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Photograph: Andy Parsons

Hype Dish: Pockets’ totally stuffed falafel pitta pocket

Pockets' co-founder Itamar Grinberg explains how his childhood memories of falafel stalls in Israel influenced his own pitta pocket creation

Isabelle Aron
Written by
Isabelle Aron

When Itamar Grinberg decided to launch a falafel stall at Netil House in November last year, he didn’t expect it to coincide with a national lockdown. Thankfully, as a takeaway food stall, Pockets could stay open – and it thrived. At one point, it had queues of up to two hours. The stall has one dish on the menu: falafel pitta, which pays homage to Grinberg’s Israeli roots. ‘We wanted to do a version of falafel that’s sexier and more fun,’ he says. He shares what makes it so special. 

The falafel

‘We use a lot of herbs which helps keep the falafel fluffy inside. We fry it at a high heat so that it goes crispy without getting oily inside – that’s the secret to good falafel.’

The veg

‘There’s a cabbage slaw, which adds crunchiness, sumac onions, tomato, cucumber and parsley. We chop the veg finely so you get a bit of everything in each bite.’

The pitta

‘We make it ourselves – it’s stone-baked and then we steam it on site, like you would with an Asian bun. That makes it extra soft but still robust enough to hold everything.’

The fried potato

‘As a child, I’d go to a falafel stand in Tel Aviv where they added a potato chip.
I was obsessed with it. I knew our pitta had to have it too. It’s coated in batter and fried.’

The sauces

‘There’s fresh houmous, tahini, a herby green sauce, red zhug (a spicy chilli sauce) and amba, a pickled mango sauce, which is definitely the star. We make them all in-house.’

Pockets, Netil Market. £7.

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