MS Dhoni’s favorite kebab corner in New Zealand

Shashi / 09 March 2015

The Indian Cricket team has been on the road for over 100 days now and one cannot blame Mahendra Singh Dhoni & Co for yearning for spicy Indian food, after all, who doesn’t crave for the national dishes?

But the Men in Blue somehow find places where they can get their favourite share of cuisine and that too of their indigenous origin. In Australia (particularly Adelaide and Melbourne), Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel were seen frequenting Nandos for its peri-peri chicken among other specialities – both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. Here in New Zealand too, it turns out that they have a popular food joint.

Kebabs Salateen, which is at a stone’s throw from the Novotel hotel here in central Hamilton, is a favourite among some of the Indian players. Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Ishant Sharma, Harbhajan Singh have been some of the frequent visitors here whenever the Indian team came down to play at Seddon Park.

Even the India cricket legend and so called God of Cricket Sachin Tendular and his then opening partner Virender Sehwag have also visited this eatery. And how can one avoid the place when the God of Cricket has himself recommended the site for its eatery? The place has been in existence for over 14 years and is owned by Khalid Mahmud, a Pakistani, settled here in New Zealand.

Ashraf Khokoon, manager of the kebab joint is not very forthcoming with details, but confirmed that a lot of other top cricketers also come to eat at the venue.

Chris Gayle, Hashim Amla, Daniel Vettori, Jacques Kallis are some of the top cricketers, who have come here in the past, Khokoon was heard saying. The restaurant has a wall filled with pictures of all its famous customers over the years.

The Indian team landed in Hamilton from Perth on Saturday night and Khokoon, waiting for Dhoni & Co. to drop by is well prepared with the Indian captain’s favourite kebab preference.

The Indian team landed very late last night. Probably that is why Dhoni hasn’t come here yet. But the last time he was here (for the 2013-14 series), he had our mix kebab – cooked pieces of chicken and lamb filled into a roti with spicy sauces and salads and he even liked it, said Khokoon, promising to make a kebab roll that MSD prefers. One bite into the juicy meat feast and you know just why Dhoni loves to drop by whenever he’s in town.


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