Amidst the shimmering heat of rotating meat, tabouleh and unlimited sauce options comes Kebab Kings, SBS’s new observational documentary series which lifts the lid on a multicultural institution – the great Australian kebab shop.
The humble kebab is a one thousand calorie icon of our fast food culture and late-night rite of passage, but what really goes on in the world of kebabs?
This original threepart series narrated by Australian actor Shane Jacobson and produced by CJZ follows the staff and customers at two of Australia’s most popular kebab shops across three of the busiest weeks of the year leading up to Christmas.
Cameras capture what goes on behind the spit at Oz Turk in George Street Sydney, a notorious inner city strip carrying the nickname The Angry Mile, and Smith Kebabs in Melbourne’s newest hipster capital brimming with new bars and clubs, Collingwood.
Kebab Kings delves into the lives of the kebab shop owners and staff as they live the “Australian dream” and explores the challenges they face when their beliefs and values come face to face with a very different culture on a daily basis.
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In Melbourne, Australian Indian Muslim couple Mustafa and wife Zareena have run Smith Kebabs for four years and have grand plans to build their business into an empire, all while juggling raising a young family. Alcohol-fuelled customers from gay clubs and hipster pubs in trendy Collingwood are often at odds with the Muslim culture of Smith Kebabs’ owners and staff.
Turkish couple Fatima and Nafi, along with their son Ufuk, have been kebab royalty of Sydney for14 years, catering to the scores of tipsy city workers, backpackers and weekend revelers who party in the heart of Sydney’s CBD with charm and unwavering customer service.
Over a decade of 14 hour days has taken its toll and now the local legends have decided to retire, selling Oz Turk to rookie entrepreneurs and wannabe kebab kings, Syrian brothers Fadi and Rami.
The cameras in these two kebab shops capture people behaving badly, the problems with excess and human behaviour at its best.
Heartwarming and poignant moments, outrageous and sometimes all too familiar late night conversations, and a whole lot of meat, Kebab Kings is a rare front row seat to the mixing pot of Australian culture.
Kebab Kings airs over three weeks, beginning Wednesday 28 November, 8.30pm on SBS.