Ali Baba, Danziger Straße 2

Hello Döner Fans! I trust this finds you well. At certain times we all get the urge to wander far afield and sample pastures new. Indeed, when one has tasted all the kebabs in the vicinity, one must venture out of walking distance in order to uncover new and exciting delights. Rumours abounded of a kebab restaurant near to Eberswalder Straße U-Bahn station, and so two days ago at lunch time I assembled my international crew of meat-hungry kebab connoisseurs and boarded the underground. As this motley assortment of voracious döner-devourers stepped off the platform, we quickly espied the object of our quest: Ali Baba döner restaurant. Our interest piqued, we hurried inside.

Open Sesame! The entrance to Ali Baba's secret cave, disguised with scaffolding

What better way to shroud your kebab-hut in an air of exotic mystery and allure than to bestow upon it a name from the legends of the Arabian Nights? If Scheherazade were to invent a tale of turning meat and 1001 sauces it would surely bear some close resemblance to the story that I now recount. And to be fair, the owners of Ali Baba had made a certain effort with the rugs and wall paintings of Turkish women making bread. Soaking up the atmosphere, my kebab posse and I purchased our dürüms and sat down to enjoy our meal.

A glimpse inside the Cave of Wonders, and a vintage mobile telephone

I have to say, Döner Fans, that while the dürüm was enjoyable in its own way, I cannot claim that it was anything out of the ordinary. No, I did not feel the love in that kebab. The meat was tasty enough and the salad was mostly fresh, but the whole ensemble lacked a certain je ne sais quoi, a certain soupcon of savoir faire. I might also point out that the yoghurt sauce contained a number of flies, which did not warm me to the whole affair. In short, we ate and left. It was pleasant enough, but Dr Döner will not be rushing back immediately to sample the wares of Ali Baba again – not when such bastions of culinary bliss as Bilakis are so much closer to hand. And at the price of 3,70€  the dürüm was also a little expensive for what we got. A fair attempt, Ali Baba! Dr Döner bids you farewell and iyi şanslar.

Ali Baba’s rotating meat-stick of legend: food enough for forty thieves


Service: 3/5 (nice enough)

Atmosphere: 4/5 (intriguing décor and attractive rugs)

Price: 2/5 (a bit over-priced)

Taste: 3/5 (tasty enough)

To Recap: What Have We Learned?

“iyi şanslar” [ee-yee shance-larr] (good luck)

Photography courtesy of Mr. V. Virtanen