Think of the hallmarks of a kebabery – fluorescent lights, a glass display cabinet stocked with sauces and salad bits, a fridge full of soft drinks and cheap furniture for the few who eat in – Shwarmama has none of that.
Instead, you’re greeted by simple glass windows showing off what’s happening inside. Behind the counter three staff members take turns shaving off spiced rotisserie lamb or chicken (depending on the day), making kebabs and serving punters. It's tiny – exactly like a kebab shop.
Owners Mat Lindsay (Ester,Poly) and Russell Beard (Paramount Coffee Project, Reuben Hills run some of Sydney’s best restaurants and cafes respectively. To see their expertise applied to kebabs may seem disconcerting, but take one bite of the Shawarma (spiced rotisserie chicken or lamb stuffed in a flatbread with tahini, hummus, harissa, cucumber, onions and pickles) alongside a sip of coffee from the spruced-up instant coffee machine, and you’ll be sold.
The rest of the six item menu includes dishes such as the Falafel Pita; a Hummus Plate (hummus, chickpeas, tahini, pickles and pita); and a salted chocolate-chip cookie. In addition to the coffee, there’s beer (Wildflower’s Good as Gold is on tap) and two vinos.
The goal here isn’t to reinvent the wheel. Shwarmama just does good-quality kebabs, under $16, made in-house and simply.