It's just a kebab shop, but it's not just any kebab shop. It's actually possibly the best regarded kebab shop in Melbourne, and after our lunch I can understand why.
You wouldn't know that though just looking from the outside. Sure it looks cleaner and better lit than most, but it's got the usual rotating skewered meats, and just a handful of tables situated much too close to the glass window. Admittedly the cooking meat does look more appetising than in most kebab shops, but not enough to say that this place is in any way special.
What sets it apart though is the food. While there were a couple of minor issues, most of the food wouldn't have been out of place in a restaurant rather than a kebab joint. The only major issue - selling great beer food in a halal place meant no beer!
For me (and I suspect Kit Kat as well) the highlight was the Iskender. I think both of us would put this right up there with our favourite Turkish foods, a delicious mix of meat with yoghurt and tomato sauce. What made this dish for me though were not the juicy meats or well flavoured sauce, but the bread over which the meats had been served. It was almost like a taste of childhood, when my mother used to make lasagne with too much meat and the juices would soak into the pasta, rendering it slightly soft but unbelievably delicious. The large serve was very generous, but even when full I continued eating, determined that none would go to waste.
Almost as good was the warm, freshly baked bread eaten with the carrot and capsicum dips. While these looked a little plain on the plate they were well tasty, better than my usually preferred hommus and eggplant dips which we also ordered. The other thing which was surprisingly good, the light, fluffy and well separated rice.
As mentioned a little bit disappointing was the hommus and eggplant dips, as well as the lamb doner that I thought was slightly dry. Still, that’s being a bit picky, as if the other food hadn't been as good we would probably have been categorised them as better than typical kebab shop fare. The falafel on the other hand were a bit average, more hockey puck than fluffy.
Service was mixed, with the woman who took our order appearing a bit distracted and unhappy, whereas we were also offered a container to take away the remaining doner we were struggling to finish without needing to ask. On the slightly weird side was the reserved sign placed on our table when we were waiting for our final dish.
Within its limitations we all thought Melbourne Kebab Station was pretty good. That’s without even trying the kebabs, which looked excellent. The food is good, it was an ok if crowded place to eat and as a whole the service was reasonable and friendly. Size of serve is enormous for the price, with a small meal probably enough to feed two.
Food - 8
Ambience - 6
Service - 6.5
Price - 8
10/459 Sydney Road
Coburg VIC 3058
Tel: (03) 9355 7766