The Falafel Story!
People often misunderstand a Falafel! The name ‘falafel’ is generally used for the whole dish but interestingly it should be used to describe the ‘falafel’ balls! The ball is generally made up of fava beans or chickpea or a combination of both. It surely is a mediterranean pleasure for the world to enjoy! It has been there for centuries, long before the traditional fast food. The taste palate being similar to ingredients in India, our love for falafel comes naturally.
The preparation of a falafel is not an easy task in itself – the mix of spices, beans and texture has to work out well, the deep frying should be done perfectly so as not to undercook the crust and over cook the inside – a delicate balance. These falafels are then served in a wrap with onions, cucumber, pickled vegetables, hummus and sauces!
There are some falafel spots in Bangalore we recently discovered. Habibi Falafel definitely stands out. Why? First of all, I love the name, habibi or love perfectly describes the food they serve. Once you have their dishes – you will understand why am I saying this. The moment you enter the restaurant, located in Koramangala – we were welcomed with smiling faces. These smiling faces were consistent across the whole dining experience for us. Even when they served the food, when they fried the falafel or suggested us the options in the menu – they truly justified the name – ‘love’! Small space was so welcoming that I personally felt at home.
The menu consist of rolls, sandwiches, burgers, specially curated plates, fresh squeezed juices and baklava. If I have to name the dishes we liked in particular – falafel burger, falafel plate and the orange juice! The overall cost of these items is less than 500 INR, imagine that? The quantity is enough for 2 people, so we have less than 250 INR per head. The food is healthy, prepared fresh and tastes amazing. Can you think of any complaints? I guess not.
The falafel recipe is authentic, fresh ingredients and all natural. Though I would like to mention there are many varieties of hummus available with the dishes and some of them might be new to your taste buds. But believe me, you should relish the hummus and let it take over the sensory foody in you, I know you will crave it soon enough.
“The preparation of a falafel is not an easy task in itself – the mix of spices, beans and texture has to work out well, the deep frying should be done perfectly so as not to undercook the crust and over cook the inside – a delicate balance.”
Falafel Plate – (falafel balls which are served with batata harra, hummus and green salad.) Was our favourite because of the high and low notes on the palate. The crunchy salad, the softness of the pita bread and the texture and smell of the hummus was a perfect blend which enlightens all the four corners of the mouth! Must try.
Falafel Burger – (falafel patty, mutabbal suace, lettuce, tomato on a baked sesame seed bun) – again a falafaly take on the traditional burger turned out a surprise for us. I am a fan of burger and am always looking out for the perfect blend of ingredients leading to the explosion in my mouth. This burger was a total happy surprise and was totally something I would go back for. Though, I personally felt it was a little dry and could use a but of more sauce – leading to an overall smoother gulp.
Pita Chips and Dips – (crispy pita chips and trio of hummus, mutabbal and baba ganouj) – was great, cannot be the only item to be eaten but does serve well as a side dish! Nothing to complaint as it was as expected, a lovely side dish to relish.
Baklava – this probably was a little disappointing as comparing to baklava we have had before, it wasn’t upto the mark. The inside was raw but the crust was cooked well. The sweetness was not over power for which I would definitely give them the points!
Orange juice deserves a special mention, it was just amazing and refreshing. Truly goes well with the other dishes especially the burger.
Location – 4/5 (Located in Koramangala 1st Block, the location is perfect to cater to delivery requirements in Koramangala, HSR Layout and Sarjapur easily. In terms of local footfall, it might be limited to customers from Koramangala. But with plans to expand to other areas in Bangalore (Indiranagar outlet opening soon), this problem will be resolved. The only issue I believe is the parking – easier for bikes but the car might be a problem in case of a heavier turnout.)
Ambience – 4/5 (The place is not for a sit out experience – it is more for a grab and go! If you turn out in a group of more than 5 – seating might not be available. Still, the interiors are neat and with small workable space, there is no congestion – which is a plus!)
Staff – 5/5 (No complaints – they did take care of everything we requested.)
Food – 4.5/5 (The concept of providing middle eastern falafel experience in Bangalore works to their benefit. They have blended the same taste and food persona for all of their dishes on the menu and provide the same relishing flavours. The only thins to keep in mind is, this is an acquired taste – maybe not all the people will be used to the textures and flavours – but for the food it is, it is really good!)
Value for Money – 4.5/5 (With the costliest dish is 110 INR, i would definitely call the place a value for money!)
What’s good? (Orange Juice and the falafel plate!)
What’s bad? (Baklava – can be better – considering the rawness within the crust was a little disappointing!)