Type: Café, take-away
Location: Yarralumla Shops
Meal: Take-away lunch
Food et: Lamb kebab
My flatmate used to travel from Tuggeranong to Yarralumla to get a kebab from the Halal Pide House. Now, that probably doesn’t sound very far, but when you consider that there are at least 9 places in between Tuggeranong and Yarralumla where he could have gotten a kebab – it means that he travelled the 20 minutes by choice.
But, he’s not the only one. I’ve heard many a tales about the fabled “Yarralumla shops kebab”, about how it’s the best kebab in Canberra and nothing comes close. “But it is twenty minutes away, and there’s an Ali Baba at Erindale”, I would say. Oh for shame. Now I see the light.
I finished work at lunch time on a Saturday and had some time to kill, so I decided to make the trek over to Yarralumla shops to get this mystical kebab, to see what all the fuss was about. I drove up to the shops and found a park on the other side of the shops, near Bees & Co. I was a little confused because the whole place seemed deserted, but there were so many cars parked down side streets and around the back.
Seems everyone in Yarralumla was at the Halal Pide House.
I’m not sure what I was expecting, but the café/take-away is about four times the size of what I’d envisioned. There is ample seating, both inside and out, and the main area and counter is cleared for take-away orders. You can order at the counter and take a seat, which a lot of people seemed to be doing. It has a café atmosphere, with a Turkish twist. They serve all the usual Turkish fare including entrees (borek, falafel etc), bread and dips, Sis Kebab (and Tavuk and other spiced meats) and, as the name would suggest, Pides.
I wandered in and was greeted merrily by one of the many men behind the counter. I ordered a lamb kebab with hummus, tabouli, lettuce and tomato. One guy behind the counter does the salads, passes it on to a guy to do the meat and then the final sauce (garlic yoghurt for me) and next thing you know I’m paying and walking out the door. It costs only $9.50, takes 30 seconds to make and is the biggest kebab I’ve ever seen.
Service is great, the guys behind the counter are all lovely – I think I got more “loves” and “darlings” than any of my ex-boyfriends ever bestowed upon me, and all in the two minutes I was there.
I got home and tucked in to the kebab.
The bread is fresh and soft - made on site, I would think. It is divine. The meat is tender with a mild spice, putting the dry oily stuff at Ali Baba to shame.
The hummus is really good, and the garlic yoghurt is a great addition – it’s a much better idea than the usual garlic mayo, which doesn’t have the same authentic taste. And because they put the yoghurt on AFTER the meat, it covers the meat nicely.
My dog sat at my feet and watched, with hope, for some meat to fall out. To be honest there was so much meat, that I did end up giving him a bit. I actually only got about 2/3rds through the kebab, before I opened it up, took out the insides and just ate the bread. Seriously, that bread.
Verdict: I’ve been to Turkey twice, and this is the best kebab I’ve ever had (to be fair, kebabs in Turkey are nothing like they are over here). I will be making the trek whenever I get a kebab hankering, for sure.
Rating: 5/5 kebabs!