‘Legendary’ Chicken kebab from Topkapi

This is the first and perhaps the last kebab house to be reviewed on The Edinburgh Blog. However, after numerous recommendations of the chicken kebabs produced by Topkapi kebab house on Edinburgh’s Foutainbridge I finally succumbed. Topkapi has been described to me as ‘amazing’ and ‘out of this world’.

My scepticism was high. A high proportion of the kebab munching population usually do so after a vast intake of alcohol, so the most accuarate culinary reviews are by no means assured. However, when I was told of Topkapi’s brilliance by a friend who had devoured a chicken kebab stone cold sober, on a cold Monday night, I thought it was high time to pay this establishment a visit.

Exterior of Topkapi Kebab shop in Edinburgh Kebabs lined up in Topkapi Kebab shop in Edinburgh

Aesthetically Topkapi is the typical kebab house: the sign outside, the glass front, a large floor space to house the waiting hoards come pub and club closing time and a 10p a go fruit machine in the corner. The menu, that sits illuminated above the serving counter offers all the usual suspects. A 12 inch chicken ham and pineapple pizza will set you back £7.50, a small Donner kebab is £5, beef burger and chips £4, chips £2 and a can of soft drink weighs in at 80p.

I was here for only one reason though so I promptly ordered the large chicken kebab (¬£6) with all accompaniments. While the pleasant enough staff member placed my two huge skewers on the grill my friend began to eat his cheese and chips. It’s hard to comment on such a simple meal, but at ¬£3 I did find the price a little steep.

Large chicken kebab with all accompaniments from Topkapi kebab shop, Edinburgh

Before long my kebab was served. The polystyrene container had two sections. One held the pitta bread stuffed full of large pieces of good quality, well cooked chicken. While the other held the salad, including red cabbage. The chicken was draped in a tasty (perhaps very mild Chili?) sauce that was certainly a differentiator for topkapi. The salad had a small amount of sauce through it and I found the approach of serving the salad away from the kebab refreshing (most kebab houses will stuff all the salad on top of the chicken and in the pitta bread).

Eating the topkapi chicken kebab was pleasant enough, but certainly wasn’t a life-changing experience. It was a wholesome meal and the sauce on the chicken was very tasty indeed. It also satisfied my reasonable hunger with ease and I enjoyed the choice of being able to mix my own salad with the chicken, rather than everything being served in one large ‘lump’.

It’s true enough that you don’t need to be drunk in order to enjoy a Topkapi kebab. So was it the best kebab I have had in Edinburgh? Well, I’ve not had many but out of those I have eaten it was the best. Was it the best kebab I have ever had? No, I don’t think so. In Nottingham most of the kebabs are served on nan breads and I have to say I prefer this, even though pitta bread might be the more traditional and no doubt healthier choice. However if you’re looking for a good quality, satisfying post pub munch then I’m happy to recommend a trip to Topkapi. Their fruit machine also afforded me ¬£3 profit toward my purchase. If you know of a better kebab in Edinburgh I am all ears, so drop me a line to mailXtheedinburghblog.co.uk, where X is @.

Topkapi is located at 109 Fountainbridge. You can see its location on Google Maps.

4 Responses to “‘Legendary’ Chicken kebab from Topkapi”

  1. Try the http://www.kebab-mahal.co.uk/

    Quailty kebabs, large mixed with chilli sauce is to die for.

  2. THREATENING & UNBELIEVABLE! I ordered a large chicken kebab here, and after it took over 30 minutes to prepare and I walked out, I was chased down the road by the coutner staff IN HIS CAR and threatened that he would ‘KICK MY HEAD IN’ for expecting reasonable customer service. Avoid at all costs if you value your own self respect.

  3. Perhaps we do need to differentiate between the Turkish, Middle Eastern and ‘further Eastern’ style kebabs, as well as shish and d√∂ner, but there are definitely a few ways to compare them all.

    Of course X is talking about the chicken shish in particular which is great if you’re sitting down to eat with some cutlery.
    If you’re taking away though it’s a different story.

    I think a decent take away kebab should be wrapped in a full size pita and be moderate on the sauce. It’s MUCH easier to eat this way, the bread won’t turn to mush and it doesn’t need to be served in polystyrene. You tend to get a decent size meal too, rather than be left unsatisfied (often for the same price).
    In this case Kebab Mahal and Taopkapi both fall a little short.
    Kebab Mahal are great for (fatty!:) curries but their kebabs can be incredibly messy with the sauce.

    IMHO give Che a go on Forrest Road, or Palmyra on Nicolson Street.
    Price, quality and quantity are all good, the staff are genuinely friendly and they also offer student discount.

  4. frankie campbell on November 18th, 2010 at 12:59 am

    maaaaaaate…..had a fecking doner and was on tha pan for 6 days. ring sting was proper nae good like.

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