Adma Shawarma

October 19, 2011

I vividly remember my first doner kebab. It was in the late 70s and I was visiting my friend Anne at Bournemouth Polytechnic. One of her flatmates offered to go out for kebabs and minutes later returned with this pitta bread full of strangely spiced strips of meat that were a revelation to one raised on fish and chips.  Oh brave new world that has such foodstuffs in it. Even now the thought brings back the heady rush of carefree student life like madelaines for, well, you know the rest.

Within five years it seemed every highstreet corner had an elephant leg in the window from which was carved bland, cardboardy meat-type substance, made edible by the addition of nuclear chilli.  The doner had become defined as the late-night snack of choice for Brits too cash-strapped or too inebriated to sit down in a curry house.

Adma Shawarma

The ubiquity of cheap, poor quality kebabs might partly explain why shawarma isn’t as widespread here as  in other parts of Europe and of course the Middle East. Shawarma is made from cuts of meat stacked,  skewered and grilled on a rotisserie, but done well the resemblance is to the debased doner is co-incidental. It  is generally served  as cuts of meat sliced from the stack and wrapped in lavash-style flat bread with a pokey garlic sauce and selection of pickles.

And that, I’m pleased to say, was lunch today.  Adma Shawarma is tucked away on Bowling Green Street, Leicester,  (round the back of Fenwicks?) in the premises that some will remember as the Durham Ox. It’s now a pleasant Lebanese cafe offering a range of lamb and chicken grills  at around £2.50/£3 (shawarma, kafta, shish tawouk, farruj mashwi), mezze including baba ghanoush, kibbeh, stuffed vine leaves and salads such as tabbouleh and fattoush. My takeaway shawarma was not haute cuisine but it was a boost to a jaded palate – gobbets of sticky chicken, seriously garlicky mayo and little taste bombs of crunchy pickles.  Staff were engagingly cheerful, though the arrival of three people at lunchtime seemed to cause a bit of crisis – I’m sure they’ll sort that out.

Well worth a little diversion for lunch, or for a cup of tea with baklava or other pastry. They’ve also got some intriguing-looking sachets of  Lebanese spice mixes which I’ll be back for.

Advertisements

6 Responses to “Adma Shawarma”

  1. […] Adma Shawarma I vividly remember my first doner kebab. It was in the late 70s and I was visiting my friend Anne at Bournemouth Polytechnic. One of her flatmates offered to go out for kebabs and minutes later ret… Source: riponia.wordpress.com […]

    Like

  2. Chris said

    Definitely going to give that one a go, Tim ! Thanks for the tip.

    Like

  3. olaolaola2 said

    Went for lunch today – it was good, but not very well organized. I hope the confusion over what food is available, and whether it is for eat-in or take-away doesn’t put people off…

    Like

    • riponia said

      Yep, that was rather my impression. In terms of service, they seemeed like enthusiastic amateurs rather experienced operators, and that can put people off. Thanks for replying – glad you had a nice lunch.

      Like

  4. Loius said

    Thanks for the post, I tried it and its the best shawarma

    Like

  5. Abdul Haseeb said

    the shawarma is very nice along with the service. if you are looking for something out of the norm and new, it is definitely a place to try. you wont be disappointed at all

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: