Edinburgh kebab shops thriving as ‘gourmet’ chain to open this summer on Lothian Road

Much-maligned as a late night takeaway snack scoffed after a boozy night out, the humble kebabs have long been the bottom of the fast food chain.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 4th April 2019, 6:02 am
Verdo Turkish Restaurant, Newington Road, Edinburgh.
Verdo Turkish Restaurant, Newington Road, Edinburgh.

But the Capital is very much in the grip of a ‘kebab renaissance’ set to rival the gourmet burger fad and burrito bonanza that has passed before it.

And now a major international chain is opening on Lothian Road, adding a “nutritionally sound” gourmet doner outlet to the city centre’s food scene.

The German Doner Kebab shop, which first opened in Berlin in 1989, is set to open in former the former Italian restaurant Dario’s on Lothian Road.

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Ada Turkish Restaurant, Antigua Street, Edinburgh.

The city boasts an already thriving scene of Turkish and Greek restaurants dishing up authentic plates of food worthy of great distance from the “after hours” face-stuffer stigma associated with less traditional takeaways.

Ada Restaurant, serving “Turkish cuisine made right”, on Antigua Street recently scooped the Best Kebab House in Scotland award at the British Kebab Awards and Verdo, in Newington, was highly recommended.

The Newington Road restaurant said they take great pride in serving their customers good value meals made with fresh meat and special marinades.

Manager and chef Resul Gundog said: “We’re trying to bring the taste of Turkey to Edinburgh, to our guests. We cook all of our meals in front of our guests who can see how their meal is prepared on our authentic BBQ by our experienced chefs.”

After fours years in the city, the team are delighted to have been recognised for the work they put in with authenticity and customer service at the heart of what they do. “We’re not a late night takeaway kebab shop” he added. “We are a proper sit-down restaurant where families come for the quality food and nice atmosphere.”

High-end restaurant Hanam’s on Johnstone Terrace has been specialising in Kurdish and Middle Eastern cuisine since 2005 and serves a selection of refined kebab-based dishes including chicken or lamb shawarma wraps as well as speciality Kurdish kebabs. Sister restaurants Pomegranate on Antigua Street and Laila’s Bistro on Cockburn Street also have plenty of quality kebab options.

And flying the flag for the Greek Gyros – marinated meet fillet – is Ola Kala on Morrison Street.

Distinctive from the Turkish kebab, the signature Greek dish is often served wrapped in a Greek flatbread. It is usually chicken or shaved pork marinated in herbs, lemon and olive oil. Although sometimes mistaken for kebab, the Ola Kala team said that the Greek food comes down to balance and quality Gyros, which means round, turn, rotisserie, is unique because of the traditions of meat roasting and slow cooking involved in the preparation. A far cry from twilight treats designed to mop-up excess the cafe, run by a Greek couple ensure the authentic flavour of Greece is packed into every bite.