The verdict is in: this Israeli-style felafel joint delivers on its name
Friends Louisa Allan and Shuki Rosenboim had been cultivating quite the following for their falafels at farmer’s markets around Melbourne before they opened Very Good Falafel on Sydney Road. Now, the permanent home of the popular Shuki and Louisa market stall (which used to see long, felafel wrap-hungry queues) is attracting new business and old fans alike.
The menu at Very Good Falafel works mainly because it’s so simple. Sticking to the traditional Israeli take on the Middle Eastern pita wrap and platter, options are limited to the falafel, sabih (fried eggplant), and ktzitzot (meat patties), which can be served in pita bread or on a plate of dips, pickles and salad. The falafel is exactly what it should be: still steaming hot, with a thick brown crust on the outside from a flash in the deep fryer, and bright green on the inside from the parsley and chickpea mixture. Recognising that some customers are only interested in the star of the show, Shuki and Louisa offer the option to have just the falafels with a side of baba ganoush or hummus.
The sabih, which we had on a plate and was served with baba ganoush, hummus and a tabouli salad, could have done with a moment on some kitchen paper after it was fried, but the medley of pickles and spicy green parsley and chilli sauce (usually known as zhoug) helped to lift the oiliness from the eggplant. The tangy mango chutney, another Israeli sabih staple, offers another hit to the already bright plate of flavours.
You could pair your meal with filter coffee, but you’re better off with the freshly squeezed orange juice and the housemade lemonade – possibly the freshest beverages this side of the Yarra. And make sure to ask what the treat of the day is – the halva-streaked brownie we had on our visit was a dream. There’s nothing flash about Shuki and Louisa’s place, and that’s exactly as it should be. Nothing on the menu is over $15, making a meal at Very Good Falafel both very good and very good value.
|Venue name:||Very Good Falafel|
629 Sydney Rd
|Opening hours:||Mon-Sat 11am-10pm|