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Burhan’s Butcher and Kebab- why didnt anyone tell me?!

I sometimes feel bad that I’m not often/easily blown away by food and then I find a place like Burhan’s Butcher and Kebab shop and I remember why I have standards!

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The credit for finding this one goes to the hubby – think he read about it in House & Leisure, so one Saturday afternoon with a case of cabin fever, we headed over. I wasn’t even really taking note of where we were driving but before long I looked up and we’d parked outside Burhan’s Butcher and Kebab.

For a second I think I’m Mint Road Fordsburg. As we walk up to the restaurant the scene is pretty typical of the Mint Road chaos. On the left there is a butchery (we popped in for a second, its super clean) & on right is what looks like the standard chicken tikka type of set up. There’s a massive grill spewing smoke and though I’m meters away I can hear and smell sizzling meat. Though you can’t actually see if from the pavement, you can tell there’s a well-greased production line back there. On the right men are huddled in a corner of the porch drinking tea and speaking loudly in Turkish. One gets up to slice some meat from the  rotating spit and holds the front door open for us…

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We started very apprehensively with lahmacun (like a focaccia but topped with spicy mince). You can’t see it well in the picture but it comes in 3 potions/layers (R45). We kept telling ourselves to stop & that each slice was our last but we couldn’t!

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Mains – chicken chops (at the manager’s recommendation – their speciality). Basically its a flattened, quarter chicken (leg & thigh, my favourite!) well marinate and the bones almost fall out as soon as you touch them…

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Freshly baked naan bread  – my 3rd favourite carb in the entire world (after roti & croissants)

Lust

  • the food! Oh my God, the food! All the meat is essentially braaied except for the schwarma meat that’s on a rotating vertical spilt (like you’ve seen at Anat). It’s incredibly well spiced & flavourful (& I don’t mean hot)
  • if it wasn’t for the manager I’d say that the service was pretty ordinary (as expected for a value-for-money family friendly type of establishment). He checked on us personally 2/3 times, was very happy to make recommendations since it was our 1st visit. He even brought over tasting plate of schwarma meat while we waited for our mains…

Love

  • location – it’s just 3 kms from home for me!
  • the pricing feels like they’re doing themselves a disservice. Imagine this – for two people we shared starter & dessert & each had each had: a main, 2 soft drinks & tea  & the bill came to under R200!

Loathe

  • that they’re more than 3 years old and I’m only finding out about them now! How can this be?

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Schwarma tasting plate

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On our second visit (all in the space of a week) the manager brought over a tasting plate of baklava. I’m not into Greek desserts so I skipped but at least 2 people have told me theirs is the best in Jozi…

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Burhan’s Butcher and Kebab is by no means fancy. The décor is an interesting mismatch and I recommend you rather use your loo at home. But you know you’re at an authentic Turkish place when you hear Turkish spoken at 2 tables within earshot!

Obviously so many Istanbul memories come flooding back…

Need to know

  • all meals come with a variety of Turkish salads. I didn’t have any the 1st time we went but the second time I started with a tiny bit of everything. Adds even more flavour – you must have!
  • they do take-always too – you can call & order ahead
  • they’re closed on Mondays

If I ran the place

  • I’d have a food baby!
  • I would add freshly squeezed juice to the menu – I love that about Istanbul
  • They would probably need a different setup for this altogether (like a garden) but It would be pretty amazing if they served hubbly…

Burhan’s Butcher and Kebab is very comfortably in my top 3 Jozi restaurants. Just go!

W

 

Burhan’s Butcher and Kebab

79  Church Street Mayfair Johannesburg

011 025 1123

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