Visiting your local kebab shop generally amounts to taking your life into your own sambuca stained hands. But as someone with inside contacts in the industry, I thought it was important for the public to realise just how bad the conditions inside these ‘restaurants’ can be.
Everything that follows is true, and has been told to me by a herbert of my acquaintance who runs a kebab shop. I’m not suggesting that all shops are like this, because frankly they’re not. I’m also not going to reveal the location of the shop. The people who eat there have it bad enough as it is.
Anyway, here’s a selection of his views…
On sourcing ingredients:
“I went down to Greenwich market the other day ‘cos we needed some skate. And I went all the way round and I couldn’t find any anywhere. But the last stall I went to had some in the freezer. And I said: ‘Oi mate, how much for that skate?’
And he said: ‘Can’t sell you that mate.’
So I said: ‘No I need it. How much?’
And he was like: ‘Nah mate, I can’t sell it. That’s dodgy skate, it’s been off for days.’
And I said: ‘I think I’ll be the judge of that. How much?’
And I got it well cheap.”
On food hygiene tests:
“My dad rang up the other day and said: ‘We’ve had a letter from the council, they’re coming to do an inspection. Hide all those rat traps, it makes the place look bad.’”
On winning a prestigious food award:
“This bloke came in the other day and said he was going all round east London to find the best cod and chips. So I gave him cod and chips and he said it was the best he’d had so far and he was going to put it in the paper.
And when he was gone, I was like: ‘We don’t buy any cod, that was haddock you mug.’”
“Last night this woman came past and she looked like she was going to come in, but then she looked at me like she was disgusted and walked past. And I thought it might be ‘cos I was standing behind the counter with my hands down my trousers, but I thought: ‘how can she see me if it’s dark?’
And then I realised that I had the light on inside so she’d be able to see me from outside.”
On making chicken nuggets:
“First you take your turkey and cut it up for all the fried chicken. And then you pull off all the meat that’s left on the bones and mince it up for the burgers. And then you sweep up and put whatever’s left in the chicken nuggets.”