Jun 2008

Döner Kebab – Bánh Mì Gà Nướng

Meet Van Do Luong. After living and and working in Berlin for ten years, he returned to Saigon and opened a Döner Kebab shop in District 3 (18 Nguyen Thuong Hien).

Döner kebab (Turkish döner kebap, literally “turning roast”), is a Turkish dish made of meat cooked on a vertical spit and sliced off to order. The meat may be lamb, mutton, beef, goat, or chicken. Alternative names include kebap, donair, döner, doner or donner. Döner Kebab is the origin of other similar Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes such as shawarma and gyros. A version developed to suit German tastes by Turkish immigrants in Berlin has become one of Germany’s most popular fast food dishes, and Turkish emigrants export German döners back into their home country.

The Astronomer, Nina, The Boyfriend and I are big fans of Luong’s Döner Kebab. According to Luong, the Döner Kebabs are made with chicken because the Vietnamese don’t dig lamb, plus it’s much pricier than the white meat. A Döner Kebab costs 14,000 VND and comes stuffed with shredded lettuce and red cabbage, cucumbers, tomatoes and slices of chicken warm off the spit. A zesty garlic taziki sauce keeps the Döner Kebab nice and moist. The bread ain’t nothing like banh mi. It’s hearty, toasted and reminds me of an Italian variety from Philly. According to German expats, Luong’s Döner Kebabs are the real deal. I find it endlessly cool that I can get authentic Döner Kebab made by a Vietnamese guy in Saigon. Now, this is Asian fusion.

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14 thoughts on “Döner Kebab – Bánh Mì Gà Nướng

  1. Weird… Hanoi witnessed an explosion of kebab stands over the last couple of years. They’re everywhere now. Some good, some kinda filthy looking. The German Cultural Centre, Goethe Institute, of all places, seemed to kick-start it and loads of places have followed suit. Though only one apparently has that triangular bread like Frau Luong above, but I have yet to try it (it’s at the point where Hang be street meets Hang Bac street for those living in or coming to HN), most use the regular banh mi, which is an duoc-able but far from the real deal.

  2. WC – no fries to speak of but he does serve the kebab with a smile.

    Girlie – you got it! Grilled chicken sandwich it is.

    Teddy – I find it so funny that Hanoi is obsessed with belly dancing and kebabs ;-). And in my opinion, banh mi is definitely not duoc.

  3. I read your article and then visited the store. It’s quite small but the kebab is very delicious. Thanks a lot. I will try other places you mentioned.^ ___ ^.

  4. It is so nice to hear that our very own Döner Kebab is all the way to the other side of the world :)) It doesn’t matter how good they are doing it, it cannot be any better than the ones served here in Turkey. I definetly recommend the Beef and Lamb version, which are very nice. Hope someday, you have a chance to visit Turkey and taste the real thing.
    I recomned tomatoes and lettuce (mixed with grated carrot) in it. also tomato sauce with a bit of butter is perfect in it. (no ketchup)In my opinion, putting pickels ruins everthing but you may give it a try. they are serving it with pickels here unless told otherwise.
    Come by 🙂

  5. Tried that chicken doner kebab and loving it!!! Great value for the money, fresh crispy vegetables, yummy chicken, maybe could use more of tzatziki– will ask next time. Oh, and the bread is very very good too! Keep up the good work, Mr Van Do Luong!

  6. anyone know how to get in touch with Van Do Luong. id like to see if he could relay the berlin doener recipe.

  7. inflation, the kebab is up to 23,000vnd…
    but still worth every dong

    seems quite healthy even with the stigma kebabs get

  8. Hey,

    I’m opeining my own Kebab in D7.

    It’s in 76 Lam Van Ben, P. Tan Kieng, D7, HCMC.

    It’s chicken kebab with Western-standard quality but Vietnamese price: 14,000d or 18,000d depending on the bread size. Sauce is home-made. We have a couple of seats in a clean room with free wifi.

    I’d be glad if anyone could come and review it.

    Thanks and see you,


  9. Doner Kebabas have become very popular in Iran although Iranians have their own styles of grilling kebabs.

    It seems that customers have to wait less time to get the food that they want in buying Doner Kebabs.

    Thank you for sharing this post.

    Rahman Mehraby
    Destination Iran

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