Dönerstag 008: Restaurant Pamfilya
Updated: Jan 22
Overall Döner Score: 6/10
Notes: 5 is the baseline in this rating system. That means anything above 5 is above average and everything below is below average.
Luxemburger Str. 1, 13353 Berlin (Wedding)
The unfortunate reality of the Dönerstag rating system is that I sometimes have to give a seemingly low rating to a Döner place that is doing certain things really well but other things just ok or even poorly. This is very much the case for Restaurant Pamfilya in Wedding.
Pamfilya is actually a sit down Turkish restaurant with many traditional and not-so-traditional Turkish dishes on offer. The front of house operates as a Döner shop and patrons are welcome to take a seat in the restaurant's spacious dining room. It certainly isn't oozing character but it does allow customers to sit and take their time, something that can definitely not be said of all Döner shops.
The Döner itself was above average but not by much. The bread, veggie and sauce options were your standard offerings. For the uninitiated, I offer the following explanation of the "standard offerings:"
Bread: The filling is stuffed into a toasted wedge of pide ekmek/fladenbrot/flat bread. It Is crispy on the outside and wonderfully chewy on the inside.
Veggies: Tomato/cucumber salad, white onion, lettuce. Many kebab shops also offer shredded red cabbage.
Sauces: Kräuter (herbs), Knoblauch (garlic), Scharf (spicy). It seems that most people, including myself, order their Döner with two or all three sauces.
While this Döner doesn't score any points on originality; where it gets its moxie is its quality.
One can tell from the photo alone that the meat is higher quality than your standard Döner meat. For one, it looks like many individual pieces of meat as opposed to a uniform grayish, brownish mass. The anonymous user who suggested it to me mentioned that the meat at Pamfilya is 100% real Kalbfleisch (veal) and I definitely believe it. The char on the meat imparted and unmistakable hamburger taste, a flavor I had not experienced in other Döner and was certainly not expecting. I love hamburgers, but if I wanted to get a burger from a Döner stand, I would have gone to one of the hundreds of combination Döner + burger + pizza shops in town. The burger taste did not persist, thankfully. Because it is made of unprocessed or, at least, less processed, meat, it is fattier and juicier than your average Döner meat.
I suspect this to be the reason I felt so full afterwards.
In the end, the quality was absolutely there, but I did not feel that Pamfilya's Döner was superior on any other fronts. A good neighborhood Dönerbude that I would not go out of my way for, but would try again if in the area.