Tiny kebab house behind the green door…

Each time I’ve been to Adana, my home town, I always consult only one person in order to eat a real Adana Kebab. He is a friend of mine (from our childhood periods), Emre Dalgic, who is a Pharmacist in Adana. This time, I got really surprised when he told me that “I will take you a very tiny place which could be the tiniest here”… Some of our friends from Adana talks about this place that the restaurants in Vietnam and Cambodia are even tinier than this place which I could not believe at all. I started to think about the tiny Chinese restaurant which we’ve been in Bangkok’s Chinatown… I said to myself “impossible to be like that!”…

Yes, actually this place in Adana is not as tiny as the one in Bangkok, however, I may certainly say that there is a real tiny kebab house in Adana…  It is located on Ordu street, very close to Adana’s football stadium. They changed a small old house to a kebab heaven. There is no signboard, no name… When you look at this house from the street, you can never understand that inside there is a restaurant. However, the ones who love real food, I mean the real foodies, they have discovered this place and open the green wooden door of this house…

We do it so and open that green little wooden door… There is a small room on the right hand with four tables only… The waiter takes us to this room since we had called this place before… Otherwise it would be a certain matter that we may wait for a while to find a table… It was quite crowded with “kebab lovers”…  There are also some small 2-3 tables in front of the grill… and that’s it!…

There is a real mobility and action in front of the grill… The voice coming from the knife while they prepare “crushed tomato salad” reminds me one of the best tiny kebab house in Adana “Omur Ocakbasi” located in Dortyolagzi district many years ago… I discuss with Emre about these types of old kebab houses in Adana… Unfortunately there is no more of those; “Omur Ocakbasi” is even already closed…

One of the best “crushed tomato salad” I’ve ever eaten since long time comes to our table… This is not a joke style salad, this is a real “crushed tomato salad”… This shows you the answers to the questions such as “how to prepare a good tomato salad?” “What ingredients you have to put” “What type of intensity the salad should have” and “how hot and spicy it should be” and so on… I believe that for a long time I will remember this salad and I will no more like any others when I go to other restaurants…

Smoked onions come after the salad. It is an incredible appetizer actually which you feel the real smoky flavors of the onions (comes from the ashes in the grill) the hot spicy notes, some sweetness, intensity of all these flavors one by one are really nice…

After a while the waiter brings us “grilled ribs” as a “starter”… The ribs are served on the top of oiled breads… They are boneless and also there are some grilled green peppers are on the top of the ribs… The breads are oiled on the grilled while grilling the ribs… Excellent! When you eat the ribs they just melt in your mouth… A fantastic dish…

In the meanwhile I try to check out the environment of the kebab house… A young waiter goes out with a large aluminum tray for a take away service… There is a large paper as a cover of the tray… It’s been so long that I’ve not seen this type of service… In the past when we were calling for kebab, always such trays would come to our homes from the kebab restaurants… I believe that all people from Adana would have eaten kebabs from these trays…

So then the “big event” comes while we finish the ribs… The mixed kebab plate comes to the table together with a delicious onion salad contains sumac and chopped parsley… We’ve got again grilled and oiled bread on the bottom of the plate, Adana kebab, chicken shish and “grilled cutlets” (kulbasti) together with grilled green hot peppers…

When you put Adana kebab and onion salad inside the bread and eat it together with the “crushed tomato salad” that is a “peak point”… This would be a real gastronomic taste explosion which can never be defined…

Adana kebab is a high level kebab, it is oily (the oil comes from the tail of the lamb) and minced by hand… But chicken shish has a higher level. It can be asked “how a chicken shish can be high level?”, then I may answer “go and eat”… a perfect seasoning meets with the smoky flavors of the grill and when it is eaten together with the smoked onion it makes another peak point…

But, the highest level is the “grilled cutlets”… It’s been long time that I’ve never eaten such a perfect one… This reminds me the “cartoon film” “Ratatouille”… The scene that the inspector “Ego” comes to the restaurant and eats the ratatouille and he reminds about his childhood etc… This is such a real effect for me… It is so hard that when it comes to a perfectly seasoned “grilled cutlet” (seasoning should be done by thyme) no other grilled meat can pass it… I wish to drink some good red wine at the same time…

Unfortunately, there is no alcohol in this place, so that I prefer not to drink anything with the dishes. My wife prefers to drink “ayran” (water with yogurt) and Emre decides Coke… And the total bill is only 40 TL for all… This is an absolute “10 points” from me for quality-price balance…

It’s a reality that “the best kebab is eaten in a tiny kebab house in Adana”…

So, can we drink wine together with Adana kebab? So wait for the next post :)…

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About Murat Mumcuoglu

Crazy about wine & gastronomy... Chef & Owner of Istanbul's smallest tapas bar "Hola Panini & Tapas" located in Moda district...
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