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
Pretty good effort bringing the Queen of Footscray to a place she’s never been! 🙂 And how can you pass on a large shish kebab meal! Poor form 😉
Heck – I don’t know if Ms Baklover will feel chuffed by that, just laugh or cringe! Or all three. Yeah well, my cheapskate instincts can sometimes get the better of me. Truth is, even the pricier meals here are an outright bargain, in that they easily feed two folks with keen appetites. Hey, your Taste Of Melbourne coverage looks fab – I’m gonna read the whole thing tomorrow!
Just following up on this … I tried FBKH as a consequence of your review … awesome! It’s one of the few kebab places to which we plan to return. Flemington Kebab House didn’t do it for me 😦
That’s great, Daniel! The Flemo place is good, but the FBKH is the king – simply a little or a lot better than everywhere else. What did you have?
Meal of the day? Or something like that. I ordered the shish meal but then realised that I didn’t want stuff off a skewer that day. Rather preferred stuff sliced off rotisserie.
So large meal for two adults and a 2.75 year old, who loves spicy food. So spicy dip too.
We are coming back when we have a hankering …
That’s pretty much the best way to go. Large meal deal can feed two adults and a toddler at a pinch. The spit meat is great. How good is that chilli dip, eh?
The chilli dip is mind-blowing. Literally.
I miss spicier food more these days: the wife lost her ability to eat spicy food when she was pregnant … but apparently her superpower has been passed onto the boy, who eats very spicy but in much smaller amounts. I bide my time …
Been reading for a while, since I found your card at Los Latino’s lol, but never commented.
Have you tried Tiba’s on Sydney Rd? It’s my favourite kebab place. Their platters are also amazingly good value, more than enough for two. I would be interested to know what you think.
Hi Courtney! ha ha – must drop some more cards at Los Latinos. Actually, must eat again at Los Latinos. We love Tiba’s and are overdue for a visit. It annoys Bennie but I always insist on the vego platter – a nudge under $14 last time we were there. Incredible! Tabouli, chick pea salad, green salad, three fabulous dips and and two little Lebanese pies, plus a basket of pita bread. It seems to annoy some people that it comes in the plastic bag it was delivered in, but I reckon it’s a hoot. Love that food.
Very memorable, especially during Ramadan 🙂
Just hit FBKH again yesterday. We’ve been back several times since last commenting. I think that we’ve had a bit better meat elsewhere, but the whole meal package is superior here. Fresh Turkish bread, friendly staff (when they get a chance to breathe during busy times).
I took home extra meat and spare bread which I just had for breakfast, with dips from Queen Vic Market.
Interesting comment, Daniel. I think the meat’s very, very good, but as you say … it’s the package that’s the clincher!
12 searches this morning for “footscray best kebab house” – funny how that works sometimes!
Yeah … we hit FBKH one time when it was closed (trauma!) and then found some other fill-in place with better meat (but bread and dips didn’t cut it). FBKH is very much our go-to place 😀
I’m going to give this a whirl. I really love crispy lamb and it’s hard to find. I tried Lamb on Chapel due to rave reviews. It was OK but not great!
It’s still good (back there recently) 😉
Amasya used to be the best Kebab place I;d ever been, for a good decade or more from the mid-1990s but slowly declined – but just a little after the original owners moved out to the back and the restaurant moved across the road. In about 2004 we discovered FBKH and it took the prize – I was disbelieving when a family member told me there was a *better* place – FBKH, but he was right. It’s worth noting that right from the start the (owner?) looked like one of the people that had used to serve me at Amasya.
A couple of years ago, friends told me about another place, that they liked better then FBKH, and while not entirely correct, I’m happy to give them credit for *equal* first – not something i take lightly.
Up on Ballarat Road in Deer Park, is Roxy Kebab. Aside from “just going there to try it out”, why would you bother with FBKH so close? Roxy is open into the late evening, so you can go there for dinner on a Friday night when FBKH is closed!
Hello there! We liked Roxy – review here.