Tuesday, 27 January 2009

J'adore le Döner...or Notting Hill Grill & Kebabs

This place has gone downhill with a change of supplier of the doner.
Unbelievably shit.
I’m going to stick to the shish and 9V battery chicken from now on, the only problem is I’ll have to wait a lot longer for the cooking procedure. Damn, damn, damn!

Everything but the wool*

Let’s be brutally realistic about this, if most us have had (or still attempting to) the following of either Roast Bone Marrow & Parsley Salad at SJS or Lambs' Sweetbreads, Green Beans and Mint at Hereford Road or the humble haggis; then we shouldn’t turn up our noses at the misunderstood Doner kebab. It may well be grisly greasy and highly questionable but by golly it’s pretty satisfying. You know you love it but hate to admit to it, no worries it’s only human nature. Enjoy the sandwich with a glass of Kiwi Pinot Noir or in my case a large mug of Twinings 1706 (with milk no less).

There’s one thing that makes my blood boil with any kebab joints and that’s when the chap who’s preparing my kebab starts to handle the skewers of raw meat simultaneously with his bare hands! The tsunami of health and hygiene abuses starts to make one gravely despondent. I politely make a point of this and 9/10 cases think that I’m an off-duty Environmental Health officer. Defaulted rectification but totally unnecessary in the first place. Good luck.

*You heard (read or bleated) it here first.

£3.95 for a small sandwich

Yes even yours truly can be a food whore. This place is located in between two places that advocate the main ingredient of battery hens* in their dishes; Nando’s and KFC. Jay Rayner’s contribution on Channel 4 did little to put me off this once-monthly treat of connective tissue (CT) and mechanically recovered meat (MRM) sandwich.

What is it with Doner kebab that makes it so alluring to the post pub boozers and teetotallers like myself? Well disgusting as it may sound, I think it’s precisely the inclusion of both the CT and MRM that makes it so darn addictive and of course the usual huge doses of salt and lovely MSG. I hazard to suggest that the pure meat content is probably bordering on 10% and if one were to upset that balance of ingredients, the doner will end up even more unloved and untouched. Similar über processed foods that also include frankfurters and Spam (obviously consumed with care and moderation) can and will always tickle the appetite despite the denials we choose to uphold instead.

Oh Boy, this is good.

Before I sign off I would like to dedicate this write up to Mahmut Aygun, the creator of the döner kebab, who died recently.

The large doner set me back £4.95

40B Notting Hill Gate
Holland Park

London W11 3HX

*I find it amazing how the consumption of battery hens is lambasted constantly, especially when a large proportion of the country’s population adores Chicken Tikka Masala. We also ignore the fact that a huge majority of halal birds served in this country are anything but free range and organic. I’m pretty damn sure that Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall enjoys his Chicken Jalfrezi at his local Indian. How annoyingly hypocritical!

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