back to article Post-pub nosh deathmatch: Kapsalon v quesadillas

Our piece a couple of months back on the comparative merits of parmo and poutine proved pretty popular with the gourmets among you looking for something new to wrap your laughing gear round after a robust night on the sauce. We're delighted, then, to offer another post-pub nosh deathmatch for your consideration, viz: kapsalon …


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  1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

    Will you compare it to:

    Deep-fried pizza?

    I have never tasted (not do intend to taste) this artery clogging horror, but I would be interested in a fair comparison. All in the interest of science, of course.

    Beer, because it is Friday afternoon.

    1. Thecowking

      Deep fried pizza is OK, but you need to make it a donner meat pizza and dip it in curry sauce for the true post pub snack of the gods.

  2. Mostly_Harmless Silver badge


    You had me until you mentioned lettuce...can't be doing with's got vitamins in

    1. SImon Hobson Silver badge

      I was thinking that too, what on earth are they doing spoiling good grub with rabbit food ?

      And the other looks rather like a rather plain pizza.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      As opposed to olives?

      At least lettuce doesn't really taste of much.

    3. James Hughes 1

      I've found that no matter how much you eat, there is always room for salad. Even those little bags of it from the Indian takeaway.

  3. hplasm Silver badge


    Hungry now...

  4. Thomas 4

    One infamous snack

    ....that springs to mind are deep-fried Mars Bars. An almost mythical delicacy in my neck of the woods but I've never forgotten the taste after all these years. I've no idea what would make a good deathmatch rival though...

    1. Aaron Em

      Deep-fried Twinkies, obviously

      With deep-fried butter for afters.

    2. Monkey Bob

      deep fried Mars Bars, pah!

      Curly Wurly fritters ftw!

      Proper chippy batter, fried as hot & fast as possible while managing to keep your eyebrows.

  5. Arrrggghh-otron

    Quesadillas without Salsa, Sour cream and Chillis?

    To make a (IMHO) proper Quesadilla you should coat the tortilla with spicy salsa, a few gobs of sour cream, chopped chillis and of course the cheese - also add whatever you fancy. Chicken and spring onion works really well and is a lot more substantial than just olives, avocado and cheese.

    Almost as good as the legendary Breakfast Burrito!

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Big Brother

        Citizen, you are now charged with high-colesterol permissive inactive coercion.

        You shouldn't believe everything you hear. Just don't become a TV amoeba.

        Avocado with cheese and bacon? Hell yeah.

    2. ArmanX

      Never mind all that...

      That was a meager amount of cheese, that! Proper quesadillas require enough cheese to warrant buying shredded cheese in bulk bags; it should leak out the sides! I can see why that piddly little thing was considered 'only a snack'.

  6. TeeCee Gold badge

    Right you are then.

    I shall forego my usual Durum Doner as train food after beer tonight and see if the local kebab van[1] can chuck together a kapsalon.

    Actually.......they do a mean chilli sauce. Would it be terribly infra dig to chuck that on too?

    [1] It's safe now. During the month of August, the whole of the country goes on holiday and this includes the staff of the kebab van. This year they left some elderly bloke to run it on his own. As far as I can make out, the only dish he knew how to make was the Montezuma's Revenge Special.

    1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: Right you are then.

      I gather it's perfectly legal to stick chilli sauce on your kapsalon. Putting it on the chips at the bottom might be the way to go. Good luck...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        Yep, chili sauce *is* allowed

        Just watched a Dutch TV report from 2006 about the 'Kapsalon' phenomenon. In the video clip they slap on some chili sauce ("sambal") just before they add the cheese (about half way through the clip) :

        Looks good. I think I'll be having shoarma this weekend now... :)

        1. Roger Jenkins

          @Yep, chili sauce *is* allowed

          Please don't describe 'Sambal' as a chilli sauce. It isn't a sauce really, it basically crushed red hot chillies. Apply it like a sauce and next day you'll need a fire extinguisher.

          Also, if the Dutch eat chips or salad, in fact most things, it must have mayonaise.

          Also, to use Mozerella is wicked. The recipe says Gouda, now in England and here in Aus. Gouda is a very young very mild cheese. In Holland there are many Gouda cheeses including old, this is a very strong tasting rather delicious cheese, nothing like that incipid pale yellow stuff that passes for Dutch cheese in U.K./Aus.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @ Roger Jenkins

            OK, I'll give you the sambal != chilli sauce point. But there is no plain mayonaise in a kapsalon. Only copious amounts of shoarma sauce (which is basically a garlic mayonnaise).

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Just say no.

