Monday, 20 April 2015

Abbout Falafel House - Coburg

If you live in Coburg or the surrounds, chances are you don't need me to tell you about this place. In fact, you've likely just yawned and said 'change the channel' to your nearest and dearest. But for the rest of you, don't go flicking over to Danoz Direct just yet, because I've got some love to share about this place! In case those of you from other corners of town hadn't guessed, Abbout Falafel House is somewhat of an institution round these parts to those craving a Lebanese lunchtime/dinner fix . With its house-made falafel, dips and pita served to excess, it's like taking a trip back to the Mid-East, only without the hours of invasive groping from customs officials.

'Big deal' I hear you say, you can get falafel anywhere, right? WRONG! All too often we accept dry, bland mediocrity. I've got tolerance for a lot of things, but not a bad falafel. And you won't get a bad one here. These falafels are perfectly moist, crunchy, and hold their form well. But above all, they burst with flavour.

Falafel plate times 
For a measly $5, you can sate your hunger with a typical falafel sandwich - falafels, pickles, pickled turnip, chili, salad, and ample hummus - that seems about a foot long if it's an inch. Or, if you're feeling particularly ravenous, there's the falafel meal for $10. On a massive plate, you get all the fillings from the falafel sandwich, a few additional falafel balls, a couple of extra Lebanese salads, a healthy serve of hummus and labneh, and a basket of pita to boot. In reality, this is enough to feed a small family, but if you love your hummus and falafel as much as me, you'd be wary letting anyone get between you and your source of happiness.

Small Hummus? Or large pita? I'll give you a hint, it's the pita
But it doesn't end there. Devotees of this blog will recall that on my trip to the Mid-East I wrote extensively in my post, not just about falafel, but also hummus. It's bugged me ever since that there is such a dearth in hummusias in Melbourne. Fortunately, at Abbout Falafel House they've got you covered. Aside from straight hummus, they offer foul, foul btahina, and a smattering of variations on the standard. On this visit I stuck to the basic: a bowl of tahina-heavy (in a good way) hummus with a basket of seemingly never-ending pita. It hit the spot and is more than on par with anywhere else in Melbourne - and that's no mean feat!

It really took me far too long to get around to paying this place a visit. It came highly recommended to me from a local mate, but I simply could not fathom being in the area for a falafel lunch and not going to Half Moon Cafe around the corner. And that, in a sense, says it all about Coburg. There is just too much choice, and I haven't even mentioned the various pasticcerias, Mid-East bakeries and hip coffee specialists!

If I'm honest, the Half Moon falafels just nudge the ones at Abbout for me, but I'm particularly partial to the Egyptian style falafels - substituting fava beans in for chickpeas. However, these bad boys surpass any non-Egyptian falafel you're likely to find anywhere in Melbourne, not to mention all the home-made trimmings to boot! There have been a few whinging types online who have complained about the service here, and admittedly it's not exactly silver service. But that's not what you're going here for, and as long as you bear that in mind, this is one hidden gem you'll be glad you unearthed.


Abbout's Falafel House - Sydney Rd, Coburg

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