Germany still has the best Doner Kebabs: Akdeniz Firini

The above picture is what I want to see when I enter a proper Doner Kebab shop: a person shaving off pieces of me(at) from a rotating spit. (Left veal, right chicken)

This is also one of the major differences to the Doner Kebab in Norway, and why even though I have found the best ones so far in Oslo with Balkan Pizza & Kebab House Bislett and Dronningens Kebab, both are worlds apart of the quality you get at almost every german Doner Kebab place. Just by comparing the pictures alone you will notice it as well.

As a "show off" I purposely went to a place with a very good reputation in my home town. It is situated in the middle of Lohberg, Dinslaken - an area notorious for its large Turkish community. It does not get more authentic than this. This is the real deal. The Doner Kebab establishment.

I ordered a Doner Teller (Tallerken), without Salad, and Ayran as a drink:

So what makes a good Doner Kebab (experience)?

  1. Meat: spice and quality of meat. Traditionally this would be veal or chicken. Akdeniz made no mistake to specifically mention that this was veal (and not beef) on the menu
  2. Bread: it has to be Turkish style flat bread. Akdeniz is also a bakery so I was a bit disappointed that they did not use a fresh loaf, and that they toasted it. I think un-toasted would have been better given that its served as side (therefore not being hydrated by meat juice or sauce enough)
  3. Sauce: Tzatziki needs to be an option. Sometimes hot sauces (mayo based?) might be offered as well, but Tzatziki always needs to be available
  4. Salad: this I suppose is very subjective. In Germany you usually get Onions, Green + Red Cabbage slaw, pickled green chilli peppers, Feta cheese - thats it, no corn ;)
How good was the meat? Well see for your self:

Closer... Notice how they drizzled some dry spice blend which among includes (I think) oregano and rosemary? It definitely gives it that specific Doner kebab meat umami flavour.

Key points:

  • look at the size of the meat pieces. That is because they shave off from the large skewer and transfer that directly to the plate: no secondary chopping, no secondary frying
  • the color of the meat is very vibrant, mixed, beautiful. That is because it is not old, and most importantly: it is not being re-fried - so it is not fried dark and dry
  • the perfect consistency, it is juicy and fatty from it self, with a fibre-y meat profile, with a more crispy/caramelised outside layer, it is not oily.

The bad:

  • The bread could have been fresh and not toasted to avoid it being super dry
  • No sitting area and only two standing tables inside, somehow the place felt large enough to accommodate - so plan your trip accordingly!

The good:

  • Everything! The Doner Kebab (Teller) was perfect and had everything I was expecting!

Conclusion: Obviously Dinslaken is a small place, and those who live there already know of Akdeniz Firini, but should you ever be around in that area and you are keen on having the best Doner Kebab, that would be the place to go :)

Bonus: after you finished your Doner, in the same shop you can also get baked deserts:


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