Friday, July 17, 2009

Mr Falafel: The Best Palestinian Falafel

It may surprise many of my friends and family back home, but when it comes to good food, living in London actually leaves me wanting for nothing. In fact last year I was joking with my friends that it was London which deserved the title "Capital of Arabic Culture" because of the concentration of Arabs and their cuisine that we find here. In particular, one of my favourite areas is Shepherds Bush and Acton. Not because of the monstrous West Field shopping centre, but because of the vibrant community which lives there. There are three mosques between these two areas, meaning I can always nip in quickly to carry out my prayers. Also, there is the popular Abu Zad restaurant, providing a modest menu of Syrian cuisine which is not bad at all and at a very decent price. Just up the road you can find the famous Damasgate, which has absolutely everything I could need for making any of the dishes I miss from back home. However in terms of affection none can compete with the lovely Palestinian falafel shop which is just at the entrance of Shepherds Bush Market. There is another smaller stall run by a nice Egyptian man who also does some barbeque corn on the cob, but not having a place to sit and watch people go buy puts him at a disadvantage with the magnificent Mr Falafel.

Below is a picture I took of the almost divine falafel and makdous sandwich that I had. I had asked about how good the makdous was and the man informed me it had actually come straight from Syria, via Damasgate of course. It turns out that I have underestimated making this wonderful snack and it is far beyond the meagre capabilities of a bachelor living in the British Isles. The eggplant is specifically that which is grown in Hama and there is a big list of things which are needed in order to make this delight before it is mashed up to be eaten with bread. I highly recommend this place but it is only open during the weekdays as the market closes on the weekends. I'm not sure if it opens Saturdays but I have a good incentive to go and find out!

When I came in and had a chat with the man behind the counter, it turned out they were Palestinian and had come from Lebanon. Originally from Tabarea, we mumbled a few words about the ridiculous peace agreements which might be taking place between Syria and Israel, then gave me a tired look, expecting me to be one of the wide-eyed student activist types who would like to sit with a 'real' Palestinian and rub off some of that 'revolutionary' spirit on themselves. I just wanted to know about makdous, so I obligingly left him be and sat down, quietly savouring the delicious sandwich and the many subtle tastes that showed me these guys really know what they are talking about when it comes to falafel.

The Best Palestinian Falafel - bar none


Amira said...

This is very true...sometimes I think Arab culture in Europe is better than the Middle East -bar in Damascus of course :)

Yazan said...

قتلتني يا هذا....

morris108 said...

Perhaps you will post one or both of these?

Two videos from Gilad Atzmon:

Gilad Atzmon: Israel will implode

Gilad Atzmon on Hedonistic warriors

Maysaloon said...

Indeed bar Damascus :-)

Sorry, I didn't mean to. But damn was it good!

These videos are very good. You are absolutely correct in your view of the Israeli right and left. The right knows what it wants and what it needs to do, the left is what is crippling Israel and what is allowing girls such as at the end of your first video, with good intentions but no brains, to be able to get away with what she did. The idea that Israeli, like American society is becoming hedonistic was demonstrated in the last war. None of their soldiers are ready to die, and that is a bad quality to have in a soldier I think. Thank you for providing the links, I will post the second one.

Kano said...

Hi Maysaloon

This is the best falafel you can taste in London and may be even in Damascus.

When was the last time you went there? I went to Shepherd's Bush almost 10 days ago and I thought the market stall has been removed. I was really disappointed.

Now you are making me doubt myself!!! Was I imagining?

Maysaloon said...

I was there yesterday! Send me a message and maybe we can go there next Saturday? Salam.

Kano said...

Now looking again on your photos, I think this is a different shop. Their original shop was a kiosk at the entrance to the market. Do you know the old one?

About next Saturday I am in.

Maysaloon said...

I think I know the one you mean. There are two parallel streets for Shepherds Bush Market. That guy is on the other one and I think he is the Egyptian stall owner I mentioned in my post above. We can sample them both and see which is better :-)

Kano said...

I think it is this same one, they just moved shop. Anyway, we will find out next week.

Lirun said...

we taught them :)