93 Nicholson St, Footscray. Phone: 9689 0777
When considering the pros and cons of running a food blog, it’s tempting to simply state: “It’s all good!”
And certainly, in terms of both expectations and unexpected delights and surprises, getting Consider The Sauce up and running has been an overwhelmingly enjoyable and satisfying experience.
But if there is one, albeit minor, downside it is this: Revisiting old and muchly favoured regulars, as well as new discoveries and finds that deserve to become so, has become just that little bit more difficult.
The pressure is on for the next blog post!
Through it all, however, we have retained Footscray Best Kebab House as a regular haunt, so highly do we dig the food – and even though it was covered in one of our very early pieces.
In this case, fronting up is an especially enjoyable proposition as we are being joined by Ms Baklover of Footscray Food Blog fame and her girls, all of for whom this is a debut visit to FBKB.
We are a tad early, so being sans either my usual book or newspaper, it’s supremely pleasurable to just sit for a quiet moment. I contemplate a lazy, relaxing day ahead with my son. I consider the changeless surrounds of Footscray Best Kebab House. Like other institutions around the city – Pellegrini’s is an oft-quoted example – the prices have crept up but all else is just as it ever was.
Or so it seems. It may be a trick of the mind, but it’s one I’m happy to go along with.
As ever, the bread is fresh and warm, with some of the pieces having a nice crustiness to them. It’s a nice pacifier, too, for young children restless with food on their minds.
Bennie and I start with a couple of stuffed vine leaves, cold thanks. In the end, I end up eating both, Bennie being far too distracted by the juicy meats, dips and salads to come. The dolmades are good, but not as memorable as some I recall from previous visits.
We feel like something a little different from our usual instant-gratification trip of chicken and lamb from the spit, so go for the large adana kebab meal to share ($13.50).
It’s all present and accounted for:
Superb rice on to and into which the meat juices and dips seep.
A crunchy, lemony and ultra-fresh salad of finely diced bits and pieces that Ms Baklover suspects is sprinkled with sumac. I’m not sure about that. It’s the same topping we’ve always had here. Maybe it’s the Turkish equivalent?
A small serve, by request, of the reliably oily and delicious potato salad.
Dips in the form of cacik (cucumber and yogurt) and chilli dip. There’s two other kebab joints within a few minutes walk who do their own chilli dips, as does the very good Flemo kebab establishment. But none of them come even slightly close to this masterpiece of crunch and tang.
The only disappointment – and it’s only a slight one – is the adana kebab meat. It’s just as we like our kebab meaty bits – crusty, a little chewy, a little salty, but – in this case – a little too much on the dry side.
We earlier demurred in regards to the large shish kebab meal on the basis of price – it’s up to $17.50 these days.
That turns out to be a mistake. Ms Baklover orders it for her and her kids, and we’re jealous.
It’s just the right size for one big mouth and three little ones. Let me try that another way … It’s just the right size for mum and her three girls.
Ms Baklover seems to share our high esteem for the chilli dip and just loves the big and luxuriously tender chunks of marinated lamb and chicken.
The girls partake of all, sometimes in the face of maternal determination that it be so, but in the end show a marked preference for … the wonderful Turkish bread.
In terms of our eating-out habits, this food seems just below the top-of-the-class leaner, cleaner range of Viet options in terms of nutrition and healthiness. And the damage for Bennie and I – two stuffed vine leaves, two soft drinks, large meat/dips/salad/rice meal – is an excellent $20.
We adjourn for a somewhat chaotic but nevertheless enjoyable coffee and baklava at Babylon just down the road.
Footscray Best Kebab House – long may it reign as one of our very favourite places!
And thanks to the Baklovers for the company!
Photograph: BENNIE WEIR