of the meat and the fact they don’t scrimp on their meats.
- Kebab Burger – Effectively this was beef kebab meat in a bun, as you can probably gather from the name. This one is a little different to the wrap and sandwich as it’s drier than both and in a neat bun – the others are portable but we were quite messy with the sandwich and the wrap had drippy juice coming out of the bottom. So the kebab burger is a tidier on the go solution. This contains a lot of beef kebab meat and minimal salad – I believe we had one lettuce, a bit of tomato but no cabbage. That’s probably a big factor into whythis is the tidier of the options to go for. It was nice but didn’t blow me away.
- Kebab Box — This one was interesting…pretty much a kebab meal layered in a box without the bread part. First of all we had some beef, then salad and then underneath that were some chips. You have the option of adding chips, chips and salad or just salad…so we went for both. The option here though allows for the gluten or carb free eaters to get involved without having to worry. The beef was quite herby and doesn’t instantly strike you as beef, it’s more vealy and slightly ‘mystery meat’ but still tastes good. This is a fab option to order, grab the box and head back to your desk, a park or a bench nearby. Self contained and mess free! Delightful.
- Lahmacun – This is kind of a thin pizza flatbread style dish with ground up spiced beef all over it. Yum! You have the option of ‘plain’ (so just the spiced ground beef) or with extra beef kebab meat on top. Considering the sheer quantity of food we literally had on our plates, we thought it best to just try the ‘plain’ lahmacun. And it was really delicious! It reminded me a little of a beef naan but thinner. Nice and different but I would probably advise having it as a sharer as there isn’t any veg so the carb and meat overload may get a little samey. Saying that though, this did come with three lovely sauces: yogurt, garlic and sweet tangy chili. Very nice.
The sides are a little bit overlooked when compared to the mains, the onion rings had a nice crunchy outer but the chips were a bit standard kind of fast foody kebab shop standard. However to be honest if you have most of the above options you probably don’t really need sides, or it just depends how fussy you are with your chips.
We did like the freshen up wipes – they’re nicely branded, lemonny and don’t leave your hands tasting vile as some can do. We aren’t into hand licking but if you’re eating with your hands and have a chemically tasting wipe then it might transfer over onto any of the future foods you chow down on. They seem really durable and great quality too – and definitely required after a wrap or sandwich!
All the meat used in GDK locations throughout the world (and believe me their range is incredible – click here for locations) is shipped from Germany and is either 100% beef or 100% chicken breast without additives. This, in part, explains why the taste and texture is high here. Recently GDK won the title of England’s Best Takeaway in the 2016 England Food Awards (specifically their Birmingham location) and they were marked as Highly recommended in the Best Kebab Restaurant for NW London in the British Kebab Awards last week.
I hope you can tell I was impressed by GDK’s Angel location – I was really surprised by both the food and surroundings and would recommend this to friends especially with the reasonable pricing; the meals cost between £4.99 and £7.49 to include a main, side and drink. Bingo bango.
Forked by Stefpuff