Walking down Smith Street towards Biggie Smalls I couldn’t help but double take at one of the other kebab shops along the way. It’s claim to fame is being the shop that is used for a TV show. I have seen some ads for that show (Kebab Kings) and it makes me worry for the future of that particular shop.
Sweet sounds of hip hop are blasting out of 86 Smith Street and I already like the theme of this shiny new glorified kebab shop. Having just begun its life I’m surprised that at 7pm I can pretty much go straight to the counter after a quick perusal of the wall mounted menu, and order my first taste of Shane Delia’s kebabs.
Looking around as I wait I realise that in a matter of ten minutes there are no stools or booths left in this diner. It is instant success, but will it last? The concept fits beautifully in Smith Street and I already have several people I’ll be recommending to check it out just to have a listen to what the DJ (yes, DJ) is playing.
As for the kebabs, I chose the A-Rab. It is their lamb version, accompanied by smoked hummus, herbs and pickled onion. The lamb is terrific and fills up the kebab generously, and the smoked hummus is clearly visible, adding heaps of flavour along with the Biggie hot sauce, and old skool dressing (roast garlic yoghurt). This is a contemporary combination wrapped up in a well made and toasted traditional pita. There are comfortable flavours you know, with a pop from the less traditional additions. I think it will be a kebab for certain tastes, and certain days when you feel like something a bit different.
I am not a huge eater by any stretch and the bag of small crinkle chips is monstrous in relative terms. But they have this addictive spiced butter and preserved lemon that forms almost a sparing crumb over most of the chips. I could not stop.
Biggie Smalls was not everyone’s thing when he was dominating the hip hop world, and the kebab shop of his name won’t be everyone’s thing either. I’m not a good one to judge though because I have a soft spot for a good kebab, especially one executed this well, and more than a leaning to hip hop, especially the old skool.