14.218 Somun Chicken Kebab

Cycle 14 – Item 218

11 (Fri) August 2023

Somun Chicken Kebab


at Troy Kebab

-Itaewon, Yongsan, Seoul, Republic of Korea-


Troy Kebab is a Turkish restaurant.  Specializes in lamb and chicken doner kebab, served in wraps/sandwiches/salads.

Located across from Hamilton Hotel.

Lunch in Itaewon, a tradition whenever I have a meeting at YISS (this time to discuss the book fair later in the fall).

In contrast to Sultan Kebab (visible across the street through the window) (see 14.102 Chicken Kebabs), Troy Kebab had customers, all expats – a good sign.

I just realized.  While spinning slowly on a doner spit, the meat roasts and caramelizes – and thus gets tastier.  Upon order, the meat is shaved off and served in a dish.  The meat then continues to spin, roasting and caramelizing again until the next order is placed.  But, if business is brisk, the meat won’t have adequate time to roast and caramelize.  So, paradoxically, the meat at a restaurant where business is slow could potentially be better, at least in terms of roasted and caramelized flavors.

Lamb on the left, chicken on the right.

Somun Chicken Kebab is a dish at Troy Kebab.  Comprises chicken doner kebab + red onions + tomatoes + pickles + garlic sauce + hot sauce, served in a toasted bread roll, which I would later learn is from the bakery Good Bread (14.070 Meatball Subs), just around the corner.  Presumably, “somun” refers to the Korean word for “rumor/gossip,” often a metaphor for something that’s hot through word-of-mouth.


When taking my order, the guy asked if I wanted “spicy” – which in Turkish terms can be “very spicy” – so I declined.  But halfway through, I began to crave some kick, so I went back and requested a dollop of hot sauce – much much better.


For now, this is the place to beat.



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