451 Sydney Rd
Coburg, VIC 3058
Chris is my other half, I am sure of it. If I had said to anyone else that I wanted something eat-y for lunch, they probably would’ve given me a funny look and be done with me. But Chris understands me; when I say I want something eat-y, he nods sagely and agrees, before letting me pick out a restaurant that is sufficiently eat-y for my liking. And what exactly does eat-y mean? I couldn’t tell you if I tried, but I know that Melbourne Kebab Station fits the bill perfectly.
From the outside, Melbourne Kebab Station looks like every other Middle Eastern restaurant along Sydney Road – pictures on the windows, dips behind the glass, and meat revolving slowly on giant spits. But when you realize it’s the only restaurant packed to the rafters on a Saturday morning, the seats as valuable of a commodity as 24 carat gold, its reputation as one of Melbourne’s most highly regarded kebab shops becomes clear.
|Large Doner Meal ($21)
Chris talked me into getting the Large Doner Meal ($21) instead of the small, and it was a glorious mistake. Our backsides had barely hit the seats that we had so painstakingly captured before a massive plate of meat, salad, and rice was slapped onto the table, along with a couple of dips and a basket of fresh Turkish bread.
This plate is perfect for those of you who love kebabs and DIY in equal measure. We were given segments of pillowy Turkish bread with shells that crackled as we split it in two to stuff with a mixture of smoky meat, salad, and dips. There was not a single thing we could fault; the mixture of chicken and lamb off the spit was succulent and fatty, the juices soaking into a bed of fluffy rice. We had a cacik (tzatziki essentially) and an eggplant dip on the side, which were subtly creamy and tangy. The tabouli was also something; instead of wilted greens in half a cup of lemon juice, this was a sprightly mixture of coarsely chopped parsley – dazzlingly green – tossed with diced tomato and cucumber, and just enough lemon to keep the flavours vividly fresh. Even the Coke we got seemed to taste better than usual.
After stuffing our faces, we still had a good third of the plate left, though admittedly we did eat way more of the fantastic Turkish bread than we should have. Like most places on Sydney Road, it may not be haute cuisine, but it’s bloody delicious and great value for money. Three people could feast on grilled meat, have some dessert if there’s still room, and still have change from a tenner – what more could you want?
Rating: 15/20 – the eat-y-est.
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit.