Rüyam Gemüse Kebab (or Rüya as it was called until 2017) has been serving up the kind of chicken Döner Kebabs that dreams are made of at Hauptstraße 133 in Berlin Schöneberg since 2012. Rüyam is literally my dream, and I mean literally – it is the Turkish translation, hence their tagline ‘traumhaft lecker’.
All customers at Rüyam Gemüse Kebab are addressed at the till with a cheery ‘Mein Lieber’ (my dear); and this isn’t the only thing that sets Rüyam apart from its competitors, you’ll also get to choose between 3 breads – the standard (with a few added touches) flat bread, the ‘sandwich’ (a torpedo like roll), and Dürüm (a tortilla like wrap for the uninitiated). The next decision is which of the usual 3 sauces to take: Kräuter (herb), Knoblauch (garlic) or Scharf (spicy).
My personal preference here is the standard Döner with Kräuter-Scharf because here spicy means spicy.
Giving a tip will be greeted by a “Danke Mein Lieber” (thank you my dear) followed by a cry of “Einmal Trinkgeld” (one tip) , which is then answered by a shout of “Danke Schön” (I think you’ve got this one) from the rest of the staff. This level of familiarity and joviality might not be everyone’s cup of tea (which incidentally is offered free), after all Berliners have a reputation for grumpiness (which is undeserved), but it always puts a smile on my face. This is service of the kind you won’t find often (if at all) elsewhere in Berlin.
You’ll get a slip with a number on it that will pop up on the digital displays when your food is ready.
I’ve already given the game away with my introduction so you know that the Kebabs here are a bit special. The bread is crisp and unlike any I’ve had at any other Imbiß; the meat is tender and juicy; the sauces pack a punch; the vegetables are full of flavour; and the finishing touches: fresh mint and crumbled Feta round it all out.
Of course this kind of quality doesn’t come without the drawbacks associated with the obvious popularity – you can’t miss the testimonials and thank yous scrawled on the walls, counter and ceiling. Like at the even more well-known Mustafa’s Gemüse Kebap you can expect to wait for your food at busy times – I’ve known the waiting time be 25 minutes on an early Wednesday evening for example. The advantages here are that the staff will tell you how long you might have to wait when you order, there is shelter from the cold in the winter months and a good chance you will get a seat. You could maybe even squeeze in a visit to David Bowie’s old flat at Hauptstraße 155, which is about 10 minutes away by foot, if it’s packed.
I had my first Rüyam Gemüse Kebab in 2014 and it is the friendliness of the staff and the fun they have while serving that makes the experience as much as the food the reason that I keep coming back – go and live the dream! – check Facebook for current opening times.