Safir

It’s been a long time since my last kebab post, so when I got the munchies recently in Anděl, my thoughts turned immediately to Safir on the third floor food court.

Many people I know in Prague swear by Safir for their Middle Eastern food fix, and with good reason too – the place has a great range of daily dishes out on display, including (but not limited to) tabbouleh, stuffed vine leaves, various spicy stews and casseroles, stuffed peppers, baklava and, of course, gyros in all its various guises. They also do a mean houmous – to my taste the smoothest and tastiest in all Prague.

(I’d have got some lovely photos of all of the above, but – as often is the case in such fast food establishments – I got taken for a health inspector, told off, and made to slink away in shame.)

Ironically, the one thing I don’t really like here is their actual kebab – or the meaty version at any rate.

Usually I go for their delicious falafel pita or dürüm, with a side of houmous to scoop on at whim, which normally rates a solid 8 or 10 on my personal kebab scale.

Conscious on this occasion, however, that my readers tend to prefer the carnivorous option when it comes to kebabs, I ordered a chicken pita at 60 CZK (no other meat varieties available).

It wasn’t the worst kebab I’ve ever had, but I personally found the gyros rather underdone, with that slippery slimy texture I hate, rather than with nicely soft middle and semi-crunchy sides. I also found there was too much meat in proportion to vegetables, the salad consisting mainly of just grated cabbage with only a couple of small pieces of tomato detected in among the shreds. The bread at least was soft and warm, but they’d cut the pita right though to the very stump, which did not exactly make for easy eating here – in short, garnering an uncharacteristically low for Safir 6 out of 10.

Knowing Safir’s overall quality, I did initially think this might be an isolated aberration, but by coincidence a friend ordered the same for lunch a couple of weeks later and also reported the same, so perhaps it’s not just me here…

Given the fast-moving pace and high turnover here, I can only imagine that the outside of the old “dead man’s leg” doesn’t have time to crisp up properly in between servings – maybe having two on the go at once would help in allowing one to crisp up while cutting from the other etc etc…

Judging the place as a whole on the basis of multiple past visits, however, unfortunate recent kebab experience aside, I still have to award Safir’s quick and tasty food with an overall 8 out of 10 scoring – next time though I’m reverting to my old favourite in the falafel / houmous combination rather than experimenting further with their gippy gyros in future…!

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Safir
Nový Smíchov
Prague 5
Phone: (+420) 257 310 149

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