Who said a kebab’s bad for you?

Good Holy Lord

A chicken kebab or a shish kebab is a wholesome, well-balanced foodstuff that rounds out an evening perfectly and it’s infinitely more appealing than anything that even looks like a beetroot.

The fact is chicken breast or red meat cooked on a grill is perhaps the healthiest way of preparing a kebab. Any excess fat drops into the coals and no calorie-adding oil is needed to aid the cooking process.

So all good then.

Anti-kebabers might point to the weight-inducing carbohydrate from the pitta, but if you can get your local kebab supplier to stock up on some brown pittas then you will have headed carb-hell off at the pass.

The kebab really is the epitome of healthy eating. There’s salad, raw cabbage, tomato, cucumber and, if you are feeling saucy, let the kebab man splash on a bit of homemade chilli sauce. It won’t hurt the digestive process but don’t be surprised if you experience some pain in the back door region in the morning.

Admittedly, the kebab in doner-spec is harder to justify as a healthy meal. The elephant’s leg option does represent a hazardous journey since there is no guarantee that there’s any real meat in it. Still, it’s hard to resist after three pints of low-grade lager even though it’ll clog your heart up like a broken-down Eurotunnel train.

Whatever, my view is the kebab is a food fit for kings and although I simply can’t imagine Prince Charles tucking into a polystyrene trayful of chilli-ed up doner meat after a skinful of Carling Extra Cold, I think he could easily have a go at the entry level kofte following a charity do that has been punctuated by intermittent, yet hearty glugs of Merlot.   

Kebabs aren’t headline delicacies, I accept, but the BBQueue (see what they’ve done there – it’s always packed) in Finsbury Park beats the slop served up by Heston Poshmadeupname any day.

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The Aussie/Kiwi dream

Sharks. Man-eating bastards

This weekend the New Zealand All Blacks won the rugby World Cup, which, if you didn’t know, is a big big deal for the Kiwis.

There’s a good reason why this is so. In New Zealand there are two things to do: 1) play rugby and 2) breathe air.

I know a lot of Kiwis. London’s full of them. I own a property in Watford and a Kiwi lives in it. He moved to London for two reasons: 1) to marry a girl who doesn’t look like a man and 2) to raise enough sterling to get cash rich.

He’s going back to New Zealand because he achieved the first, but didn’t really achieve the second. So, in the next few months he’s off to Woonga Galunga or wherever it is, with his English rose, to look at sheep and cook large chunks of animal flesh while standing in his oversized shorts pronouncing the word fish as ‘fush’.

So he’s going back to where he belongs, and good for him, but he is one of many who buys into a school of thought that suggests that here in London, it’s crap, and that over there, 24 hours’ flying time away, it’s all rather heavenly and wonderful. The first part is almost correct, but the second part beggars belief.

I’ve been to Australia and it’s ok, but it’s not a place you should go to spend the rest of your life. The fact is Sydney, Auckland, Wellington, Melbourne and Perth are bloody miles away from anything except a bunch of dust and a few snakes that’ll kill you if you step on their heads. And that’s just on the land. The sea’s a bloody nightmare. Currently, there’s a warning on Rottnest Island following the third in a series of fatal shark attacks. It’s the same animal, apparently, so the lifeguards have set about catching the Great White by dragging a dead Kangaroo behind a speedboat and shouting, ‘Here fushy fushy!’

Aussies cite the surf as a major attraction but who wants to be a Great White’s mid-morning snack or find themselves on the receiving end of a jellyfish that’ll turn your testicles into basketballs?

Australia is a place for sheep and weird-sounding town names and that’s the way it should stay. Kylie never went back, and Jason Donovan’s still cutting out a fairly lucrative career here as the ‘go-to’ if you want some borrowed moronic wisdom for a radio soundbite and to make even the stupidist Brit look mildly intelligent.

There’s a reason why New Zealand and Australia are a long way away. It’s because people shouldn’t go there. Here’s some sound advice: stay in London, breathe poor quality air, sit in traffic, eat overpriced food, pay exorbitant rent and experience six months of grey drizzly weather and get over yourself.

Here endeth the lesson.

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Sudoku. Better than life itself

A Sudoku grid

I was on the bus the other day, sitting next to a person with a newspaper. Nothing strange about that , but a quick glance told me that this individual was ‘playing’ Sudoku. Later, prior to a pre-arranged lunch date I noticed that another person, with the same newspaper, was also in the midst of a Sudoku game.

Can you think of anything duller than a lunch hour completing a Sudoku grid? This, surely, is a desperate measure, and if you think there isn’t a better way of passing the time then you should get the doctor to have a look at that head injury of yours.

Here’s the thing. All you do when you ‘play’ Sudoku is fill boxes with numbers. This should take no more than a couple of minutes. Just put the numbers wherever you like. If you are stupid enough to apply the rules it’ll take a lot longer. Whatever, your strategy, the result will still remain the same and that is that you filled in boxes with numbers.

This is not in any way fun. Do something else. Buy a Rubik’s Cube, phone someone up, get your fillings done, take up golf, get a goat. If you must, join a chutney-making group, but for the holy love of God do anything but play Sudoku.

You will thank me for this.

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