Dönerstag 007: Mustafa Demir's Gemüse Döner (not Mustafa's Gemüse Kebab)
Overall Döner Score: 7.5/10
Warschauer Str. 27a Berlin, Germany 10243 (Friedrichshain)
Rigaer Str., 10247 Berlin (Friedrichshain)
Neue Promenade 7 links, 10178 Berlin (Mitte)
Notes: 5 is the baseline in this rating system. That means anything above 5 is above average and everything below is below average.
Welcome to the first Dönerstag of 2020. I am going to start with a (possibly) hot take. Rüyam Gemüse Kebab blows Mustafa Demir's out of the water. Mustafa Demir's is definitely not a bad Gemüse Döner/Kebab, but Rüyam is just so profoundly delicious that by comparison, Mustafas is... dare I say, whack? That said, this is not a review for Rüyam (you can see that here) but for Mustafa Demir's. So let's jump in.
I hope any French Dönnoisseurs here do not skewer me for the upcoming comparison (or for co-opting "connoisseurs" for the sake of a pun. An awesome pun) but the bread at Mustafa Demir's is not too far off from french bread. That is to say that it was quite tasty, with a hard, flakey outer crust and soft, chewy inside.
The sauce options here were unique, at least among Döner shops I have been to in Berlin, with two of the three Dönerbude mainstays— Kräuter and scharf sauces— absent from the menu. As of my visit, the sauces include the following: yoghurt sesame, Knoblauch, tzatziki, hummus, and curry mango. They also have dry spices on deck for those who want to add a little heat to their kebab. I kept it simple, if not a little bit boring, and ordered mine with the yoghurt sesame and Knoblauch sauces. Both were very good and did a good job of not overpowering the other flavors in the sandwich.
As this place is, or at least was initially, riding on the success of Mustafa's Gemüse Kebab at Mehringdamm, you get a lot of the same toppings. Fried veggies, potatoes, lettuce, onion, feta cheese, a squirt of lemon juice. It makes for a mighty tasty kebab. While I do feel that the meat (chicken) was superior to a lot of Döner in town, it just didn't come through as strongly as that of Rüyam, the reigning Gemüse Kebab champ (in my opinion). Regardless, I would definitely return to Mustafa Demir's. I'd likely even go out of my way for it.