Abbout Falafel House, 465 Sydney Rd, Coburg. Phone: 9350 4343
My falafel plate is breathtaking in its awesomeness.
It costs $10.
Food, in my world, simply does not get any better – at any price.
Even better, my faith in the eternal goodness of falafel – shaken somewhat earlier in the week – is emphatically restored.
It’s easy to miss Abbout Falafel House.
It has an unremarkable facade and is flanked on either side by several kebab shops.
But what makes me persevere is the endless stream of people trying to get a table in the dining room that adjoins the food preparation/takeaway area.
When I discover how good the food is, and why the place is so popular with many folks who are obviously regulars, the five-minute wait dodging staff members coming with empty plates and dishes and going with full ones seems a mere trifle.
Even if I am wedged between a tiny wooden table in the front area and one of the drinks fridges.
This is not a kebab house.
The fare is almost all vegetarian of the Lebanese variety – but it’s exceptional.
There’s dips and labneh and foul, all of them served with beaut trimmings.
My six falafel balls are amazingly unoily, true lightweights and terrifically tender – although some may find them a little under-seasoned.
The labneh and “hommos” are likewise state of the art, sprinkled with parsley, paprika and olive oil.
The pickled cucumber slices and turshi – pickled turnip – are sour and crunchy in their own different ways, just as I like ’em.
The pickled chillis are sour, too, although with a nicely mild kick.
The olives fall somewhere between green and black, and are fine.
The two pita breads arrive fresh out of the oven, plumped up like bladders and emit a puff of steam when punctured.
How good is that?
As much as I love our west, I have to concede it lacks a place just like this or Al-Alamy.
Abbout Falafel House is open for lunches only seven days a week.