Proustian grub

WAKING up to find a half-eaten kebab in my jacket pocket was a regular occurrence during the 1990s.

It coincided with “Cool Britannia” and England rising from its imperial ashes like a phoenix wearing gold chains and a pair of Adidas Kick.

My nightclub days are now a distant memory, but I still like the odd kebab, so I couldn’t resist trying Melville Kebab House, which recently opened at the Hawaiian Shopping Centre.

Firstly, hats off to any business opening in the throes of a pandemic.

Melville Kebab House didn’t just take over an existing eatery; it paid for a full fit-out of an empty shopfront.

It wouldn’t have been cheap, and the end result is a bright and modern eatery that looks cleaner than a hound’s tooth, but still has that kitsch takeaway vibe with flashing “OPEN” signs and an illuminated plastic menu above the counter.

Melville Kebab House’s menu had the standard range of kebabs, burgers, pizzas and chips, as well as gozleme, pide, Turkish coffee and a couple of sweets.

It seemed authentic with the pleasant girl behind the counter conversing in Turkish with another staffer as a steady stream of punters came and went.

The thing I like about kebab shops – their appeal is universal with everyone from white-collar professionals to dusty tradies trooping in for a feed.

There was a small dining-in area and alfresco, but I imagine its bread and butter is takeaways, so I got a family meal to go.

I’m a sucker for gozleme, so I ordered one with spinach and feta cheese ($14).

It was a huge serve with the lightly toasted layers of flatbread piled high in an environmentally-friendly container.

They had that trademark mottled surface and were piping hot and tasted incredibly fresh. 

Plenty of spinach in there and just the right amount of feta to give that classic salty bite.

I followed up the gozleme with a vegetarian pide ($15).

The mushroom, olive, spinach and green capsicum tasted incredibly fresh, and went perfectly with the gooey and mild mozzarella. The savoury bread was nicely cooked with toasted thick edges, but flavour wise it didn’t hit the heights of the gozleme. I think next time I’ll go for the beef and lamb version.

My wife went for a chicken kebab with salad and sour cream ($12).

“The chicken is really good quality – tender and not greasy at all,” she said.

“The salad is super fresh with loads of tomato, lettuce and onion.  In fact, perhaps a bit too much onion for me.

“The bread is delicious and really filling. Good value for $12”

My young kids also got two chicken kebabs and salad.

They only managed half of the jumbo wrap, but reassuring grunts and the odd “mmm” indicated they had gone down well.

Melville Kebab House is a solid bet for your kebab-fix and another good addition to the food outlets at the Hawaiian.

Their kebabs were so tasty I could almost hear Oasis playing in the background and see a billboard with Tony Blair’s face on it, spruiking the “Britain Deserves Better” dream.

Melville Kebab House
380 Canning Highway, Bicton
9438 2667 

by STEPHEN POLLOCK

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