Mr Falafel (Palestinian) – Shepherd’s Bush, LondonHALAL STATUS Fully Halal • Vegan
“Legends aren’t born, they’re made.” That’s certainly the case with Mr Falafel, a small and unassuming sandwich bar located in New Shepherd’s Bush Market, whose golden nuggets have now become the stuff of legends.
Mr Falafel’s utterly committed owner, the ever-jovial Ahmad, continues to produce, en masse and as fresh as you’re ever going to get, his award-winning, deep-fried, doughnut ball wraps with unwavering precision.
These falafels aren’t just suitable for vegans and vegetarians, but they also happen to be “The Best Palestinian Falafel”, so reads the business’ byline.
In fact, the 20-cover eatery spells out the origin of its falafel in more ways than one, with one side of the wall proudly painted to represent the flag of Palestine, along with black and white framed photos depicting the country in all its magnificent glory, including Jerusalem and the Damascus Gate from the 1930s, before history took a turn for the worst.
Dedicated fans, including members of FtL, will remember how Mr Falafel started off as a small kiosk back in 2000, before going through a much needed and, frankly speaking, deserved facelift in 2008. But, have those legendary falafels remained consistent up till now? Time to find out.
Word of caution, Mr Falafel should not be confused with a pretender to the throne by the name of Falafel King located nearby.
Mr Falafel offers a straightforward menu option with, of course, an assortment of innovative falafel sandwich wraps that come in two sizes: medium and extra-large.
The soft and moist halloumi cheese worked well against the strong pungency of the earthy green olives too.
But it was the textural interplay between the soft slices of avacado and the crispy-cum-crunchy falafel that we enjoyed the most.
All in all, a very flavourous wrap that we all thoroughly recommend.
But, again, we really appreciated the way in which the squidgy texture of the aubergines complimented the crunchy composition of the aromatic falafels.
And though the walnut stuffing wasn’t as apparent as we’d have preferred, this vegan wrap was certainly distinct enough to stand apart from the above, with robust flavours that’ll keep you swiftly munching right through till the very end.
However, it was the addition of the green chillis that made this wrap arguably the most complex flavoured of the four had on the evening.
We enjoyed the way in which the herby freshness of the coriander and the sourness of the pickle helped to dampen the heat generated by the green chillis and the sauteed potatoes.
And while it even had slices of aubergine, we felt that the skin left on it did, on occasions, serve as a distraction that required being removed.
Nothing more to say of this, except that the assortment of ingredients came together harmoniously to offer a satisfying vegan sandwich.
The mint leaves provided that initial burst of flavour, which then gave way to the two pickled condiments, followed by the distinct taste of the parsley thereafter.
There was plenty of tahini sauce too, some slices of aubergine, as well as the crunchiness of the pickled cucumber to make this a winning combination.
Now although these aren’t officially on the menu, we have it on good authority that the best time in attempting to grab a portion of these, along with the pungent mango sauce to the left and the aromatic chilli green on the right, is at the end of the day subject to any left over falafel mixture.
Owner Ahmad is a wonderful host who’s extremely flexible, so approach him with a beaming smile when requesting these.
- NO/ NO
These are some of the best falafels we've had, period!
The sandwich bar's byline reads: "The Best Palestinian Falafel". Perhaps it's time to update that to: "The Best Falafel in London".
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