Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Just Falafs

Some of the best falafels in London are sold at Taboon in Golders Green, a small takeaway that's hugely popular locally. Elsewhere, this ubiquitous Israeli and Middle Eastern snack has been embraced by the veggie brigade, unfortunately often resulting in cold, hard, bullet-like croquettes that are nothing like the real thing. In contrast, Taboon's falafels are light and tasty, and come with excellent pita, pickles and sauces. It's long been my favourite falafel place in London. Until now.

Despite the sort of punning name that would make even Victor Lewis-Smith blanch, Just Falafs is an enlightened fast food eatery - is there any other kind these days? - in Covent Garden Piazza that ticks all the right boxes. The ingredients are mostly organic and seasonal, and the hot beverages are fairtrade. Inside the tiny takeaway, there are a few high chairs for eating in, and a small seating area outside, complete with parasol heaters.

Chickpea falafels, flavoured with dill, fresh coriander and whole coriander seeds came with mild, creamy tahini, spiky green chilli sauce, and strident aubergine sauce inside khobez (soft Middle Eastern flatbreads), along with beetroot, carrot and nut, mixed sprouts, and other sprightly salads of choice.

There's also an imaginative range of soft drinks, plus porridge, soup, and lentil dahl. But the falafels are the main thing here: crispy on the outside, light and fluffy within, and packed with a fresh, lively flavour - why, you wouldn't think they'd come out of a vegetarian kitchen.


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