Flames Charcoal Chicken, 14 Lavinia Drive, Tarneit. Phone: 8360 3029
Hoppers Crossing guitar lesson done, we’re headed up Morris Road to Tarneit – in a sufficiently reckless mood that a regulation, delicious but naughty feed from a chook shop will go down nicely.
But we’re quietly hoping for something better – something even more tasty and perhaps even a more healthy.
A touch of the Middle East perhaps?
Turns out this Flames shop is one of four – there’s two others in the west and one in Bundoora.
I’m told the others run are more your typical charcoal chicken shop routines.
But the Tarneit establishment – oh happy day! – does indeed sport a heavy Middle Eastern influence.
There’s wraps and rolls in the mix – but there’s also good salads, pickles and meat on sticks waiting to be grilled.
What we have is fine – significantly better than average fast food and but not quite up to the standards of a full-on Lebanese place.
The prices, though, are very low.
It’s set out rather nicely as a restaurant proper, our meals are served on wooden platters and we use real cutlery.
Bennie chooses the “chicken with the lot deal” ($16.90).
There’s three kinds of grilled chicken on hand – regular, chilli and (Bennie’s selection) lemon and garlic.
His chook is fine, though not displaying much by way of the two listed seasonings.
All the rest – yogurt dip, pickles, chips and very though very tasty tabouleh – is good.
My shawarma meal ($12.90, top photograph) comes with the same accompaniments, save for chips.
I wish there was more lamb off the spit – and would happily pay for it.
Because this lamb is wonderful – tender, profoundly tasty and skillfully seasoned.
Locals will surely love having Flames around.
It delivers a tasty, above average fast-food hit at good prices.