Snack Istanbul – Willemsstraat, Brussels

Hello Döner Fans. Yes it is confusing, I know – I have already reviewed a Snack Istanbul in Brussels. Imagine my surprise and delight when I found that there are two of them!

Who is this second pretender to the Snack Istanbul throne?

I don’t know if they are part of a chain. They are located barely 5 minutes apart from each other, so if they are not related then I wouldn’t be surprised if there is an intense rivalry going on. Perhaps it is for this reason that neither can be found on Google Maps. Perhaps there is a court case on-going.

It was last Thursday when I first chose to grace Snack Istanbul with my custom. There had been drinks at Place du Luxembourg (where one must go drinking on a Thursday night if one is to become a success) and in the aftermath of our libations a companion and I went off in search of sweaty meat. And we found it!

As I live in the district of Saint-Josse, I have felt it necessary to scan all available kebab shops in the area. I had clocked this second Snack Istanbul days before, and once I was certain that I wasn’t tripping, I vowed to visit it with alacrity. What better chance than in a post-drinking lust for döner?

And so, in the wet, dark Brussels night, we wove our way past the concrete and glass monoliths of the European Quarter, then on into the ramshackle sprawl of Saint-Josse. And before long, there! We espied the tell-tale neon glow that betrayed the presence of a kebab shop. Döner heaven was surely mere footsteps away!

The awesome interior of Snack Istanbul.

We entered. The shop was run by two jolly, grizzled men. Their counter was overflowing with fresh salad, even at this time of night, and it brimmed with other Turkish treats that I yearned to try. But no, every place must be judged by the same standards! And so I ordered a dürüm menu for 6 Euros. In the back of my mind was the thought that at Turkuaz the same meal would have been a Euro cheaper.

Just some of the veg on offer at Snack Istanbul. Try to ignore the red cabbage.

I can’t comment much on the intervening time between ordering and eating, because nothing really happened. I took what I thought were rather artsy shots of the interior of the kebab shop, which on later viewing turned out to be rubbish. There was a decent crowd eating at Snack Istanbul, though, which is always a good sign.

An artsy shot that made the cut. It's a window, but from the INside.

We took our dürüms back home and ate them there, surrounded by home comforts. And I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. After a disappointing experience at Brussels’ other Snack Istanbul, my hopes had not been high. But the kebab was actually very good. It was meaty, it was moist, it had good texture, and the sauces married it all together delightfully. It will be a welcome alternative if ever I find that Turkuaz has closed early. Well done, Snack Istanbul! I hope you win in your dispute with those charlatans on Leuvensesteenweg!

The kebab is consumed back in the Dr Döner man-cave, surrounded by detritus.


Service: 4/5 (jolly)

Atmosphere: 4/5 (cosy)

Price: 3/5 (a Euro more expensive than Turkuaz)

Taste: 3/5 (quite nice)

Photography by Dr. Döner