Guest Post: Itaewon Kebap Challenge
Here is a guest post from A Fat Girl’s Food Guide written and photographed by the fabulous Gemma. It has been reprinted with permission. Be sure to check our her great cooking and eating tips.
Last weekend I decided to put my powers of eating to good use and discover where to get Itaewon’s best kebab. I like to think of myself as quite the kebab connoisseur. They all taste different depending where in the world you buy them but they are all generally the same. I have sampled every Kebab in town on numerous occasions. My record for one night was 5. Though this was over many hours in case you’re turning away in disgust at my gluttony.
To make things fair I ordered the same kebab at every venue. A chicken kebab with everything, a little spicy with extra white sauce. God how I love the kebab white sauce, I could take a bath in it! I was hoping that I would have 5 venues to choose from but Pasha closed down. This was actually my least favourite kebab venue anyway, having only been there once and I had vowed never to return .
The contenders were Mr Kebab, Ankara Picnic, Sultan and the street kebabs.
First up was the street kebab. There are various vans that tend to set up shop on Friday and Saturday night just on the main crossing in Itaewon by exits 1 and 4. Their kebabs are the most expensive at 5,000 for a chicken and a whopping 6,000 for lamb. I used to be rather fond of the street ones but this was quite a poor offering. The meat was cold and it was also rather thin. They do get bonus points for the spicy potatoes they included. But overall this one wasn’t great, but the quality can vary from van to van. I assume I’m very drunk when I am usually buying these.
Next stop was Ankara Picnic. They are located just by exit 3 of Itaewon station. Their chicken kebab cost 4,000 and a lamb kebab is 5,000. They were very generous with their tasty white sauce. They also included tomatoes which really helped balance the ingredients. They were very busy though and I had to wait a good ten minutes before getting served. They have seating for about 8 people and serve soft drinks.
Mr kebab has two locations in Itaewon but I visited the branch next to Dunkin Donuts. They also have a branch in Songtan. You find information on all their stores on their website. This kebab was a good size and well filled. However when I unwrapped it to take a picture it unravelled. The meat in this one definitely had the best flavour. The white sauce was also really good and there was plenty of salad. They have now started including potato wedges in the kebab which I’m not sure if I love or not. This location is the biggest with seating for 20-30 and they have a bathroom! Always good after a few too many drinks. They have a wide selection of kebabs, pilafs, drinks, ice-cream, and desserts. They also have a loyalty card which gets you a free kebab for every 11 that you buy.
Last up is Sultan Kebab located near exit 3 around the corner from Ankara picnic, in the little alley way just next to Taco Bell. Their prices are the cheapest in town with 4,000 for a chicken and 4,500 for lamb. It was also the largest kebab I was given. Usually Sultan Kebab is my favourite but this one was just lacking a little in flavour compared to Mr. Kebab. There were no tomatoes which I think affected the taste. They too serve a variety of kebabs, drinks, ice cream, and baklava. They have seating for 10 people and once again have a loyalty card which gets you a free one for every 10 you buy.
Overall on this occasion first place had to go to Mr Kebab! It had the best flavour of all, it’s cheap and they have a loyalty card and a loo. What more could you want? Second place I am giving to Sultan Kebab. Ankara’s kebab was slightly better, but there wasn’t much in it. The queue is always much smaller at Sultan Kebab and they have a loyalty card which makes it better in my book. Fourth place was the kebab on the street, they are too expensive and have no drinks or facilities. Where’s your favourite kebab?