The Perfect Day in Erbil

Hellloooo Loyal Reader,Well, public holiday today and it did not need much effort to decide how to spend my day. I managed to have the perfect day. Of course, with the perfect people.

The morning started with no breakfast.
DK texted: “Saza… I miss Mam Khalil.” 
Me: “Kche Saza baqurbant bet. Mam Khalil it is.”

[40 minutes later]

We found parking. That was great. Next, we walked in the maze of the Qaysari Bazaar to a restaurant that offer kebabs! Only kebabs. Listen, this is not your fancy 5 Star restaurant, and if you’re one of those people who complains “eeew that’s dirty, eeeew he is not wearing gloves, eeew this and eeew that!” Then I do not recommend this place, so please save yourself the trouble and save me the blame.

Everyone else (the coooool readers of this blog) OH MY GOD! If you have not been yet, then what are you waiting for????!

Kabab Khanay Yaseen – Family section
too good!

It was my good friend NQ who first introduced me to Kabab Khanay Yaseen (if you’re a Loyal Reader you will know exactly when), since that day it is a must every time I visit the qalat. Look, I am not a meat eater, in fact if meat was not an ingredient in Dolma (Yaprax) then I would have definitely been a vegetarian by now, but here it is not just the food, but the experience.

Waiting for It to arrive

The restaurant, is basically overcrowded. Well, too crowded, ummm… maybe a little overcrowded? Eeer… crowded to the limit where you actually have to share a table with people you don’t know. Yup! We sat on a table with a man and two women we have never met in our entire lives, but this is how it is at Yaseen’s Kebab! While everyone else made new friends and socialized, we (the three of us) were dead quiet eating. The service is not perfect and no one really cares how you eat. There is no menu. It is simple: You order kebab, but just say how much you want. While some of my friends order “se nafar” (three people), poor me who is trying to add weight orders “niwww nafar” (half a person).

“niw nafar kabab”

You wait a bit (depending on how crowded it is, sometimes up to 10 minutes. But trust me 10 minutes is like 10 hours when all you’re doing is listening to your churning tummy and watching people eat), and it arrives. So, basically, there is no etiquette. If you want my advice this is how you need to eat it: Put some (a LOT of)  smaq, then get the bread, add a bit of kebab, squeeze some lemon, add a bit of onion, tomato, pickles, and then…. yes, take that juicy bite and wait till the oil drips from the bottom of your mini sandwich!

The perfect bite!

Once you’ve eaten. Wash your hands at the sink, because it is going to be greasy, and walk your way (about 2 minutes) to Mam Khalil’s tea shop– If you don’t know Mam Khalil then you don’t know me!!!!

The perfect Kurdish tea

Here, sit back, relax, take out your notebook and enjoy the best chaaaaa you have ever had. In your life. In your entire life. The best. Yup. The perfect temperature. The perfect amount of sugar. Not too dark. Not too light. Did I mention it was perfect?!

aaaah that was nice…
And this, my dearest reader was my day off!

5 thoughts on “The Perfect Day in Erbil

Add yours

  1. You made me go straightway. But of course I can't. But I will be this summer.
    Last time I was there when I was a teenager!! And it was 6 am, a wonderful and vivid memory. I can still remember the smell of my slightly overdone ( of course on my request) Kebab and my over excited palate. The experience was nothing short of a the perfect indulgence


  2. As usual, wonderful article which made us totally enjoyed 🙂
    But to be honest, I felt you wrote the article too quickly not as you used to do before…I think UKH suck all of your time and left nothing for your readers 😦


  3. I agree, the best Kebab's and Tikka's you get at the small Restaurant at the Road.

    Regards from a German in Erbil who has been working in the Middle East for almost 30 years..


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