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!
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…
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!
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…
Freshly baked naan bread – my 3rd favourite carb in the entire world (after roti & croissants)
- 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…
- 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!
- that they’re more than 3 years old and I’m only finding out about them now! How can this be?
Schwarma tasting plate
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…
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!
Burhan’s Butcher and Kebab
79 Church Street Mayfair Johannesburg
011 025 1123