Smith Street is flush with kebab shops – the end near Gertrude Street particularly so. But Shane Delia’s Biggie Smalls isn’t much like its neighbours.
First: it’s named after late rap legend Christopher Wallace, aka The Notorious B.I.G, whose hits boom from the burly, wall-mounted speakers.
Second: Delia’s meats are cooked with the same care as those at Maha, his Middle Eastern restaurant in the city. He buys lamb shoulder whole, marinates it for two days, then slow-cooks it for 12 hours in an oven. The falafels combine zucchini, flaxseeds and fresh chickpeas and are made to order.
The resulting kebabs are not what you're used to, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised once you taste combinations such as the Juicy (beef, lettuce, cheese, onion, mustard mayo and parsley) or the East Coast (pork, raw slaw, spiced peanut mayo, crackling and coriander).
There are also some outstanding chips coated in butter, preserved lemon and thyme; boozy milkshakes (including a root-beer float); and a stack of easy-drinking canned beers.
In homage to Delia’s own travels to the Big Apple, the small space walks the line between polished New York diner and New York subway car, with luggage racks suspended over the back booths.