Review: Cafe Shish Kebab

Cafe Shish Kebab exterior

I’ve been to Cafe Shish Kebab (the sister restaurant to Cafe Istanbul) occasionally for dinner, but was told they had a lunch special that was – yes, I’m going to say it – pretty special. For $8.95, you get three courses – a choice of appetizer, a choice of entree, and a dessert of their choice. Other than dessert, there’s about 7 or 8 choices for each course. Excuse the harsh lighting, I took advantage of sitting outside when we were having unseasonably warm weather last week.

Pide from Cafe Shish Kebab

The first thing they did was bring out a loaf of Pide (Turkish bread), which is nice and crusty on the outside, and fluffy soft on the inside. They served it to me with some oil that had what I believed to be sun-dried tomatoes and other spices in it.

Dipping Oil from Cafe Shish Kebab

For my appetizer, I chose their Baba Ganoush, one of my favorite dishes at this location. The portion size was quite substantial, and the flavor was fabulous – nice combination of smoky eggplant and tahini that enhanced rather than overpowered the natural sweetness of the vegetable. The texture was nice and smooth, unlike the dip I had at their sister restaurant.

Baba Ganoush from Cafe Shish Kebab

For my entree, I went with Chicken Shish Kebab. I’ve never had a bad kebab by them, and the chicken is suprisingly one of the more flavorful and tender ones – the juices served to flavor the buttery rice they sat upon. Vegetables are extraneous and honestly wouldn’t be missed if they weren’t there.

Chicken Kebab from Cafe Shish Kebab

The dessert was a little disappointing – a tiny square of baklava that was sort of on the dry side. While it did serve as a nice palate cleanser, it was a bit of a letdown after the two fabulous dishes that preceded it.

Baklava from Cafe Shish Kebab

Service was slow but my older waiter was very kind, as he always is when I come to their restaurant. Definitely worth the price of admission, but if you only have an hour for lunch, you may have a problem getting back on time. A great way to experience a great restaurant on a smaller scale.

If you’d like to go: Cafe Shish Kebab, 1450 Bethel Road, Columbus, 614.273.4444

Cafe Shish Kebab on Urbanspoon

7 thoughts on “Review: Cafe Shish Kebab

  1. Alico

    Thank you very much for your comments and coming to our restaurant. We will take notice of your constractive critisims. We will update our menu on the coming week. We would love to see you again in our restaurant.Thank you again


  2. Amy Leibe

    Thanks for the info. I hadn’t tried lunch. My husband and I went there for dinner a couple of months ago and the food is tasty, the wait staff polite and I liked the interior decor.

    We’ll be back.

  3. Graham

    We tried Cafe Shish Kebab for dinner last night, after I saw your entry here. It was really quite enjoyable. Both of us had the Iskendar Kebab, which was served with homemade yoghurt (which, surprisingly, I really liked — I don’t usually like plain yoghurt) and vegetables. They gave us huge portions of meat, and I couldn’t quite finish mine. I had the Turkish tea with mine, which was very tasty. All in all, quite enjoyable. We will probably go back.

  4. Alicia Smith

    My husband and I dined at Cafe Shish Kebab last night for our 12th wedding anniversary. Everthing was delicious. The salata was cool and refreshing and we practically got full from a healthy helping of Pide. My husband had the shrimp kebab and I had a combo kebab (chicken and doner). My husband and his friends from India swear by Cafe Shish Kebab for lunch. Now I know why. I’ll definitely be back.


  5. Mandy

    Our office has ordered from Cafe Shish Kebab a few times. This last time we were missing the Donar meat in the mixed grill kebab and when we called they said they dont serve that meat till after 1pm, though we have always received even before 1pm. The dessert we ordered baklava was missing the nuts. When I asked about it they said take out orders there are no nuts in baklava. Thats strange we have ordered take out and always received with nuts. I didnt know Balava was ever made with out nuts. Thier take out menu says with nuts and says mixed grill comes with Donar meat. They also didnt give us a receipt which we had to go pick up later. Goodness!

  6. Sally

    One of my friend and I tried Cafe Shish Kebab for dinner last Wednesday after she saw your coupon at a local paper. It was really quite enjoyable. She got meat kebab, and sigara boregi, and I got mixed salad and chicken kebab. They gave us huge portions of meat, and we couldn't quite finish us. Unfortunately they didn't accept our coupons. And they said you should have told us at the beginning of your meal because there was another menu list for coupons. But there was no written information about it. Both of us didn't want to cheap, and paid the bill. The bill was two times more. I'm writing here because we wanted to remind other customers who have coupons. And the desert and tea were not fresh. I didn't eat mine, but my friend ate hers. I'm not sure my friend, but probably I will not go back.

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