I love falafel. I love those crispy crunchy nuggets of ground chickpeas and herbs and spices. However, I know that it’s quite difficult to get a good one. Supermarkets are the worst offenders – the leaden balls of dry crumbliness they sell give falafel a bad name. A passable falafel can be had at many of London’s Lebanese restaurants and in a pinch, Maoz Falafel in Soho is pretty good. But I knew they could be better. There had to be a place in London somewhere that produced superior falafel. I had faith. I had faith in London.

I’d heard a rumour that Shepherd’s Bush Market was the place to go for falafel and for a couple of years, I thought that place might be the little black and white stall that you see just at the entrance facing the tube station. But it was this post by the Syrian Foodie in London that pointed me in the right direction. It’s easy to get confused though – I counted at least three falafel stands in the market. Mr Falafel is located in the New Shepherd’s Bush Market, behind a produce stall and across from a clothing stall and a luggage stall, just off the Uxbridge Road.

Mr Falafel

Mr Falafel claim to have the best Palestinian falafel in London and to date, I’d say it’s the finest falafel I’ve had in the city so far. Of all the options available on their menu, I chose a Medium Deluxe Falafel Wrap (with fried caulifower, potato and aubergine). Would I like chili sauce? – Yes, please! I sat down at one of the tables and my order was brought to me when it was ready.

Deluxe Falafel Wrap

Wrap Innards

Falafel Innards

The medium size was perfect for my little lunch – I wonder how large the large size is! And that wrap was delicious. The fried vegetables were all tender and tasty but it was the falafel that were the stars; the chickpea nuggets were beautifully browned and crunchy on the outside but so so light on the inside. No dense leaden balls here! Wrapped in a flat bread with lots of crunchy, tangy pickles and garlic sauce aplenty, this was a fine lunch.

Done

Mr Falafel, we shall meet again.

Mr Falafel
Units T4-T5
New Shepherd’s Bush Market
Uxbridge Road
Shepherd’s Bush
London W12 8LH

(I’m not sure what their opening hours are during Ramadan but otherwise the normal opening hours are available on the website.)

This is fast food that I love.

Salad Stacked Sandwich

From the photo above, I think you will agree that I’m well-versed in the art that is salad stacking. Ordering a falafel sandwich (this is actually a small falafel and fried aubergine sandwich) at Maoz entitles you to a go at the well stocked salad bar. My favourites are the carrots, pickle slices, the chili sauces and most of all, the deep fried cauliflower. OK, so perhaps this is no longer a “healthy” sandwich.

Bite

And their chips (well, listed on the menu as Belgian fries)! There’s a giant pile of what I suspect are half-cooked chipped potatoes sitting above their deep fryer and when you place an order, a portion goes into the hot oil. What comes out are wonderfully thick, soft-inside and perfectly-crisp-outside chips.

Chips

While vegetarian, it’s not exactly health food but I love it. I do feel ever so slightly silly posting about it but I really like eating here – it’s fast food (kind of) and I don’t feel guilty eating here since it’s vegetarian (I really ought to rethink that). Definitely affordable too – it’s difficult to spend over £7 a head here.

What are your cheap eats that skirt the line between fast food and well…non-fast food?

Maoz Vegetarian
43 Old Compton Street
London W1D 6HG

Maoz Vegetarian on Urbanspoon

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