We can’t remember how long Kambi’s was closed – perhaps as long as four years – but we can remember how sad we felt when the doors remained shut. They were the masters of the kebab. Now we’re not talking the sort of 2am booze-soaker that The Lovely Brothers famously sang about – no, this was a healthy-feeling handheld meal that you could enjoy for lunch. So you can imagine how excited we were to see it open again recently.
It’s not our initial plan to review Kambi’s twice, but that’s how it works out. We book a table on Friday night and eat in. The menu is huge with loads of Lebanese dishes but it’s thoughtfully explained. The soujok (£4.50) looks like a big pile of mini chorizo sausages but they’re milder than their Spanish cousins, while the pleasant smoky moutabal (£4.50) is like a humous made with aubergine. The mains are extremely meat heavy. The mixed grill (£11.95) contains chicken, lamb, kufta and some off the ol’ elephant’s leg, with a little salad and a portion of rice. It’s all cooked nicely but the meat is a bit rubbery, feeling more quantity and quality. The shish tawouk (£8.95) is straight up grilled chicken, although with a nicely caramelised coating. Disappointingly neither comes with flatbread or sauces, other than a delicious handmade chilli number. So it’s with caution that we head back the next week for a takeaway shish wrap (£4.50). Oh my, it’s everything we hoped! Red onion, tomatoes, lettuce and gherkins mix perfectly with garlic and that homemade chilli sauce. Not too dry, balanced between spicy kick and fresh salad, and not dirty feeling in any way. They’re back.
If there’s a kebab in Brighton that’s as good as Kambi’s then we’ve yet to try it. Eating in was, bizarrely, less impressive but if you ask for some of the sauces you get in the wrap you could be onto a winner.
WERE WE SUSSED
No, they were pretty busy when we ate in, and when we had the kebab we legged it down the street quick smart.
107 Western Rd 01273 327 934