Ever since I went to Qatar last year (yeah I know, how awesome was that) I’ve been on a mission to find some of the delicious foods I got to eat whilst I was out there in Birmingham. I found Za’atar on sale at Loaf, and I’m still sad I’ve not been able to find um ali, but shawarma is pretty easy to find in Birmingham, and there’s been a couple of places I’ve stumbled across in the last few months.
Shawarma is a style of meat preparation which is sort of rotisserie-style, think Turkish döner kebabs and Greek gyros. You can eat the meat as is, usually with salad (my mum will be happy), or have it all neatly wrapped up in a flatbread, which is always going to be my preferred option. Whilst in Qatar I pretty much ate what I was given and there were some delicious spreads, most likely things similar to tahini and hummus, sometimes with additional salad bits.
A few months back I discovered that nestled in Martineau Place was Shawarma City, which doesn’t look like anything special from the outside – in fact it looks like the sort of lurid, neon-signed homing beacon where you’d head after a few too many drinks to soak up the alcohol. But don’t let that put you off, there’s a reason it can get pretty packed at lunchtime. First time round I ordered a meal deal of mixed meat shawarma, fries and a drink which is way too much food for a workday lunchtime but the shawarma was delicious. The meat was tender and tasted fresh, probably because it doesn’t have time to hang around too long as there was a bit of a queue – I take that to be a good thing. There are plenty of options to include salad items and spreads and I can’t remember what I went for, so I’ve not been able to recreate the first wrap, but subsequent visits have proven to be just as good.
Shawarma City, 15A Martineau Place, Corporation St, Birmingham B2 4UW.
Disclosure: Paid for my own Shawarma; ate the whole thing and fries the first time round, so was also responsible for the almost-food-coma that came with it.