Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Efes Doner Kebap House

I had noticed Efes Donner Kebap House  had opened on Yates a couple of months ago and I had wanted to try it out because I do like Turkish cuisine.   In my opinion Turkish food is the underlying origin for much of what we understand as Greek, Near Eastern and Middle Eastern food especially the döner kebap.   All these areas shared a common Ottoman government for centuries and this really influenced a lot of the food.

When I lived in London in the early 1990s I had a chance to try Greek, Turkish, Cypriot Greek, Cypriot Turkish, Israeli, Persian, Syrian and Egyptian food.  I found the Turks made the best food.   Turkey is a country that I would really love to visit - stunning beaches, wonderful ancient sites and amazing food, but I digress.

I went here the other night with Sheila and Max and I was impressed with the food, the staff and the prices.

It is a short menu but it is done well.   I had the lamb kebap on rice.   The lamb was tender, nicely spiced and well cooked.  The plate came with a large salad and two cups of rice - Turks and Persians cook some of the best rice I have ever eaten in my life.   The salad was fresh and flavourful, there was some thought behind what they put on the plate because there were no mealy bland tomatoes and their horrid ilk.

Sheila had the falafel, she was hesitant because her experience of falafel has been that they are dry leaden balls.   The guy serving our table assured her these were the best in town so she took the risk and was rewarded with moist and tender falafel on a plate with the same sort of rice and salad I had.   More than enough food for her.

Max is four and even with foodie parents he often will tell you he does not like something before even knowing what it is.   The waiter proactively offered to make a plate of food to order for Max.   Max got a plate with plane rice - the rice Sheila and I had on our plates had two sauces with it - minced fried chicken in a mild sauce and a plainer salad.  A lot of food for a four year old, but they only charged us $4 for it.
The dish made special for Max
All of this has been great so far, but their rice pudding is something else.   Rice pudding says to me that stodgy English ethnic food that really was not intended for human beings to eat.   Efes has something they call rice pudding that I am not sure how they make.  It is a smooth and silky rice custard that has a wonderful vanilla flavour.  My four year old thought it was better than ice cream.  

All of this food for a price that is I think really too low.   You would be hard pressed to eat at McDonald's as cheaply.

Can I do better at home?  No.   I can not make rice this good and I have tried over the years.  I do not have the skills to cook the lamb like they did and I have never managed to make a falafel anywhere as good as they make.   Finally, I am not sure where even to start to replicate that rice pudding.  

We will go back.

  Efes Doner Kebap House on Urbanspoon
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