It’s normal for many restaurants to open around military installations. Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek, ROK is no different. Right outside of the main walk-out gate is an area referred to by the military community as “The Ville.” The Ville is home to many restaurants of various ethnicities including Korean (of course) but also Filipino, Thai, Chinese, Turkish and even American.
Recently my battalion chaplains introduced me to the restaurant nearest the walk-out gate, the Turkish restaurant Nazar Kebab. Jumping ahead in my review of this restaurant, I’ve eaten there several times since then.
Nazar Kebab is a small place with seating for about 25 or so. In the warm weather, there are tables outside in the front. As you walk in, there’s a large menu hanging from the ceiling along with picture menus on the counter. The procedure is to place your order and pay, the find a seat and wait for your order. The don’t have fountain drinks, but do have a selection of Coke products, and other drinks in a drink cooler, if you choose to buy a drink. Along with two meat roasters (one of which is lamb), there’s a nice tiled dome oven. Add to the oven the Turkish workers behind the counter, and it’s a nice Mediterranean atmosphere.
I ordered a Lamb Tortilla “set,” meaning the sandwich, french fries and a drink. I declined the offer to make it “spicy” and paid for my order which was just a few thousand won, got mine drink from the cooler and found a seat. After a few minutes my order was ready so I returned to the counter to retrieve it and went back to my seat.
My experience with Turkish food is limited to the Doner Kebabs we ate regularly while living in Germany. They reminded me of Greek Gyros, but were significantly different and stood on their own as a novel taste. At first look, the Lamb Tortilla from Nazar Kebab looked very much like a Greek Gyro, though they used a tortilla instead of pita bread which, while I think the pita bread would taste better, the tortilla is probably better for you.
I’ll begin with the other items before getting to the main entree. The Coke was in a can, bottled for sale in Korea so instead of high fructose corn syrup that Coke uses in the U.S., it was sweetened with pure cane sugar, so had a much better taste. The french fries were cooked well and had a great taste. The order of fries, while a standard size, were plenty to complete the meal and satisfy my hunger.
The Lamb Tortilla, wrapped in a tortilla, came with the shaved lamb with lettuce, onions, tomatoes, onions and an appropriate sauce. I’m always concerned about not getting enough meat, but there was plenty of meat here. All of the other items were also of sufficient proportions allowing for the perfect mix of meat with the other ingredients. The taste? Delicious! So good in fact, that after my first visit, the next time I was at Camp Humphreys I ate there 2 more times, then again on the next visit. I plan on eating there every chance I get and would highly recommend you try them out if you ever get to Pyeongtaek.