I WAS sober as a judge, but felt like eating a kebab.
It’s a strange new sensation that’s coincided with middle-age and one I’m embracing, so I whisked the family up to Antep Mangal in Mt Lawley for a Tuesday night feed.
When we arrived the small eatery was packed, with a large Turkish family holding a birthday party in the corner.
One of the staffers said we could sit at a reserved table which hadn’t been used by the partygoers; it was a nice gesture and set the tone for some friendly service throughout our meal.
The menu had a wide range of Turkish dishes including gozleme, lahmacun (minced lamb and finely chopped veggies on a thin dough), pide (savoury baked bread with fillings) and a selection of chargrilled shishes and mains.
Antep’s Facebook page claims it is the only cafe in Perth doing such a wide range of traditional Turkish food, and everything felt and looked authentic, including people drinking glasses of Turkish tea and ayran, a refreshing yoghurt drink.
Don’t worry bogans, it also did the ubiquitous kebabs, burgers and pizzas.
My charcoal lamb shish plate ($24.90 for two skewers) was packed to the gunnels with cubes of fragrant lamb.
One skewer ($17.90) would have sufficed, but I didn’t know how big they were so went on the safe side and ordered two.
The lamb had that lovely smoky chargrilled flavour and was gorgeous when combined with some of the crispy Turkish bread and dipped in the cacik dip (Turkish tzatziki).
There was also an ezme-style dip, which had a subtle kick and was crammed with rich tomatoes, onions, garlic and assorted herbs.
I had never tried this dip before, and its coarse mashed texture added another layer of interest to the meal. Well worth a try.
The lamb was perhaps a tad over-cooked and I would have liked a more distinctive marinade, but the dish was hearty and flavoursome (I especially loved the chargrilled tomatoes and the “clean” boiled rice).
As I ate my meal I had a look around: there was a motley crew of people getting takeaway, families dining-in and the birthday shindig was in full flight.
There was a lively buzz and plenty to look at, including a man in a canary yellow tracksuit and scarlet trainers.
His attire was brighter than the face of the sun, and I almost phoned NASA to check for solar flares above Beaufort Street.
Across the table, the kids were devouring their chicken kebabs with salad ($11.50 each).
There were no complaints and I can confirm the jumbo kebabs were wrapped in chewy Turkish bread and had a nice balance of salad and salty chicken. They weren’t greasy and very addictive.
Across the table, my wife was tucking into her doner gozleme ($13).
“The feta and mozzarella cheese go really well with the doner mince, and the mixed veggies help keep things fresh. The flatbread has got that lovely savoury flavour and is perfectly cooked.”
Antep Mangal is perfect for a fun, lively meal without busting the bank, and the staff are friendly and helpful.
I’ll be back to try some of the other traditional dishes and those delicious-looking yoghurt drinks.
Antep Mangal and kebab
602 Beaufort Street Mount Lawley