Ninja restaurant (Antwerp)

© Ninja

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Does a fancy-pants kebab joint feel a bit like an oxymoron? Not in this modernist building in southern Antwerp, where Ninja blends kebab spits and a bling-bling attitude with a sharpened sense of cool. Wielding the sword-like knife? Jules Koninckx, a chauffeur-turned-chef/restaurateur (Maven, Jimmyz), alongside his Turkish sidekick Ugur Akkus (who also runs Extrema Outdoor festival). The duo roped in Ruby Carmen for the decor, which is slicker than your average snack bar: wood-clad walls, chrome chairs, leather banquettes, and a bar that looks like a spaceship. And on top of all that, a little touch of authenticity thanks to the wood-fired tandoor oven brought all the way over from Istanbul, out of which pop piping-hot lavash breads (wheat flour flatbreads), döner-ized with your choice of marinated beef, veal or lamb, shaved thinly and served with fries fried in beef fat. Get dippy with a yoghurt and cucumber sauce with added mint and sumac, unless you’d rather opt for the iskender version – a plate of meat topped with spicy tomato sauce over chunks of bread slathered with melted sheep’s milk butter and yoghurt. The Turkish rice pudding is the only dessert, but honestly, what more could you want? // Kiko Zushi

FEELING THIRSTY? Old-school basics (Coca-Cola, Fanta, Sprite and Stella Artois, €3.50 for 330 ml), but also çay (Turkish tea, €2) or a trendier Aperol Spritz (€9).

PRICE: Döner kebab €19-23, dips €9.50 to €13.50, lavash bread €3.90 (two pieces), dessert €9.50.

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