New kebab fad beefs up

November 26, 2016

EAT UP: Omer Aktas from Kebab Boyz gives us the tips on how to make a good 'HSP'.

It is the cult-like food item that has swept Australia, and Shepparton’s Kebab Boyz believes its Halal Snack Pack is up there with the best.

Kebab shops around Australia have put the Halal Snack Pack, or HSP, on their menu after the hybrid Australian/Middle Eastern dish rose in popularity earlier in the year.

Omer Aktas from Kebab Boyz at Riverside Plaza in Shepparton said the creative dish is now more popular with some of his customers than the humble kebabs since they put them on the menu last year.

‘‘Some days you can’t keep up with it, especially on Friday nights we’ll get our regulars,’’ Mr Aktas said.

The dish typically comes with a bed of hot chips, cheese, kebab meat and a range of sauces.

It had a boost in popularity earlier this year when it got a mention from opposition senator Sam Dastyari on an election night broadcast when he invited Pauline Hanson to come to Western Sydney and share a Halal Snack Pack meal.

A Facebook page added to its popularity, with close to 200000 members joining the ‘‘Halal Snackpack Appreciation Society’’ and sharing tips about which shops do the best HSPs.

Mr Aktas said the dish was more popular with his younger customers.

‘‘They like it because it’s cheesy, it’s got chips and extra sauces, it’s beautiful,’’ he said.

Mr Aktas, who runs Kebab Boyz with his brothers Timmy and Ersen, followed in the footsteps of his Turkish immigrant parents who ran a number of kebab shops in Sydney. But there was a generational divide when it came to the HSP.

‘‘(My parents) are like, ‘why would you put that on, why would you make that?’ I said mum it’s the new thing now,’’ he said. ‘‘I tell them you have to try it.’’

As for how to make a good HSP, Mr Aktas said you need to make sure the chips are extra hot, that the best meat was lamb and to avoid tabouli, hummus or cucumber dip as it killed the flavour.

According to the Halal Snack Pack Appreciation Society, great HSPs in Shepparton are available at:

●Kebab Boyz;

●Royal Kebabs;

●Mustafa’s Kebabs.

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