Happy New Year, Döner Fans! And what a year this promises to be. A whole twelve months stuffed to overflowing with potential kebabs, lahmacuns and kapsalons all waiting to be eaten. What new food-related surprises, disappointments and delights will 2015 bring to us all? Let me start off with an homage to the passing of 2014, with a report on the last kebab of that illustrious year, which I consumed on the 19th of December. It was a cold, windy Friday and darkness had fallen. There were plans afoot to go a-wassailing in the dive bars of Amsterdam, and hearty sustenance was required before festivities could begin. To this end, I traipsed down Molukkenstraat in Amsterdam’s Southeast in search of some food for the soul. It was there that I happened upon Bocadillos.
I don’t know exactly why it calls itself Bocadillos, since neither the staff nor the cuisine appear to be Spanish. In any case, the neon light lured me into the restaurant’s plasticky clutches and on perusing the menu I found that many sorts of kapsalon were on offer. Hurray! In broken Dutch I ordered a ‘kapsalon kefta’ for the sum of 5 Euros, and the heavyset man behind the counter began preparing it for me. He sweated in the heat as he crafted the feast. This particular kapsalon was to consist of long fingers of meatball (kefta) rather than standard döner meat, and these spiced fingers of meat were grilled and chopped before my eyes. Then, they were placed in their aluminium vessel upon a bed of fresh chips, then sprinkled with cheese and doused in spicy, garlicky sauces. The whole affair was then put into the oven to melt together into an artery-thickening mess of fatty goodness. Once ready, it was removed from the oven and a layer of salad was added, to give the illusion that this was a balanced meal. Lettuce, tomato, cucumber, more sauces, and finally a few green olives were placed on top to complete the kapsalon. After paying the man, I smuggled it hastily back to Döner HQ to eat.
I have to say, the kapsalon was sinfully delicious. It was one of those meals you have to slow down to enjoy, for fear of eating it too fast and then being left frustrated and unfulfilled. The man at Bocadillos had prepared a meal of true excellence. I forgave him the suspicious glances he’d thrown me while making my kapsalon, and the glistening layer of sweat that covered his head and face as he slaved over the hot grill. I forgave the curt manner with which he had squirted the sauces joylessly onto my chips, and the atmosphere of vague hostility which permeated his shop. I would ride all those rapids again and gladly, for another portion of Señor Bocadillos’ glorious kapsalon. Bravo, Bocadillos! You have upheld the high standard set by Fuat Bey and his Snackwagen. Dr Döner will return again soon to break in the first meal of 2015, and fend off the January chill with a fatty layer of kapsalon!
Service: 2/5 (sweaty and suspicious)
Atmosphere: 2/5 (plasticky and sticky)
Price: 3/5 (standard)
Taste: 5/5 (oh, my god)
Photographs taken by Dr. Döner