Monday, August 4, 2014

Donair Star

Fifteen years ago, I was obsessed with Donair Star and always asked my parents to take me here. The shop served one of the best donairs before and I was only in Elementary school back then! Fresh sautéed mushrooms were always an option, the tzatziki sauce tasted rich, the housemade hot sauce was not very spicy but provided a nice buzz in the mouth, and the meat was always sliced fresh off the rotisserie to order. Furthermore, there was always a generous portion of meat!

However, after a year of my discovery, the owners sold the shop to a married couple. The donairs were still pretty good because the couple kept everything the same; from the menu as well as the ingredients, to the quality. The second owners operated exactly like the former ones, and the donairs continued to be my favourite.

But again, after more years passed, the third ownership was taken over by two brothers and they changed a few items as well as ingredients. Since then, the donairs have never been that great. However, the brothers were always humble as well as welcoming. Well, fast forward to more years later, Donair Star is now under the fourth (or perhaps fifth) owner and management, which made me curious to see how the donairs are. 

When we walked in, the staff was not very inviting and I wanted to take a photo of the rotserrie but felt like this would be a situation where "no photos" would be allowed.

I went for the super chicken donair because it is what everyone seemed to go for here. There is plenty of lettuce and the donair tastes very crunchy. In addition, the chicken tastes dry and neither juicy or caramelized. The chicken was not sliced fresh off the rotisserie and the donair could have used more tzatziki to provide some flavour, as well as moisture. Furthermore, the tzatziki tastes very light and there is not much flavour, along with the hot sauce.

My friend went for the combo star which includes all three types of meat. The chicken, beef and lamb tastes very generic and there is not much flavour. None of the meats are sliced fresh off the rotisserie and despite requesting for extra sauce, the donair tastes bland. As for the pita, it is generic and nothing special, no complaints.

TOTAL: $15.20.

Donair Star is an option for those who want a donair or a quick snack in the area. However, the donairs are average at best. As for the picky, perhaps even slightly below average. The sauces could taste more flavourful and the meats taste bland.

- Staff asked if the donairs were for here or to go
- For those who like plenty of vegetables

- Meats taste bland as well as the sauces (the hot sauce is not even spicy!)

- The original and second owners served one of the best (if not the best) donairs
- Meats are cooked, packaged and sent to the restaurant. However, they add their own marinade

Food: 2.5/5
Service: N/A

Donair Star on Urbanspoon


  1. I've heard that places aren't allowed to serve donair meat right off of the rotisserie anymore... something about requiring a secondary cooking step to ensure the meat is cooked. I know it didn't used to be this way many years ago but I think it started with all of the e.coli scares.

    1. Yeah, some people are either too busy or not experienced enough to know if the meat is fully cooked, which unfortunately takes the authenticity away from the donair. However, for those who order packaged and fully cooked meat, slicing off the rotisserie should not be a problem (asides the lack of taste lol). It is just disappointing when the meats sit in a warmer :(. No point getting a dry donair!

  2. Check out chowhounds, my experience was not very good either

    So… I research where I can get a Halifax Donair. This place comes up on 12th Street in New West called Donair Star. They advertise a Halifax Donair.

    This is what happened:
    -I order.
    -He gets out a full dry pita and opens it up to make a pouch. WRONG
    -He puts in large wedges of tomatoes. WRONG
    -He puts in diced onions. RIGHT
    -He then turns around and shovels out of a hot bowl the sliced anemic beef and stuffs it into the pocket of the pita. WRONG
    -Pulls out a white squeeze bottle and squeezed something into the pocket. WRONG
    -Then he folds it all up into a tightly packed ball and hands it to me. WRONG
    -All of this took about 25 seconds.

    I left cringing.

    This is how you make a real Halifax Donair:

    -Slice the properly flavourful and spiced pressed beef from the spit.
    -Place the pile of sliced meat on the hot flat oven plate.
    -Spray the meat with water and or oil.
    -Mix the meat. This will cook the meat further and provide the golden brown colour of the meat and seal in the flavours.
    -Place a pita that is sized to the order (small, medium, large), whole, on top of the meat on the grill.
    -Spray the pita and meat again with water/oil. Not too much.
    -Place a flat tray or pan over the meat and the pita to trap the juices and flavour.
    -Remove the pita and mix up the meat. The pita should be warm and slightly moist.
    -Move to another station and lay the pita down and place the meat on it then layer the diced onions and diced tomatoes on it.
    -Ask the client how much sauce they want.
    -Ladle the appropriate amount of the signature Halifax Donair sauce over the meat and vegetables.
    -Wrap up the pita with a fold at the bottom and then in a round so that the top is open.
    -Wrap the whole thing tightly in tinfoil.
    -Give to customer
    It should take about three or four minutes.

    If you don’t do these steps above. Don’t ever call it a Halifax Donair.

    What Donair Star created was a bland and flavourless ball of grey meat, dry pita and chunky tomato.

    1. Meh… it's Vancouver. Some places are better than others. I never had tomato wedges here though, they were sliced.

  3. Awesome food for what you pay for. Donair star has been on the business for a while showing that no matter what they have their steady happy base customers even when most of other restaurants are dead empty. It just shows what kind of a small fast food restaurant this is they have enough customers and that just shows to me how they operate their restaurant for their customer in a long term and in a very efficient way. Good food, Good Staff, Reasonable Price, Great Seating area. What else could you ask for ?? I Love This Place.



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