    Why not top it with more cheese? It's good for your teeth.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What about the 3 (or 4) in 1?

    In Dublin, we have a wonderful concoction after the Kapsalon's own heart...

    The 3-in-1. It's a sort of Chinese version - Fried Rice, Chips, and Curry Sauce.

    You can make it a 4-in-1 bu adding Chicken Balls. It's awesome for those post-pub filling moments.

  9. Red Bren


    Isn't that something that food eats?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Foodie middle class b'llocks

    It's like I'm reading a Nigel Slater article in the guardian.

    If it doesn't come fresh from the microwave then it's not real food

  11. Ironclad


    I'm with Arrrggghh-otron that's a pretty anaemic quesadilla.

    Throw in some chopped chillis, chicken and chorizo and bring it on.

  12. Avalanche

    Don't forgo the lettuce, it is crucial to the taste sensation of a kapsalon. BTW: if you want something it a bit more spicy: include sambal sauce as well.

    Also some kebap shops also include (red) onion, tomato and a variety of other vegetables.

  13. disgruntled yank Silver badge


    Who sponsors this survey? The college of bypass surgeons or the association of statin manufacturers?

    1. peyton?

      Mmmmm..... chorizo

      I'll second the chorizo! (Not the dry pepperoni kind either - the crumbly, greasy, Mexican kind!)

      Choriqueso + tortilla chips also makes for a great snack.

  14. johnnytruant


    I think you'll find that what you've made there is not a quesadilla, but instead a sincronizada. A quesadilla (lit: "little cheese thing") is one tortilla with cheese (and goodies) then folded in half. Outside Mexico, this confusion is very common.

    I claim my five pounds, etc.

    1. ian 22


      You are quite right, that is a El Salvadoran sincronizada. The Spanish are not to be trusted with Mexican/Central American cuisine. After all, they think an omelette is a 'tortilla'.

  15. PatC

    Wot ?

    No guacamole?

    No salsa?

    No sour cream?

    You put that quesadilla in a pink tutu and gave it pillows for gloves - lacy pillows!

    Call that a fair fight?

    We demand a rematch!

  16. Aaron Em

    Try a chupaqueso

    (Word of advice: employ the services of a designated stove operator, rather than trying to do it yourself while you're three sheets to the wind. The folding step is surprisingly tricky even while sober; doing it drunk is not to be thought of.)

    Required ingredients:

    Shredded cheese - cheddar, mozzarella, anything that'll melt well - 2 handfuls worth

    Optional (but highly recommended) ingredients

    Bacon and other meats - already cooked; chives or other spicy things; additional strong cheeses for flavor - ones with mold in them work quite well; salt, pepper, a bit of garlic powder


    Heat up a dry skillet. Take a handful of cheese and drop it in, spreading it around to form a circle a few inches across. (If uncertain about size, err on the side of smaller; they're very filling and must be eaten hot off the pan, and you can always make another one if you want one.)

    Let the cheese melt and sizzle in the bottom of the skillet until the top is bubbling and the bottom is brown and crispy. Add the second handful of cheese, along with any optional ingredients (I highly recommend bacon) in the standard "burrito filling" configuration -- that is, a linear heap roughly bisecting the existing circle of cheese.

    Immediately fold the already-frying cheese over the new stuff in the middle, so that you end up with something that resembles a fajita. (I use two spatulas to do this part, and usually screw it up.) Flip it over and let it sizzle for a few seconds to make sure all the cheese inside is well melted; you'll probably want to tuck the ends back in properly as well. Then flip it on to a plate and hand it to whoever's eating it, which they'll do immediately if they have any sense. Give the leftovers to the dog, there's no point trying to save them and eat them later as they'll be horrible and there's no re-heating these things -- stick it back in the man and it'll end up burnt, stick it in the microwave and it'll end up vulcanized.

    Yes, that's right: fried cheese with cheese inside. Sound horrible? Try one.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Extra Large with Cheese and Egg

    My introduction to kebabs was through the vans that haunt the centre of Oxford each night. There are about 10 different kebab vans and each one (in the day - early 90s) was known for certain things. The van on Broad Street stayed open the latest (3.30am) and was the only one that did hot dogs. One of the St Giles' vans did baked potatoes. The one outside Pembroke college was the most generous with meat, and the one outside University college (Ahmed's) had the hottest chilli sauce. The one thing common to them all is that you could get an extra large doner with cheese and egg. In my day, these delight would cost a mere £2.50 to £3.00 depending on the van.

    Ahmed's did the best in my humble opinion. It would be constructed as follows:

    1) Slice some doner meat and throw it on the grill to finish it off.

