A taste of Turkey with Doner and Durum

Try these three!

By Anjalika Abeykoon, Photos Indika Handuwala
We all make plans for great things with our friends, but seldom do they come true. However, Doner and Durum (D&D) is the product of one such plan between five friends: Abdul Ghouse, Sharanga Hettiarachchi, Nikira Senanayake, Seyed Waqar, and Atif Haariz which did come to life.

The five friends are travellers who like to experience and discover foreign cultures and try out street food. Doner was discovered in one such food quest to Berlin, which tantalised the taste buds and left an unforgettable memory.

The five decided to bring down the infamous doner, which originated in Turkey, adding a touch of Europe inspired by Berlin. The founders of D&D wanted the doner to have a local twist to complement the Sri Lankan palate. Hence, the doner has gone through many tests before the launch of Doner and Durum. Also, they are very specific about providing healthier food for the customers, though they are a fast food restaurant inspired by Mediterranean street food.

The mains section of the menu features doners, durums, burgers, and rice options. There are two choices of meat: chicken and lamb, which are made in the Kebab style and cooked on a vertical rotisserie for the doners.

There are also three types of sauces to pick from according to your preference of taste: Classic (a garlic sauce), Mayanado (a mix of Tabasco, salsa, and garlic), and Thai (massaman curry). All the breads are custom-baked for Doner and Durum and they import lamb and cheese that goes into the food. Ideally a fast food restaurant, D&D at present can host about 30 diners and they also deliver via their hotline and Uber Eats.

Item 1: Doner
Doner is Turkish flat bread made in the sourdough style with a mix of Mediterranean herbs. We decided to go for the chicken doner with classic garlic sauce. The doners at D&D come with tomatoes, lettuce, Japanese cucumber, jalapenos, an onion-coriander mix, mushroom and potato mix, and most importantly 90 g of marinated slices of chicken cooked in a vertical rotisserie.

The marinated chicken is neatly stacked on to the rotisserie and left to slow cook for about four hours.

Meat is shaved off the chunk using a slightly long knife once an order is placed and is then stuffed inside the doner with the veggies, and then served with a side of fries, along with mayonnaise and tomato ketchup.

The classic sauce, which we requested with the doner, is not spicy and noticeably has a slight garlic taste. The doner came filled with a generous amount of vegetables and soft-marinated chicken cooked to perfection. The texture of the meat was pleasant because of the fusion of Sri Lankan, Europiean, and Turkish spices.

Item 2: Durum
We then tried one of D&D’s signature dishes: the durum. It is a Turkish wrap that once again has a kebab-style filling. At D&D, durums are stuffed with the usual mix of veggies as the doner. We selected lamb as the meat option. Unlike chicken, lamb is first minced, mixed with the secret fusion of herbs, and then placed in the rotisserie. We decided to try the classic sauce with the durum as well. The Durum was also stuffed with 90g of meat because the founders of the restaurant are very specific about proteins. However, it was not as stuffed with veggies as in the doner was.

Item 3: Chicken burger
The burgers at D&D come with lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, and a patty. The burger buns are custom-baked and are soft. We opted to go with the chicken burger with a variation in the sauce. Mayanado sauce (made of tabasco, garlic salsa, and mayonnaise) added the spiciness that elevated flavours of the burger. The patty was made with boneless chicken thigh, which was grilled to perfection. The burger was succulent, especially because of the juicy, fleshy grilled chicken patty. This is a definite must-have at Doner and Durum if you don’t mind being a messy eater.

Bonus: Passion fruit lassi
Most of the drinks at Doner and Durum are lassi-based drinks, since it is a fast food restaurant inspired by Turkish street food. Hence, we decided to try our luck with the passion fruit lassi. The drink consisted of yogurt, water, and a generous splash of passion fruit which gave it a tangy aftertaste. Though it was made out of yogurt, it was not a very heavy drink as we expected it to be. It was the ideal refreshing drink we needed complement the delicacies we had.

. Quality and quantity of the food, staff service, and the atmosphere of the cafe justifies the price and the mission of the founders

. A person can afford a hearty and filling meal with just Rs. 1,000-1,500 in hand

. Doner and Durum management has done an amazing job and the café definitely exceeded our expectations. Our heartiest wishes go out to them to keep up the awesome work!

Cheers to a good meal!

Opening hours: 5.30 p.m.-10.30 p.m. from Tuesday to Thursday and Sunday, 5.30 p.m.-11.30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday
Address: No. 128, Ven. Muruththettuwe Ananda Himi Mawatha, Colombo 5
Contact number: 077 997 7993