German I hear you say? When did Germans start making doners? What kind of blasphemy is this?
Well, the ‘traditional’ Turkish doner kebab was introduced to Germany many years ago by the German Turk community. One of the doner joints was called German Doner Kebab back in the 80’s in Berlin. First forward thirty years the brand innovated in order to operate globally and introduce the ‘doner kebab’ to the Middle East where I’ve heard it’s rather popular.
I’m not a huge fan of doner meat, mainly because I find the lamb smelly and too greasy, not to mention one doner kebab can have well over 1000 calories. When I heard about German Doner Kebab I was sceptical, even when I learnt it’s 100% lean meat with no additives or preservatives.
However I went along to give it a try at the pre-opening event in the new Croydon branch and I have to admit I was wrong — first time for everything right? Four things stood out for me about German Doner Kebab.
Firstly the actual restaurant does not look like your ordinary takeaway joint. It’s artistic decor and minimalist design actually makes you want to eat there and not take your food home. With photos from around the world and bold branding it actually looks pretty slick. Even the takeaway boxes are fancy. Seriously — see pic below.
Secondly German Doner Kebab doesn’t serve lamb! It uses halal veal and chicken in all its branches round the world. So guess what? No gristle and no smell. Just nice tasting meat. There is no soggy pitta bread or wraps, they use bread baked in Germany, frozen and then exported around the world. The bread is tasty and adds to the whole ‘gourmet’ doner experience. If you prefer a gluten-free option, you can get a Doner Kebab Box which is doner meat and salad with chips in a convenient little box. My kids loved this as it was just meat and chips (minus the salad). Not only that GDK also serves Turkish pizzas and other tasty treats.
Thirdly GDK serves some really decent drinks like Aloe Vera Juice, Ayran, Appletiser and fizzy drinks in the retro glass bottles. Also Capri Suns for the kids! Makes a change from the usual can of Coke, 7Up and Fanta option.
Fourthly — What’s life without a bit of sauce? Sauces are served in little plastic containers. You get all three to put on as you please – chilli, garlic and yogurt. The yogurt one is especially tasty, but for me these sauces make the meal because they’re different to your standard take away sauces. Makes a huge difference.
A guilt free doner kebab? If you don’t have chips and a fizzy drink then this is exactly what GDK is. I am a complete convert and now if I ever have a doner kebab it will be from GDK.
Halal Status: GDK is owned by a Muslim so all franchises serve halal meat. Verified on website. Alcohol: N, Pork: N.
Address: 27 George Street, Croydon, CR0 1LB — Branches across the country
Parking: Street parking is non-existent – NCP car park 2 mins walk. Nearest station: East Croydon
Cost: £ — £6.99 for a doner kebab meal.