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The Queen’s son’s favourite kebab: Tom Parker Bowles’ on the cash-only takeaway that beats a £420 dinner on Park Lane hands down

EATING OUT

Sometimes you can’t beat a takeaway kebab, says Tom. And this one is extra special…

This week, I was about to review Sushi Kanesaka, an exquisite new Japanese omakase restaurant, perched above Cut, at 45 Park Lane. Seats are limited to nine, the counter is hewn from hinoki (cypress wood), and each mouthful of superlative nigiri sushi (there are 18 to 20 joyous courses) is delivered by the eponymous Shinji Kanesaka. My adoration for the rice alone, each grain plump, sweet and breathlessly pure, would fill this entire page. But as my friend and fellow critic Giles Coren points out, dinner costs £420 each, before you even sip the sake. And that’s without the 15 per cent service charge.

Tom loves the pitta bread, warmed on the grill, stuffed with chicken, red cabbage and lettuce, then anointed with lemon juice and chilli sauce Tom loves the pitta bread, warmed on the grill, stuffed with chicken, red cabbage and lettuce, then anointed with lemon juice and chilli sauce

Tom loves the pitta bread, warmed on the grill, stuffed with chicken, red cabbage and lettuce, then anointed with lemon juice and chilli sauce

I loved it, and obviously paid my own way. But to state the bleeding obvious, quality can be found at any level. So I’ll point you, if I may, to Giles’s typically elegant review, then settle into somewhere equally exalted, if rather easier on the pocket. That place is Kebab Kid in Parsons Green, a part of London I’d usually cross continents to avoid. But with its sheet-metal takeaway counter, surgically bright lights and, out of peak times, charming service, this small shop always draws me back.

Punters have been queuing around the block since 1976, and a sizeable part of my youth was spent beneath its scarlet awning. But this is no mere late-night booze sponge, with the usual ‘elephant leg’ of gristle-flecked mince. No, here, as the sign on the wall firmly points out, their raw shawarma – ‘we do not sell doner kebabs’ – are made by hand each morning, from British lamb and chicken, both marinated and seasoned with ‘different herbs’. Which means two beautifully built monoliths of meat, slowly roasted on the spit, transcendent in their mosaic’d majesty, and carved with clinical aplomb.

A medium kebab offers spice, succulence and succour 

Pitta bread is warmed on the grill, before being stuffed with shavings of herby chicken (along with crunchy slivers of skin), red cabbage and shredded lettuce, then anointed with a squirt of lemon juice and lashings of chilli sauce. A medium kebab fits my hand like a cashmere glove, offering spice, succulence and succour, where the soft meets the crisp, and sharp melds with sweet. That last mouthful, the bread sodden with juice, is perhaps the finest bite of all. The lamb version is equally glorious, the charred shish too. All that joy, for little more than the price of a pint. This is one kebab that’s wasted on the drunk.

About £8 per head. Kebab Kid, 90 New King’s Road, London SW6; takeaway only, cash only

DRINKS: Charlotte’s non-red Riojas 

Rioja is famed for its sumptuous, crowd-pleasing reds, but there’s much more to this renowned region than vino tinto, and this week I’ve picked a perfect selection of summer gems: juicy rosés to rival those from Spain’s Mediterranean neighbours; ripe whites that are excellent alternatives to oaked Chardonnays, and a top-quality sparkling at an unbeatable price. Fill your fridge with these fiesta-friendly finds!

BERONIA ROSÉ RIOJA 2022 (13.5%), £10, ocado.com BERONIA ROSÉ RIOJA 2022 (13.5%), £10, ocado.com CONDE DE HARO CAVA BRUT 2019 (12%), £14.95, thewinesociety. com CONDE DE HARO CAVA BRUT 2019 (12%), £14.95, thewinesociety. com

Rioja is famed for its sumptuous, crowd-pleasing reds, but there’s much more to this renowned region than vino tinto, and this week I’ve picked a perfect selection of summer gems

BERONIA ROSÉ RIOJA 2022 (13.5%), £10, ocado.com.

For half a century, Beronia has crafted quality, inviting wines. Its 2022 rosé bursts with notes of fresh rose petal, melon and cranberry.

CONDE DE HARO CAVA BRUT 2019 (12%), £14.95, thewinesociety.com.

This vintage Cava represents outstanding value, balancing notes of pear, quince and pastry with a fine saline mousse. A treat for lovers of Champagne.

LOPEZ DE HARO WHITE RIOJA 2022 (12.5%) £10.99, Majestic LOPEZ DE HARO WHITE RIOJA 2022 (12.5%) £10.99, Majestic CUNE WHITE RIOJA 2021 (13%), £11, Sainsbury's CUNE WHITE RIOJA 2021 (13%), £11, Sainsbury's

Fill your fridge with these fiesta-friendly finds!

LOPEZ DE HARO WHITE RIOJA 2022 (12.5%) £10.99, Majestic.

Crafted from vines up to 80 years old, this rich white brims with sunny tree fruit and a seductive quality on sipping.

CUNE WHITE RIOJA 2021 (13%), £11, Sainsbury’s.

Indulge in this creamy, elegant white from one of Rioja’s oldest wineries. It is still operated by direct descendants of the founders.

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