When we can't agree on what to order, when some of us want something Asian and the others want something Western, what do to? Well, a good option is "Middle Eastern" and we agreed a few days ago on some shawarma. But how was it?
Address: 128, Thimbirigasyaya Road, Colombo 00500
Phone: 077 997 7993
We do enjoy a good shawarma and a good doner kebab. We have had shawarmas and doners in several countries, in the Middle East, Europe and elsewhere, but here in Colombo we have only had them at special events. We have not yet tried any shawarma in any of the restaurants or cafes and, to be honest, we haven't really rushed to try as we have heard mixed - generally not so good - reviews.
However having abstained for several years, we saw some posts on Instagram by Doner and Durum and it looked good. We were tempted and decided to give it a try.
The delivery menu is nice and simple. You have a choice of four main dishes: a doner kebab, which is a pita bread sliced open and filled with chicken, lamb or veggies; or a durum, which is also known as a shawarma, where the pita bread is wrapped around chicken, lamb or veggies. Bot come with salad garnish and you can select from four different sauces. There is also a majboos rice with chicken or lamb; and lastly you can choose a full mixed grill with three different meats, bread, hummus and tabbouleh.
The menu also offers a couple of starters or snacks; hummus with bread, or french fries covered with cheese and meat.
Ordering is done online via a link on their website, where you make all the choices and enter your address details. The only payment option offered is cash.
We decided on a chicken shawarma and a lamb doner kebab, and the mixed grill to share.
We had ordered just three dishes - okay one was a large mixed grill - but still, we were quite surprised to receive a huge package containing three foil wrapped parcels, two metal containers, five large plastic tubs and a handful of smaller ones and two unexpected cardboard boxes with sweet potato fries.
Two foil wraps held the doner and the shawarma, while the third contained bread for the mixed grill. Inside the plastic tubs were grilled lamb kebab, chicken kebab, hummus and tabbouleh while the foil contained the adana minced lamb and fries.
So we emptied the kebabs onto a plate and sat down to eat.
The lamb doner kebab was very good. The bread was crammed with slices of lamb, with vegetables and salad garnish and topped with their "classic" sauce. The lamb was tender and well flavoured, the garnish was nice and it all mixed well together with the presumably home made sauce.
The chicken shawarma got slightly more mixed opinions. We all thought it was good but one of us felt that there was a bit too much salad and garnish and that the chicken didn't have enough of its own flavour, it was almost lost in the garnish and the mayo that we had chosen as the sauce; it might have worked better with the classic sauce. However, overall we thought it was good and we enjoyed it.
The two wrapped kebabs each came with a portion of sweet potato fries. These too were good, better than we have had in other places, and they went down well.
There was no debate over the mixed grill, though; we all thought it was excellent. It was a good sized portion, definitely for sharing; it filled a full sized dinner plate. The adana minced lamb kebab was excellent; lightly spiced, succulent and cooked just right. The chicken pieces too were very good; well spiced with a nice flavour and really tasty.
We were particularly impressed with the lamb pieces. We have had way too many kebabs where the lamb was dry or chewy but not here; they were juicy, full of flavour enhanced by spices and, wrapped in a piece of fresh pita bread, with a sprinkling of tabbouleh and their classic sauce, it was just mouth watering.
The mixed grill of course came with three flat pitta breads, which were good but we would have welcomed one more; a bowl of tabbouleh, finely chopped parsley salad with tomato and onion, which was full of flavour and enhanced the tastes of the meats; and a bowl of hummus chick pea dip. The hummus was quite good, perhaps just slightly oily and runnier than we would normally like, but the taste was good and it went well with the tabbouleh and the grilled meats.
Overall it was very good, especially the mixed grill; it was a welcome change from the usual range of fast foods and pastas and every one of us, teenager and adult alike, enjoyed it and was happily full afterwards!
The online ordering allows you to build your doner or durum/shwarma and makes it clear how much each item or extra will cost.
The regular doner or shwarma costs Rs750 for chicken or vegetarian and Rs1150 for lamb while the king size is just a little under twice the price. This includes a choice of four sauces, and you can add extras such as cheese, fries more meat etc for Rs100 to Rs400 per item.
The majboos rice starts at Rs550 with chicken or Rs900 with lamb and can have extras similarly added to it. Side dishes including hummus are mostly Rs250/Rs300.
The mixed grill costs Rs3500. No extras are offered but would most likely not be needed, apart from maybe another piece of bread.
We ordered online which was nice and simple and the food arrived within an hour. The delivery driver found our place without too much trouble and the food was still warm.
We've had some very varied shawarmas and doners over the years, but this was definitely one of the better ones. The mixed grill is perfect for sharing and it is fun to build your own wrap. Overall we would thoroughly recommend Doner & Durum and we will definitely order again; in fact we look forward to the restaurant reopening so we can try it in person, hot and fresh off the grill.