The doner kebab. A fatty foodstuff that i shun time and time again for its not-so-nice reputation. Doner meat (N.B. i’m using the word ‘meat’ in the loosest possible sense because let’s face it, there’s probably more gristle & cartilage than there is meat) is basically made by shoving together leftover bits & pieces of lamb & chicken (and sometimes even pork) with a whole load of fat, right onto a rotating skewer. But they’re not all that bad…
Opened in 1974 & a stone’s throw away from South Kensington tube station, Bosphorus Kebabs is a Turkish kebab house. From the outside, it’s best described as an unassuming hole in the wall.
Inside, it’s pretty shabby and basic. Though don’t be put off by this, since Bosphorus has built up a glowing reputation for its high quality, tasty & freshly cooked meats.
The grill’s aroma tantalises the tastebuds of hungry souls stepping foot inside, as well as of passers by outside. Once you’ve placed your order, the meat is cooked fresh in front of you as you wait and comes served on a silver tray with a toasted pitta bread, salad and a selection of sauces (don’t miss the chilli sauce – it’s a great accompaniment to the meat).
Given that myself and the doner don’t see eye to eye, i always go for the shish (cubes of real meat) so i can’t actually comment on the Bosphorus doner kebab. Although, from what i’ve heard and the number of customers i see ordering it, the Bosphorous doner is probably as ‘gourmet’ as a doner can get and certainly heaps better than your standard kebab joint.
The Bosphorus chicken breast and lamb shish don’t disappoint. The meat has great flavour from the light marinade used, is well seasoned & always cooked perfectly – what you get is tender, flavourful & succulent chunks, lovely & crisp outside and moist & juicy inside. In terms of quality, it’s as good as it gets for a kebab house – i’ve never found chewy/fatty bits in my Bosphorus meat and i’ve never left feeling as if i’ve just devoured a ball of grease.
Due to lack of seating (just a few cheap tables & chairs strewn outside and some cramped tables inside at the rear), takeaway at Bosphorus is popular. For me, i’ve always managed to find a seat somewhere and prefer to tuck in immediately while the meat is fresh off the grill.
Despite the shabby interior, the charming thing about this place are the walls plastered with testimonial cards from happy diners. Hundreds of cards provide some light reading while you wait for your food…
Dips Bites: Walking past, you’d easily dismiss this as just another greasy kebab shop. In fact, it’s quite possibly one of the best kebabs that London has to offer. Bosphorus is pretty much busy all day & packed at lunchtime and night, with a constant energy to it. If you’re in the area and in need of a cheap & cheerful meal, go check it out. Every Londoner should try Bosphorus at least once i’d say – if anything for the fact that it’s miles better than the city’s run of the mill kebab haunts.
P.S. Kebabs are far from my meal of choice on most occasions. After a boozy night you’ll only ever find me making a beeline with no stop offs to the nearest open Maccy D’s – but i’ll admit, Bosphorus could hit the spot just as nicely.59 Old Brompton Rd, SW7 3JS