Tasty Toasted Kebabs @ Fun Galore, 234 Ballarat Road, Braybrook
Funny, eh, how almost all the palaver about Melbourne’s food trucks seem to imply they’re some cool, NEW thing,
That’s simply not the case – vehicular food delivery systems go way back in Australia, I’m guessing as far back as the horse-drawn variety as opposed to those mounted on internal combustion or steam engine vehicles.
And then there’s Mr Whippy and the kebab shacks that are festooned across the city.
Perhaps in the case of the latter it’s a matter of out of time, out of mind – the kebab shacks don’t come into their own until after midnight.
They’re far from our usual routine, but we’re on hols so the rule book is out the window.
Our sleep requirements have expanded to fit the extra time available, and – perversely – late nights are perfectly acceptable.
After his father has done with televised sport for the night, Bennie has glommed on to a screening of the 1955 flick The Tender Trap.
We don’t from whence does the lad’s penchant for vintage comics, cars, clothes, movies and so on come.
Sure, his dad and his mum are so inclined, but it hasn’t been forced down his throat.
Yet he’d happily prefer Louis Armstrong over the latest teeny bopper any day, and can equally happily disappear into old-school song-and-dance movies.
So I’m happy to let him suck up an hour or so of creepily sexist Frank Sinatra sparring with husband-chasing Debbie Reynolds – and even rise from the sofa for the occasion when he calls my bluff and quickly proffers an eager “Yes!” to the suggestion of a post-midnight snack.
Then off we go …
We reject one Ballarat Road, ahem, establishment on the grounds it looks rather forlorn and lacks even the most rudimentary seating, ahem, facilities.
And thus we front at Fun Galore and the kebab shack run by a friendly fellow named Abdul.
He’s been tending this particular patch for six years and runs other shacks on Sydney Road and Flinders Street.
In those six years, he tells us, there have been only a couple of instances of rowdy, drunken or abusive behaviour.
“People are looking for something good to eat so are nearly always polite and friendly,” he says.
That’s certainly the case on the night we visit, with about 20 or so customers coming and going in the 20 minutes we’re hanging around.
These folks keep mostly to themselves.
What surprises somewhat is that in being outright Caucasian, Bennie and I are in a small minority, with most punters being of Asian persuasion, including the Sub-Continental variety, with some representation from Pacific and African parts of the world.
Why should this surprise? This is the western suburbs, this is Braybrook – what the hell did I expect?
Our chicken kebabs cost $8 and are tasty.
Thankfully, Abdul uses Lebanese-style pita bread, so our snacks are without the significantly greater weightiness that would come with Greek-style pita or Turkish bread.
Our kebabs have been toasted so the bread is quite pleasingly crisp, yet the salad bits inside retain their crispness.
The chicken meat, for mine, gets lost among its fellow ingredients, including plenty of garlic and chilli sauces.
But perhaps that’s no bad thing.
Then it’s home and bed for us.