This post is originally from October 2015, and is being posted for the first time today.
Hello again Döner Fans. Are things finally starting to look up? I don’t want to speak too soon, but it seems like they just might be. On a dark, autumnal evening this week I went to pick up the keys to my new abode – a glamorous apartment in the Zuid area – meaning that my sentence in purgatory at Amsterdam’s most affordable hotel might soon be over. Dr Döner is homeless no more! And yet, as if that were not good news enough, the trek back from the new apartment to the hotel was fortuitously punctuated by a delicious culinary detour. Alighting from the number 15 bus at Hoofddorpplein, I espied the glowing sign of Kebab Huis Baran. There were several people waiting inside – surely a good sign? I barged in and, on seeing that the place seemed to specialise in lahmacun, I ordered a lahmacun with Döner meat and salad.
While waiting, I noticed that the menu boasted a number of rather questionable options. What, I ask you, is the justification for a dürüm with tuna and cheese? It certainly is not a dish I have ever seen served in the kebab houses of Istanbul. I started to wonder if I had made a wise choice in visiting this place. Happily though, the döner meat was in fact on display and looked fairly fresh as it stood erect in front of its heating plate. A quick glance showed that they served only chicken in this establishment. Only one young, burly man was working behind the counter, and he was jolly and efficient as he chatted to the customers, serving up huge portions of kapsalon to the people waiting in front of me. He had a hairy beard and a pony tail and gave off an air of good-naturedness. He cheerfully exchanged pleasantries with one customer in Turkish.
When it came to my turn to be served, we bantered in Dutch as he asked me which toppings I wanted. At least, I think we bantered. My Dutch is still rusty, so I did not really know what he was saying. But it was all cheery enough. He handed over the lahmacun, and then – I don’t quite know why, perhaps it was the good mood I was in – I also bought an Ayran just for the sheer thrill of it. I almost never drink Ayran. But today I fancied it. Altogether, the lahmacun and the drink cost 5,50 Euros. He offered me a separate carrier bag for the Ayran. I declined. Then I hurried off to my hotel to devour it all.
I don’t know quite what he did to it – I didn’t see all the toppings, as I was surreptitiously trying to photograph the menu at the time – but I have to say, and I do not say this lightly, that the kebab was absolutely scrumptious. It tingled on the tongue. The lahmacun was a delightful mix of soft and oven-fired crunchy, and the meat, sauces and salad were all moist, juicy and full of flavour. I was quite surprised at just how good it all was. Even the Ayran was delicious and helped to wash it all down in an authentic fashion. The upshot of this is that I would thoroughly recommend Kebab Huis Baran to anyone lurking in the vicinity of Hoofddorpplein. It is well worth a visit. So, as I lick the sauces off my fingers, I shall sign off and wish you a good week! Until we meet again, Döner Fans, take care!
Service: 5/5 (nice and jolly)
Atmosphere: 4/5 (welcoming)
Price: 3/5 (fine)
Taste: 5/5 (delicious!)
Photography provided by Dr. Döner