Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Restaurant Review: Yarralumla Turkish Halal Pide House
Fine dining is one of the great pleasures in life. I just adore a plate which comes out beautifully arranged. Eating something as beautiful as it is tasty takes the dining experience to a whole new level.
But not all great food comes in a photographic package. And not all memorable meals involve starched linen tablecloths and silver service. There is a place, and a well deserved place, in life for truly tasty, lip smacking fast food. And it is a place that usually attracts a cult following.
The Yarralumla Turkish Halal Pide House is one of those special places. A tiny shop front, in a small suburban shopping strip where each lunchtime there is a queue out the door and no parking anywhere close. And I'm not exaggerating, every time I've been I've joined the wait well outside the front door, one memorable time it was halfway down the block.
For those who don't live in Canberra, Yarralumla is one of our most expensive suburbs. It is the realm of luxury cars and embassy residences, but at any lunchtime you just need to follow the line of tradies utes and high-vis shirts to find the queue for what is arguably Canberra's best kebabs. They also make fantastic pide and have a further wide ranging menu, although I will admit I've never been able to go past the pide and kebabs.
If you head there at a standard meal time you will find yourself in a queue, but they are organised and it moves fast. Stepping up to the counter you order the salads for your kebab. Stepping to the left you specify meat and sauce. A short wait later (as your kebab is heated to final perfection) you are presented with a truly delicious all in one meal.
It may sound a bit "Soup Nazi" but the system works well. On my most recent visit there were 4 people ahead of me in the queue before we even got in the shop (and who knows how many in the queue in total) but it only took about 15 minutes from when I arrived to when I left, deliciousness in hand.
But onto the kebab. For $10, you get your choice of salad, meat and sauce wrapped in an amazing flat bread, all in a quantity that I have never been able to finish. A couple of people at my office regularly share one, having half each for a good lunch. Another of the guys asks them to do half amount of meat in an attempt to eat it all. My tactic is to eat as much as I can, then just eat the filling, sadly never being quite able to finish the delicious flat bread.
My standard order is chicken with garlic and BBQ sauce. It also contains super fresh salads, I like tomato, tabouleh, lettuce and humus. Other options are lamb, falafel or kabak (zucchini fritters), plus a few extra salad options and heaps of different sauces.
The result is not photogenic. It is not date food, I tend to end up with it all over my face. But what it is, is a delicious, quite healthy and relatively inexpensive meal that will fill you up.
Yarralumla Turkish Halal Pide House
47 Novar Street