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.