The best kebabs in London
Recommended dish: Adana lamb kebab
Trendy Dalstonites now join the Turkish families that have been dining here for years, and prices have crept up, but 19 Numara remains good value. It’s particularly strong on kebabs, from a classic ‘sis’ (shish) to the ‘full mixed kebab’, a huge platter (including quail) to feed two or three.
Recommended dish: Lamb shish kebab
Antepliler (which also has a younger, smarter sibling on Islington’s Upper Street) serves adventurous cooking from the Silk Route. The sogon kebab is a case in point: meatballs served with pomegranate sauce and grilled shallots, with a crisp salad and traditional Turkish pide bread.
Recommended dish: The chicken shawarma
A cut above your typical kebab joint, this cash-only hole-in-the-wall uses prime meat from Smithfield market. Our warm chicken shawarma, was moist and with nicely charred edges, and the addition of tangy, chilli-spiked taramasalata (recommended as a side) improved the overall dish. Judging by the long weekday queues snaking out of the door, the locals think it’s worth it.
Recommended dish: Single kebab skewer (chicken or lamb)
This consistently reliable Whitechapel canteen deals in full-flavoured Punjabi street food, from snacks and curries to the eponymous meat-on-a-stick. In spite of this joint’s moniker, there are only two kebabs on offer – one seekh (a ‘sausage’ of seasoned, finely minced lamb on a skewer), and a classic chicken kebab: both are excellent.
Recommended dish: Lamb köfte kebab
The original branch of this Turkish charcoal grill may have basic décor, but it still scores big for its generous portions of good quality meat, sold at low prices. The exceptional beyti (spicy minced lamb) and shish (marinated lamb chunks) are skewered, char-grilled, and served with an oversized salad and warm leavened bread.
Recommended dish: Lamb kebab
On a small side street off the Edgware Road, this tiny Persian hole-in-the-wall specialises in the char-grilled koobideh style of kebabs, where minced and seasoned lamb or chicken is moulded like a long sausage down the length of the skewer. Factor in the terrific just-cooked flatbreads and verdant salads packed with herbs, and you’ll forgive the cramped, basic surroundings.
Recommended dish: Lamb koobideh kebab
Though there are plenty of rich, homely stews at this Persian restaurant, the tender kebabs are no means poor cousins. Head for the likes of lamb koobideh kebabs (minced, seasoned meat, fashioned around a skewer) or the chello joojeh kebab – a small whole marinated chicken (the joojeh in the name), all with grilled tomatoes and fluffy rice.
Recommended dish: Starter lamb kebab
The cult following behind this iconic Pakistani canteen shows no sign of abating. The seekh kebabs (seasoned ground lamb, moulded onto skewers like sausages) are worth the visit alone.
Recommended dish: lamb shish kebab
Huge portions make this Kentish town kebab joint rather popular. We liked the tender chunks of char-grilled meat in the lamb shish kebabs best; salad fillings are varied and well-dressed. There’s an equally good range of sauces, including a fiery chilli.
Recommended dish: The lamb shish kebab
A long way from the Turkish heartlands of Green Lanes and Dalston, Marmaris nonetheless delivers some top-quality Anatolian-style grills in south-west London. Although primarily a takeaway (with a choice of breads wraps), you can also eat in; there’s a small licensed restaurant inside.
Recommended dish: Chicken shish kebab
It may not have good looks or charming service, but no matter: it’s the high standards and reasonable prices here that keep the regulars happy. Chicken shish kebabs come perfectly chargrilled, but we’d also recommend the large iskender kebab: Tad’s take on this traditional dish is to use slices of lamb döner meat, which are topped with cold yoghurt and hot tomato sauce.
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