5/1100 Pascoe Vale Rd, Broadmeadows. Phone: 9309 6626
A $7 bowl of soup worth driving all the way to Broadmeadows?
Well, actually, soup is not on my mind as I enter Broadmeadows Station Kebab House.
I figure it’s more a matter of dips, salads, falafels and stuffed vine leaves.
Upon entering, though, I see a couple of customers intent of bowls a rich-looking broth.
I discover that it’s lamb shank soup.
“That’s what I want!” says I.
I’d gotten the hot tip about this place while quizzing a fellow dad of one of Bennie’s rugby teammates about the eats scene in Broadmeadows. He reckons there’s many a fine place to explore, though in a more diffuse sense than we are used to around the Footscray and Sunshine.
How lucky we are that so many of our favourite eats destinations are crowded together in such glorious villages/precincts!
The Station Kebab House is positioned in a rather bleak setting, part of a large and ugly station set-up with cars whizzing by on Pascoe Vale Rd the only vista.
Inside, however, it’s a nice and homely Turkish restaurant to the rear, presumably a crowded and happy place to be at night, and the takeaway counter at the front.
What appears at first glance to be a light brothy soup is much more – in fact, it’s an elixir of joy!
For buried in the rich, smooth, heavily stock-infused broth are many pieces of impeccably tender and fat-free shank meat. The photo, above, does this masterpiece little justice.
So rich and filling and delicious is my soup that I barely use the lovely warm Turkish bread provided.
Unsurprisingly, too, I struggle with my small size vegetarian meal ($10), though it boasts highlights that match the soup in every way.
The cacik and eggplant dips are good without being sensational, as is the rice. The salad is the familiar mix of green, red and orange goodies; it’s fine.
But the single stuffed vine leaf and the two falafels? Oh my …
The warmed vine leaf is tender and juicy, and has the sort of lemony tang that only the best of its kind do. I subsequently discover from proprietor Ahmet that lemon is just part of the secret – there’s also mint, capsicum, tomato and, of course, rice and olive oil involved.
The falafel capsules are likewise state-of-the-art.
The outer coatings are crispy, the insides warm and fragrant and wonderful.
It’s a long time since I’ve had falafels so fine.
The welcome here is cheerful and welcoming.
I appreciate, too, the willingness of Ahmet and his family to discuss their fare; such is not always the case.
On the strength of their super dooper lamb shank soup, I’m betting the lentil soup is a killer.
Heck, I may even be tempted to tackle the tripe soup. Ahmet tells me they have regular visits by several “Australian” families bent on getting themselves some of it.
Apart from all the usual meats, pizzas, salads and dips, they also serve up hamsi.
These Black Sea little fishes are, I’m told, like anchovies and must be ordered in advance. The photo of them looks like a spread of tapas-style sardines.
So, yes – the drive to Broadmeadows is a small investment when the rewards are so rich.