I’ve seen the future and it’s kebab shaped.
No. Sorry. It’s adana shaped. In a wrap. With herbs and sumac and onions laced with pomegranate vinegar. The bread for the wrap is a lovely, thin, floury lavas. But it’s not a kebab. No. It’s a wrap. Turkish with a modern twist. Boom.
The great thing about this future is all that delicious, filthy, booze fuelled late night munchies scran is, instead, legit any time of day fodder. Don’t fancy adana? Get cracking lamb grilled fresh over white hot coals instead. Or a posh falafel and hummus. It’s not an elephant’s foot of pale brown compressed meat dust carved to order, and there’s no “garlic sauce, chilli sauce, wanna jalapeño, boss?” It’s just, well, kinda nice. It requires no apology, nor incites dead badger breath regret.
Dom’s Place (the site of this futuristic vision) is in Clapton, East London.
“Of course it is”, you say.
The inside is basic chip board, low lit and stripped back. “Sure“. The kebabs, sorry, wraps, can be washed down with vino from Borough Wine, Kernel lager, Brooklyn lager, Fentimans soft drinks or raki cocktails. Coffee comes by way of London Fields’ Climpson & Sons.
“Okay, I get it. Entrepreneurial hipsters have appropriated Turkish food. Is nothing sacred anymore?”
Actually, I’m not sure that’s the case. The owners of this place, Dom included, are Turk through and through. I think it’s one of their Dad’s old kebab shops and they thought they’d strip it back and mix it up a bit. See what happens.
The whole thing feels like it’s only seventy per cent of the way there. Half / two thirds hearted. The spelling on the menu is all over the place. The food short of outstanding. So I’m not sure the high street is going to be rolling in Dom’s any time soon.
But that’s not for want of it being a good idea.
Indeed, it’s a great idea. And I suppose this isn’t really about Dom’s Place (which I liked on account of the fresh and feisty wraps and stripped back modern look, but ultimately wouldn’t travel further than the fifteen minute cycle it was for me). Rather it’s a request, a plea, a call to wrap.
The Turks really should own the hot wrap market. Come on boys, modernise some of those banging, prime sites and elbow out the Mexicans / VC backed burrito chains. Clean up the kebab shop. Get the craft beers in, but bring the Eres and Turkish rosé too (the one at Dom’s is decent, peachy, crisp, everything you want and need … so long as it’s cold). Add some banging pide, lahmacun and burnt onions to the menu. Maybe some under the counter offal. Then present it in a clean, sharp, inviting environment.
The best kebab I ever had was from Best Mangal 2 in West Kensington. But I’d always feel guilty heading in there, which is a rubbish stigma to trade under. There’s quality dotted around, but so much room for improvement. I’ve got a good feeling that’s going to happen. Alan Yau does too.
The future’s bright. The future’s Turkish.
Dom’s Place in 3 words
Pretty decent kebabary
£7-8 a wrap. Get a couple of beers in while your there. There are sides – hummus, olives, nuts, sweet potato fries etc. So unless it’s just a take away, think £15-20 pp.
doms-place.com – 199 Lower Clapton Road, E5 8EG – 020 8985 5454