Service is fast and friendly. Kebabs are well priced, well flavoured, and sauced – much better than other local alternatives.
Their spinach and cheese gozleme ($13.50) is also good.
COMMENTS The opening hours (essentially Monday-Sunday 0900-2030/2100) could be a bit better. I think they must open so early because they also serve coffee, but I wish they would close a bit later so that we could get their kebabs delivered to work on a night shift rather than settle for inferior alternatives. As it stands, CK Kebab is a good option for the nocturnist who occasionally visits the adjacent Coles to buy snacks for his nursing colleagues before his shift.
Our Egyptian colleague recommended Armani Restaurant as the victim of a recent work lunch. We each had a Chicken Shawarma Roll ($9). These rolls were miniature in size, but large in taste – reminiscent of the rolls at Fatima’s in Surry Hills. They were tightly packed pita rolls, with a filling of chicken, lettuce, pickles, and toum. The dominant ingredient was the chicken, with the roll containing significantly less greenery than your regular kebab. The strong garlic and pickle flavours were quite good, though the roll did lack a strong sense of freshness which is normally brought to the table by tomato, onion, or tabouli – three elements which are not authentic to Levantine Arabic shawarma but still delicious.
This is a strong roll and I would like to eat it again some day.
My beef-only mixed kebab (why?) was one of the worst I’ve had in recent memory. In fact, the only kebab I remember that was worse than this was at Ali Baba’s at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport, which I think I ate in on around 2014-15. Problems with this kebab, aside from getting my order wrong, included the salad and tabouli, which was unusually hard, jagged, and non-fragrant. In addition to this there was just something off about the flavour of the kebab, a certain wrongness that was difficult to put into words. Having had hundreds of kebabs in my day (I used to be quite the connoisseur before I started this blog and broadened my culinary horizons) I know what a kebab should taste like, and this wasn’t it.
“If you hated Jimmy’s so much, why did you go back?” I hear you ask. My second run-in with Jimmy’s was outside of my control. One of my nocturnist colleagues had decided to arrange a kebab run around 1AM, and unfortunately Jimmy’s was one of the only places open at this time with delivery to our workplace. While the salad snack pack wasn’t as bad as the kebab roll I had had a few weeks prior, the same not-rightness remained, with the dry, hard, and nonfragrant tabouli, as well as the weird taste of the chicken meat. Luckily my snack pack was drowned in sufficient sauce to mostly cover up the strange and subpar taste of the meats within.
VERDICT No stars. Go somewhere else. Or just skip the meal.
Jimmy’s Kebab 618 Church St, North Parramatta NSW 2151
The first time I ate at Fatima’s was on the 20th of December 2015. Having grown up in Western Sydney and then transplanted across to the Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne for university meant that I was not familiar with all or any of the popular inner city haunts that my same-age-and-stage Sydney counterparts were familiar with. I remember being intimidated by my first visit to Fatima’s – there was a belly dancer in the main restaurant – and hurriedly ordering my shawarma to go.
It was not until December 2020, nearly five years later, that I would return to Fatima’s. My second visit was around 1:30AM following an evening shift in the emergency department. The restaurant is much less intimidating at this time of night, and much more dinky. It did not look all that clean or appealing, but given it was past 1AM and I had already made the drive to Surry Hills I thought I’d better follow through.
I ordered a kafta roll and a lamb shish kebab roll ($9.50 each with hommus, taboli, salad, garlic sauce, and chilli sauce). As I waited for my food to be cooked the older of the two Bengali guys working that night engaged me in a length conversation about the coronavirus pandemic, Donald Trump, Joe Biden, and the foreign policy of the United States. While not desired, I will remark that this was a slightly less uncomfortable conversation than the coronavirus related conversation I had at Concrete Jungle Suburbia earlier in the year. The man offered me a free falafel from a metal bowl for my troubles.
Unfortunately as he was finishing up my lamb shish kebab roll he coughed (unmaskedly, might I add) right onto my food. This made me quite uncomfortable – even though the rates of COVID-19 in the community are low I’m also not out fishing for a random other URTI. I didn’t say anything at the time but I should have.
The kafta roll was quite good. Fatima’s has really perfected the mix of tabouli, garlic, and chilli sauce. It was, as I remembered from my visit five years ago, somewhat of a slimmer roll than what I’m used to from kebab shops, but no less delicious.
I first started going to Brothers Kebab’s back in 2015. At the time, Brothers Kebabs was well known for its good service, their signature “what’s up brother?” greeting, and the fact that they were one of the few kebab shops in the area to serve actual lamb meat, not just doner kebab mystery meat. Brothers Kebab was one of my go-to kebab places in the local area, and I made multiple trips to Brothers Kebabs despite there being other places closer to my home.
Flash forward to 2020 and I’m once again living and working in the local area. I have, over the course of the year, visited or ordered kebabs and snack packs from Brothers Kebabs a number of times, often during a night shift or on the way home in the evening.
The quality at Brothers Kebabs has, by and large, dropped since its heyday five years ago. Every time I have one of their kebab rolls it’s a toss up as to whether or not the salad will taste like literal garbage – I think that their ingredients are often just teetering on the edge of an unsafe level of freshness. The good ones are good, but the bad ones have quite an offputting aroma to them. In addition to this, I think that their lamb meat has dropped in quality over the past few years – it is now mostly composed of fatty, gristly bits where I remember it used to have a bit more actual meat.
On my most recent visit to Brothers Kebabs I asked for a mixed snack pack with half tabouli and half chips. The guy said “sure”, but what I ended up getting was just a normal doner mystery meat snack pack. It really wasn’t what I asked for, but I was too tired by this point to fight it. The chips were fresh and really good, but that’s about it. The doner meat was the same doner meat you would get anywhere. I really wish I had gotten what I asked for.
VERDICT Brothers Kebabs used to be one of my favourite kebab places in the Rockdale area, but it has since fallen from grace. Go if you want to be surprised by what you get.