    2) Crack an egg on the grill, break the yolk and shape it into a large ellipse so that it will eventually fit on the top of your kebab.

    3) Grill your pita bread.

    4) Take a happy shopper paper bag (you know the sort), tear it down one side, folding down the sides to make a triangle shape. Place the pita in the bag along the long diagonal and fold up the bottom to make a sort of boat shape.

    5) Put lettuce in the bottom of the pita. The function of this lettuce is simple - soak up the grease and stop it dripping onto your trousers and shoes as you walk along.

    6) Put in your grilled doner meat, the pita at this point will essentially be full.

    7) Throw on chilli sauce - it must go on at this stage or it won't penetrate the delights on top and cover all the meat.

    8) Throw on a good handful of grated cheddar cheese. This should automatically melt with the heat of the meat.

    9) Add your now cooked egg to the top.

    10) Grace the top with a salad made up of lettuce, onions, white and red cabbage, tomato and cucumber.

    11) Add lashings of garlic mayonnaise to the top.

    12) Pull up the side of the happy shopper bag which were folded down at step 4 to provide some lateral support to this monster.

    Finally, savour the delights whilst you feel the fur applying itself to the inside of your arteries. In my opinion: great whether you are drunk or sober.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh dear oh dear.

    So, in order to review foodstuffs for post-pub beer-soaking duties for a UK-centric newsletter (or whatever El Reg is this week), you assemble:

    - a bunch of Spanish people, FFS. What do *they* know about sinking a skinful and then chowing down on something you'd never dream of eating whilst sober? (I live here too: the answer is 'nothing'.)

    - in the middle of the day - check out those shadows, peeps!


    To save others searching for the evidence, compare this:

    with the blue bottle visible in the last photo.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      But where do I find

      But where do I find the Genuine Imitation Ovalkwik to go with it?

      Mine's the carbonan jumpsuit

  19. Troy Peterson

    Not quite a donair

    Honestly, I've been dissapointed with these 'doner kebabs' that you have in this country ever since I moved here.. They just don't hold a candle to a real proper Canadian Donair. We really need to introduce proper Donairs to this country - I think you'd like them. Much better than the half-arsed dry attempts that your kebob shops make now.

    And of course you need real, proper poutine here. FYI, poutine is made from _Chedder Curds_, not curdled milk!!! There is a significant difference. Adding Lomon juice to milk just curdles it... That is just discusting. Chedder curds are more similar to something like say... paneer. Fresh chedder curds are delicious by themselves and when added to a poutine they are simply divine.

  20. benzaholic

    You want powerful late night quesadillas, you need TexMex

    Our bastardized Texas versions of Mexican food include lots of quesadillas.

    Mozzarella is the wrong cheese. Cheddar and Monterrey Jack, please.

    MEAT, MEAT, MEAT. Chicken, steak, grilled shrimp, crawdads, roasted pork, chorizo, anything will do. For the vegetarians (as we say, a Native American word for Bad Hunter), use good mushrooms maybe. Add some kind of mild-to-moderately spicy peppers like poblanos or just green chiles.

    Use flour tortillas instead of those silly little corn ones.

    And as others have mentioned, serve with sides of sour cream, pico de gallo/salsa, and guacamole.

    The one thing your crew got right was slicing it like a pizza. That gives you points to use when dipping into the sides, which should obviously be served in little plastic containers that are otherwise too small to dip large things into.

    But that kapsalon stuff sounds worth a try. You kids do some crazy things with chips.

    1. Ugotta B. Kiddingme Silver badge

      TexMex FTW!

      darn, you beat me to it. Mozzarella?!? HELL no! Jalapeño Cheddar and Monterrey Jack.

      Mozzarella, while a perfectly fabulous cheese in Italian food (or anything closely resembling), has NO business in Mexican food (or anything closely resembling, such as TexMex)

  21. frank ly
    Thumb Up

    I'm glad I read all these ...

    They're much more entertaining and educational than iOS/Android/Windows comparison comments. Thank you everybody. I've been inspired to make something 'special' over the weekend.

  22. Marketing Hack Silver badge

    And I forgot to add to my first post

    Sour cream on the side!!

  23. Marketing Hack Silver badge

    Someone ought to shoot you Englishmen!!

    Mozzerella cheese in a quesadilla?!! Do I insult English tastes by saying that tea and biscuits means dunking Oreos in a glass of Nestea??

    Your quesadilla was correct in the sense that it involved cheese and tortillas exposed to heat. About the only thing you got right was the olives (which are a perfectly valid filling).

