Abdul’s BBQ – Burnaby, BC & Paradise Donair – New Westminster, BC

Abdul’s BBQ
4500 Kingsway
Burnaby, BC
(604) 431-9498


Paradise Donair
723 12th St, #3
New Westminster, BC
(604) 522-0789

I’ll come out and say it.  I’m struggling to find a truly amazing and tasty shawarma/gyro/döner kebab/donair here in the GVRD that I’m really happy with and a place that makes it that I would frequent regularly if it blew me away.  If anyone can help me by directing me to one that is at the top of the class, please, please, please let me know.

As any visitor to Crystal Mall in Burnaby can attest, it is heavily East Asian in context.  Walking inside you feel like you are transported across the Pacific, both in terms of the kinds of shops and eateries and the people packed inside.  So stepping just outside to Abdul’s was a refreshing change to get away from the sea of black hair.  🙂  My experience on this visit was completed by the pack of about fifteen Persians who suddenly came into the store when I was ordering, complete with traditional dress on the part of the females in the contingent.   Pretty amazing and a boost to my expectations of what I could get from this place.

Inside a very compact but efficiently set up enclave, the main proprietor is full of energy and movement in preparing the food – seemingly weighted on the take away crowd.  Soon enough and luckily before the rush of choices made by the other customers, I got mine and took it outside to a table to eat up.  A quick examination inside and it looked pretty darn good.  Hearty and well packed.  But then I realized that there was a much higher ratio of vegetables (ordered with everything) than actual meat.  While acceptable on flavours, I just didn’t get enough of the meat to really satisfy me.  Towards the last third, I felt like I was eating a lettuce-only wrap.

Returning to the site of an earlier disappointment on a random stopover, this time I went all out and got the biggest and baddest concoction they had on tap.  Not large nor extra large.  This one was called the Asskicker.  Getting a mix of beef and chicken, this was a massive beast, almost approaching football-size territory.  The place was still popular judging from the lineup encountered, but the slow speed of the solo female behind the counter probably had something to do with that (along with the guys who feel its their right to try and hit on the poor girl and cause further delays).

Now here, there was no skimping on the meat.  But, it was so lacking flavor (seasoning) and dry as a bone.  A direct contrast to the one had at Abdul’s.  I realized at this point, that I just can’t win.  Volume couldn’t compensate for the blandness and lack of moisture in the meat.  Help me dear readers, find a place that strikes this delicate balance critical to making this food outstanding…

Abdul's BBQ (Crystal Mall) on Urbanspoon

11 thoughts on “Abdul’s BBQ – Burnaby, BC & Paradise Donair – New Westminster, BC

  1. Hey Foodosophy!
    I would suggest you to try out “Donair Town” in the SFU cornerstone area if you have a chance. The prices are reasonable, and the meat are grilled to perfection and juicy! There is always a long line-up at this place especially during the lunch hours. Definitely my favorite place for donairs…!

    • Thanks for the suggestion sugary. Is this “Donair Town” part of some chain perhaps? I seem to see this name pop up around town, not sure if this is all connected. SFU is kinda out of the way for me, but will keep it in mind if I am ever over that way. Any idea if they are open weekends?

  2. Out of curiosity, did you ask your shawarma from Abdul’s to be spicy? One of the main selling point of Abdul’s is that sesame paste and hot paste they add. While the amount of chicken (or lamb or beef) is always an issue and I have noticed that some others in Downtown, namely Babylon, have been really inconsistent. Unfortunately, more often than not, too little meat filling… *shakes fist!!!*

    There has been a lot of these shops opening in the West End and, among the ones I like, they include Donair Dude and Donair King, in both cases, they panini grill them.

    • Hey KimHo. Yeah, I asked for a touch of it but wanted to keep it straight-up so I could see how the meat tasted on its own. Babylon, despite the lineups, has been disappointing on all three times I went there. Always loaded in too much sauce and a drippy mess.

  3. Hi shokutsu,

    I have been following your blog for a while but haven’t gotten the chance to comment. I also will recommend Donair Town at SFU. The donairs have good amounts of fillings, and if you are feeling like rice that day, get the rice platters… exceptional amounts of meat, filling, and worth it for the price of 7-8$.

  4. I’m a huge shawarma fan and I’d have to say that the best tasting donair I’ve ever had was at Donair Town on Robson and Denman. The carribean with mixed chicken and lamb is to die for. Honourable mention to Einstein Wrap House at Tinseltown. By far the juiciest chicken possible. They always carve your meat fresh when you order it!

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