Big Turkish Burger.

It’s big, it’s greasy comfort, it’s earth-shatteringly good value. But honestly, I wouldn’t fuss over Big Turkish Burger.

With a name like that and having been in business for over 27 years, you’d expect something that’s home-grown, with a soft and personal family touch, and probably, anything but what felt like a…defrosted patty. One of the sons of the Turkish owner affirmed that:
1) the homogenously processed patty was freshly made, and
2) the chicken shawarma that had just been shaved off of the rotating spit was pre-made and frozen.

The whole thing sounds like a bunch of baloney, unless you live in a warped world where frozen is the new fresh [hello America.] The Turkish boy either had our questions mixed up, or was undeniably distracted by the rare sight of two unmarried spectacular women strutting into his burger lair [I’ll add that we did have an old and very excitable man who was falling over his feet to pay our burger bill for us. Such is life, chivalry strikes when you cross 60.]

[We denied the old man and paid the bill ourselves. In some dodgy situations, chivalry is best seen, but not touched.]

On a totally unrelated note, I love this blog for having introduced me to some super awesome and adventurous people who have a like-minded curiosity for the dog-eared edges of Dubai. Reem, tesharrafna!

The Big Turkish Burger is one of those run-of-the-mill burgers that you can get from any ordinary corner shop, or may be the petrol pump. Untoasted pillowy sesame seed bun, tomatoes, cabbage shreds simulating coleslaw, a deluge of mayo, and a puck of smooth, perfectly processed beef that had most likely seen the undersides of several grinders and rollers of an intricately automated mass production factory. And fries, can’t forget the fries, those few ketchupy fingers of squishy fries that were shoved INSIDE the burger bun rather than served as a crisp solitary side.

I’ll give BTB credit for the tomatoes – they thoughtfully applied an even layer of diced tomatoes rather than adhering to the one lone watery slice strategy that usually fails midway through the burger chomping process.

The shawarma was tad bit more distinctive, and worth far more happy-tummy points than the burger. The garlic sauce was definitely stronger than rival shawarma joints, and discerning Reem who accompanied me into Hor Al Anz for this burger quest detected something different in the chicken marinade. If I had to make an earth-shattering suggestion, I’d suggest that the chef bid adieu to the patty and get his burger buns to lay with fresh beef or chicken shawarma shavings instead.

Putting it all into perspective, this burger costs less than a poorly made cappuccino from one of our notorious coffee chains. And despite being the sageer (small) size, it was quite decently sized. One can only imagine what the kabeer size looks like. Probably exactly that sort of supersized burger giant that would have every anti-fast-food campaigner up in arms. We paid a peanutty price of AED 9.50 for the shawarma and burger together. There was no menu for me to check the price breakdown, and I think the Turkish boys had had enough of our questions by the end of our meal for us to grill them on the price.

I’m probably not making a second trip to this burger haunt, there are far better and more unusual eats in the city. Though that area, a little precious piece of Hor Al Anz right behind Deira’s United Hyper Market, is one worthy of further exploration. Reem and I stepped into an intriguingly named Kabul Music store, where we heard some classic Pashtu music and saw Miley Cyrus photoshopped onto a new-age Afghani cassette cover. But more importantly, I’ve caught a glimpse of some other ethnic food joints that are begging to be tasted.

Big Turkish Burger
Phone: +971 (50) 758 5632
Coming from Maktoum Bridge towards Deira, take a right at the clock tower and drive straight down the road. Keep driving until you see United Hypermarket to your right. Take the first right after the United Hypermarket, and drive down about 200 metres. You will see a yellow signed ‘Big Fat Turkish Burger’ to your left.