    Proper tortilla--large flour, folded over the filling instead of using two small torillas with filling between them--much neater that way and more fun to eat--which is half the point in the first place!

    Proper cheeses: Jack, cheddar, Mexican cotija cheese, Mexican queso fresca

    proper meats: no ground meats allowed!--otherwise chicken, grilled beef, grilled or BBQ'd pork, beef tounge are all good

    Proper veggies: various roasted fresh or canned sliced or diced chiles (Jalepeno, Serrano work--NO PEPPERENCINO), mushrooms, sauted or roasted and sliced onions, guacamole or sliced avocado, roasted sliced garlic, the afore-mentioned sliced olives, REAL SALSA, a smidgen of cilantro (which I think is called coriander in Europe) If you don't have salsa and cilantro--don't even bother getting the other ingredients out!--just make yourself a sandwich or something!!

    1. A. Coatsworth

      I came to point that out, but you covered pretty much every thing.... It's no wonder this "quesadilla" lost the round

      No salsa and no guacamole makes quesadilla a dull snack...

      No salsa and no guacamole makes quesadilla a dull snack

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wish some one would have real lamb donner

    more like the chicken ones, with real chunks of meat slowly cooking and carved off. After all you can eat lamb pink, I prefer it that way. It's what the "inventor" intended when he came to the UK.

    And get rid of the fat filled elephant's foot.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I double-dog dare...

    I hereby double-dog dare The Reg staff to come over here and do a comparison against a genuine Waffle House all-the-way. I don't care against what you compare it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      There's plenty!

      Find a Turkish area, North London has plenty, and you'll find plenty of places doing just that.

  26. Captain Underpants
    Thumb Down

    Why on earth would you take something that's clearly an unholy frankenstein-style hybrid of chips & cheese, a doner kebab and (inexplicably) rabbit food and compare it to a bad butchery of a quesadilla? (Apart from anything, as others have mentioned, quesadillas are folded in half...and if you're not going to use either black beans, refried beans or guacamole in them, what's the point?)

    A much better comparison would be between a proper burrito and kapsalon, on the basis that a burrito has a comparable ingredient base.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What about for the day after?

    Menudo -


    Michelada -

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    A few years ago, after gigs in London, we'd stop off at Billy Bunter's on the Mile End Road in the small hours to get a Gutbuster. This was a burger with a full English crammed on top - sausage, bacon, egg, mushroom and I-was-far-too-pissed-to-remember what else.

  29. Alabama Amerkin

    So. USA Sausage Gravy Over (American) Biscuits

    A flour white sauce cooked with pork sausage chunks is slathered over fluffy Southern American buttermilk biscuits. Heart-stoppingly delicious/fatal!

    One might also throw some sort of egg dish, bacon and/or other Yank sausages, fresh sliced tomatoes, and Brit chips or Yank grits on the plate, especially if selecting from a buffet spread.

  30. LINCARD1000


    An antipodean (NZ, but possibly also Asstralian) delight after a night on the sauce is a dried up horror of a pie from a petrol-station pie-warmer.

    Crusty and a sensible temperature on the outside, full of 1000 degree meat-something on the inside. Even better if it is a steak & cheese, or mince & cheese pie of the Big Ben brand - in that case there is a brown smear of something that might have once possibly *seen* meat in passing, and the cheese is hotter than molten Aluminium.

    What you would compare this to, however, is beyond me.

    I wont even mention what happens to a sausage roll after being in a petrol-station pie-warmer all day...

  31. Tom Maddox Silver badge

    Yeah, it's already been said

    But that is a wussy quesadilla. The local taqueria makes quesadillas with one gigantic flour tortilla (or you can get the quesadilla para dos with two gigantic flour tortillas), a mountain of cheese, salsa, avocado, sour cream (which I usually skip), and your choice of meats (my personal favorite being carne asada). The resulting construction, eaten wrapped up like a burrito, is greasy, filling, and delicious, especially after a night of hard drinking.

    It's an axiom of food that the further you go from the source, the worse it gets, and this is most especially true of "commoner" food like standard Mexican fare (there are exceptions, of course, but they're rare), so expecting a decent quesadilla out of a Spanish/English collaboration does seem unreasonable. Get your man in San Francisco to FedEx you a quesadilla from El Farolito--the difference, even after being in transit, will be quite apparent.

  32. Sean Baggaley 1

    I have to agree with the others re. the quesadilla.

    As an Italian myself, I can affirm that mozzarella cheese is intended for very specific uses that do _not_ involve anything approaching taste. It is a cheese which proudly places its functionality over its form. Or flavour.

