Hello, Döner Fans. This time we are back in Brussels. Let me lay the scene. It was this Monday past, and I went looking for a kebab. It was a cold, wet day, like so many days here in Brussels, and my initial plan was to go to Turkuaz. Ah, Turkuaz! That oasis of meaty joy in a barren urban desert! I have been to Turkuaz more times than it is polite to mention. But as this blog is always craving for newer, fresher reviews, I thought I ought to try somewhere else.
There is a place not far from Turkuaz, close to Madou metro station, which I had passed several times before. In fact, I had eaten there once a few weeks ago at about 5am… but the less I say about that the better. (They had run out of kebab meat so they chopped up a strange, gristly burger and shoved it in some bread and called it a ‘Burger Dürüm’.) Anyway, I thought it was time to give the place a proper try. And so that night I approached its humble neon premises. Without further distraction, I give you: Snack Istanbul!
Snack Istanbul is located on Chaussée de Louvain (or Leuvensesteenweg) and is so exclusive that it doesn’t even show up on Google Maps. It has a big neon sign protruding onto the street so you don’t miss it, though. I went in around 8pm with an open mind. It was empty, apart from a man behind the counter who looked surprised to see me, as if he had not expected to serve any food tonight. I was tempted by the Dürüm Menu (dürüm, chips and a drink) which you can get at Turkuaz for 5 Euros, but at Snack Istanbul this costs 7 Euros. So I ordered a döner instead.
The order went smoothly, apart from one small linguistic slip-up. When it came to sauces I once again forgot the French word for garlic, and so I just said ‘garlic’. But, embarrassed by this, I asked him ‘Comment est-ce qu’on dit garlic en français’, and he gladly told me. There is no end to one’s learning, Döner Fans! But, for the life of me, I no longer remember what the word was.
My döner was duly slapped together and I took an ayran from the fridge. As I watched him making the kebab I surreptitiously took photos of his shop, while Sash’s Ecuador played in the background. When the food was handed over, I asked how much it was. The man gave me a sidelong look and appeared to be calculating it in his head. I had the uncomfortable feeling that he was calculating how many cents he could screw me out of. ‘Cinq euro,’ he announced. I didn’t argue. But at Turkuaz I would have got chips as well for that price.
I took the kebab home and ate it. It was very average. The meat seemed a bit dry and non-descript (it might have been chicken) and the sauce was a bit gluggy. The bread tasted a bit burnt from the grill. All in all, it was not a particularly decent kebab. I washed it down with my ayran, licked my delicate and well-formed fingers, and decided that no, I would not be rushing back to Snack Istanbul anytime soon. I don’t see why anyone would go there when the culinary delights of Turkuaz are a five minute walk away, and available at lower prices. Therefore my advice is: take the extra five minutes to get to Turkuaz, as you will not find kebab-joy at Snack Istanbul. Disagree? Write a comment. That’s all for now, Döner Fans!
Service: 3/5 (good for linguistic tips)
Atmosphere: 2/5 (barren)
Price: 2/5 (seemed like more than it should have been)
Taste: 2/5 (very plain)
Photographs taken by Dr. Döner