Halal Snack Packs. No, you don’t really have to be a muslim to eat them, just someone who loves stuffing unhealthy food in their face, preferably after a night of irresponsibly heavy drinking.
Why do these exist, and what’s the story behind them? They’ve been around for a while and are also called ‘AB’s’ in South Australia. But the recent rise in popularity might be partly to do with this video, where racist/xenophobic senator Pauline Hanson refuses to take up the offer of trying one. She, and other rednecks, are convinced that Halal certification is directly funding terrorism.
After this video happened and went viral, kebab shops started to realise they had something new to cash in on.
A snack pack now comes in a pretty standard format, which any kebab shop selling them ought to know about lest they get relentlessly punished in reviews.
Bottom layer = freshly cooked chips.
Next = cheese on the chips. It better be melted.
Next = kebab meat, chicken, lamb, or mixed. Pork is obviously not halal.
On top = the ‘holy trinity’ of sauces, which is garlic, sweet chilli, and barbeque.
Don’t be fooled by the name, these ‘snack packs’ are often a very very huge feed, some I’ve had would definitely feed 2 people. But if you don’t eat until you hate yourself, that’s a bit pathetic isn’t it?
Here’s the first one I ever bought, from Viva Kebabs near Southern Cross in Melbourne. It’s one of the most highly recommended on enthusiast forums (and yes, those are a thing). To be honest, I don’t think it was amazing in quality, being a bit overpowered by the sugary sauces. Still, not bad for an introduction to the world of HSPs. And not bad, I certainly stuffed the whole lot in.
Next up is possibly the worst abomination possible, from ‘Ali Baba’ at tullamarine airport. I’m sorry to show you this but they have to be called out and I need to get the worst out of the way.
Airport food is usually expensive and small, but this was just criminally bad. I’m not even sure what sauces they put on it, and why an essential ingredient such as cheese wasn’t offered let alone included. As I said above, don’t put it on the menu if the thing the customer receives is a joke they have to throw away after trying to gag down 1/3 of it! Is that cum?
Enough of that disgrace. Here we have one from ‘Kebab Vale’ in Pascoe Vale. This isn’t a well known spot, and in fact was devoid of customers when I made the lengthy journey of 2 trains and 1 bus to try it. I think a forum had a recommendation or maybe the owner had posted with a free drink deal of some sort.
This one was not the mountainous display of gluttony that most HSPs are, but more of a ‘solid feed’. And oh man, the quality was fantastic. The owner asked for my feedback, and I honestly couldn’t think of anything wrong with it. He mentioned heating the cheese after putting it on the chips to ensure it melted fully. The sauces were tantalising and gave me a serious mouth-gasm. Easily the best I’ve had so far.
The following is from an operator who uses the HSP craze to it’s full potential. He cares about his customers and gives them crazy deals, and they do the marketing for him as a result. This is from the newest store of ‘Jimmyz Kebabs’ in Dandenong. Normally I’d stay far away from that cesspit of crime and bogans, but after this was placed in front of me, I knew it was worth the journey and walking through the bus mall to get there.
Below we have the HSP from Queen’s Kebabs in King Street, Melbourne. This is right near all the strip clubs and drug nightclubs so you get a nice mix of customers to marvel at. Also, they have an amazing sound system which can be often heard cranking better techno than the seedy clubs nearby. A very good one, with tons of meat.
This one is from ‘Lamb on Brunswick’, in Fitzroy. Succulent meat, great sauces. Not a well known one at all, despite being on one of the main streets in fitzroy. It’s a bit overshadowed by ‘Chubby Chef’ next door, and I’ll be honest, that’s where I was going but it was shut on a Sunday.