    Mozzarella is essentially a damp version of what Tesco calls "Mild Cheddar", but which everyone else calls "flavourless candle wax". Just as the latter is intended to end its life being burned to a near crisp on a slice of dry toast with a bit of mustard on top, so mozzarella's purpose is to go all stringy when melted, (preferably in supplì or arancini—sod pizza, which is just toast with delusions of grandeur).

    Mozarella's secondary purpose—and this only really applies to the more expensive buffalo mozzarella—is to provide some texture to a salad, while also—if you've included some cherry tomatoes—unsubtly conveying the message that you're a sad enough to think a salad in the national flag's colours is somehow cool.

    But I digest...

    I can't think of an Italian dish that would serve as a post-pub meal, aside from pasta carbonara:

    10. Cook pasta (penne, conchiglie, or the more usual spaghetti). If you're too bladdered to manage this simple task, I recommend ordering out instead.

    20. Drain pasta.

    30. Immediately return drained pasta to cooking pot, which should be left on the stove on very low heat.

    40. Add the contents of a couple of eggs (1 per person, plus one for the pot) and a dash of extra virgin olive oil. (Other cooking oils do have worse health implications, but really don't taste as good.)

    50. Stir into the pasta. The heat of the just-cooked pasta cooks the eggs.

    60. Add the cream. About 200 ml. or so of single cream should suffice, but feel free to vary to taste.

    70. Add black pepper. Freshly ground if available. And plenty of it. (This is where the dish gets its name: "carbonara", from "carbone" --> "coal".)

    80. Add grated cheese—pecorino fits better than the usual parmesan, but either will do.

    90. Mix it all up, then...

    100. Eat.

    110. GO SUB* 10.

    That's (unpasteurised!) egg, cream, oil, starchy pasta and cheese, all in one belly-busting combination.

    Who said the Mediterranean diet was good for you?

    * ("GO TO" is considered harmful, apparently. And I like pointless recursion.)

  33. Objekt

    The sauce for the kapsalon never goes directly on the chips, otherwise they very quickly get soggy. First chips, then the meat, some sauce, cheese, more sauce, salad is the proper sequence. Another vital ingredient is lashings of unsweetened chilli sauce.

    There are also two varieties, lamb and chicken. Personally I find the combination of lamb and cheese uneatable, but the chicken version really hits the spot, especially if the salad is more imaginative than just lettuce.

  34. Roger Jenkins


    Back in my day, 1960's, most pubs on a Friday night had a seafood (winkle) stall outside. One would stagger from the pub, pay the sixpence for a small plate of winkles, cockles, mussels or whatever took your fancy, they were supplied with a wedge of bread (salt, vinegar, pepper). One would stand and eat this lot then stagger further up the road and spew the lot into the gutter. Sorted.

    Now to the point, Frikandel. These have a similar effect as the above, have a gutful of your favourite beer or beers at the bar, then go and buy a couple of Frikandel specials. Frikandel, chips mayonaise and stuff. Eat, stagger and try to overcome the nausea, preferrable do this in Limburgh South Holland where the best Frikandel are made.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "kebab meat"

    I'm afraid your starting point for the kapsalon was all wrong, as you clearly (it being Spain) did not have Dutch schwarma meat, an entirely different animal (almost certainly literally) to UK doner meat, or frankly any other version of kebab short of the other side of the Dardanelles. The pukka Dutch tackle is invariably a little crispy and completely fails to leave a uncleansable stench on your digits for 3 weeks afterward.

    Had you been in possession of genuine schwarma, I'm afraid there would have been no contest.

    However, fond as I am of post pub gourmet experiences, the ultimate way to round off a serious session remains a decent serving of lightly grilled thinly sliced pig between two pieces of fresh, well buttered bread - non supermarket bacon natch. Sublime.

  36. Charles Manning

    Surely the real test is...

    How easily does it hose off the pavement the next morning?

    Score one point for every second of vigorous brushing required.

  37. Lloyd
    Thumb Down

    Quesadilla's in the UK

    No one knows how to make them properly, never any spice in them.

  38. Bernard M. Orwell

    Salad is not food.

    Salad is what food eats.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's obvious I know, but we need to sort out the heavyweights:

    Bacon sandwich vs. Fishfinger sandwich.

    Kapsalon looks very close to something we order form the local kebab shop, which we nicknamed 'Box of Joy'. Our skips the lettuce, though.

  40. James Cullingham

    "The anything in this case was *advocado* and ..."

    Maybe just me, but especially with the Dutch connection I thought this was going to involve eating a lawyer...

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