Author: InaFryingPan

With a family legacy of ingenious cooks, a nutritionist and chef-extraordinaire mother, and a father who introduced me to steak and caviar when I could barely reach the table, I had no choice but to acquire a keen awareness of food during my childhood years in Dubai. But it was only after I found myself on a college campus in Philadelphia – far away from home, too cheap as a student to spend on anything other than pizza, and with dorm rooms that had little rat-holes of kitchens if they even had them at all – when I developed a heightened appreciation of food. An appreciation of food that I once ate every night at the dinner table in Dubai, but that was now an entire ocean away. I lusted for the culinary treasures that lay outside the stale walls of my college dining hall, hijacked friends’ kitchens to try my hand at something, anything , remotely edible, and greedily raided different websites in search of highly-rated restaurants. With my move to New York to work for a consulting firm that secretly harbored self-professed foodies, my appreciation transformed into a passion, an addicition. I felt like everyone around me in New York was talking about food: where to get the best cupcakes, pizza slices, banh mi, kati rolls, pho, fried chicken, and every other food item out there that is just a plain old dish in some part of the world, but that’s become hyped to unforeseen proportions in New York. What fuelled my addiction over time was travel to different cities, both for work and play, which gave me unfettered access to the culinary havens of not only New York, but also of DC, Virginia, Chicago, Houston, Vegas, Austin, Seattle and even a little city called Bentonville (Arkansas!). After 9 years away from home, I’ve finally taken the leap to come back to Dubai – with not just an awareness, but genuine appreciation and passionate addiction for what I’d taken for granted as a child. Mom, I’m back to reclaim my seat at your dinner table, and to rediscover this city with its ever-expanding menu of international flavors.

11 thoughts on “Big Turkish Burger.

  1. IshitaUnblogged says:

    How? How/ How? How do you manage to write in such a beautiful, humourous and deliciously crunchy manner? Your humour and your wit is unparalleled. Falling into the trappings of becoming a major fan of your posts Arva… and am not ashamed to declare in public even if it is at the expense of being termed as (well, I will leave the word as message in FB if you wish!)

  2. Saleem says:

    What can one say – your write up makes one wonder what it is all about and you suddenly feel hungry and would want to eat it out of the photographs. I thought Turks were known for Donar Kababs and where did this Turkish Burger come from. Guess worth a try.

  3. Dima Sharif says:

    Ok now am not very happy with your burger post :( am dieting and want to swim between those buns lol Will say no more!!
    By the way I have nominated you for the “Excellence in Story Telling Award”, please visit my blog and check it out, follow the link on my blog for instructions :) Good luck xx

  4. Anita Menon says:

    It is unfortunate that the burger wasn’t that swell. But in the past, I know of so many of your posts that have talked about amazing burgers. So there is no dearth of options in Dubai.

    1. inafryingpan says:

      @openid-138341:disqus – awwwww. thank you. I don’t quite know what to say. sorry, having a very flattered moment of total incoherence here. mffphtthankoo. [<–muffled embarrassed thank you]

      @9a1d510f1be63443c618f7d241d72ab2:disqus [dad!] – well actually, Doner the way the world knows it may be more of a German & UK thing. But yeah, burgers don’t come to mind when I think Turkey….more like kababs and lahmacun and pide and…lots of yummy meaty carby things, but yep, not burgers. I think this place was just a burger joint founded by a Turkish owner, hence the name :)

      @twitter-93116814:disqus – Oh com’on, even a diet needs a lil’ bit of cheating here and there. What’s in a couple of [giant-sized] burger buns? Though to be honest, I wouldn’t recommend breaking a diet for these burgers, there’s better stuff out there worth cheating over.

      And thank you for the nomination, you are way too generous…having another, very flattered moment of total incoherence here. I think I should just start responding with grunts when I’m too shy to muster up a response. Which in font terms, probably means using…windings?

      @openid-77086:disqus – Never were truer words said! There is no dearth of options and I have already made it up to myself with some tummy-loving eats this week ;)

  5. Devour Sarah says:

    I love burgers with fries in them, it’s genius. We had a hoagie at college called the Fat Lady with mozzarella sticks, fried chicken, cheddar, and fries, plus a “special sauce” Once I took my brother to try it and it basically made the school his top choice.

    1. inafryingpan says:

      @4fe1015a720c7dcc7f05b9615cac454a:disqus – hahaha selecting universities based on the food available there! Actually that’s not funny at all. Totally practical. That’s probably how I will advise my kids 30 years down the line.

  6. ahmad says:

    big turkish burger is the best in my opinion your review of the resturant was not fair cause the resturant has lots of customer

  7. ehsan says:

    I have found this blog by luck. Big tutkish burger 1ce known as turky burger is nowclosed and gone. And turkeys sons nunu and waleed were my lil brothers best friends. I grew up on his burgers since the90s. Btw he is legendary. Before when his joint was st al safiya he had customers coming all the way from fujeirah. Oh well i miss those burgers and shawarmas. So im planning to bring it back to life by making my own.

    I was kinda surprised to see this blog. Hehe kinda eye opening. But hey thanks a lot for putting this up. And u were welcomed to the gangsta burger with a knife on top lol. Bless.


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