13 Victoria St
Coburg VIC 3058
+61 3 9350 2949
This ain’t a strong intro but seriously, the falafel at Half Moon Cafe in Coburg really ARE the best in town and I strongly implore you all to give them a try! Before I go on, let me just say that there is a restaurant in Brighton called Half Moon. THIS IS NOT A REVIEW OF HALF MOON, BRIGHTON but of HALF MOON CAFE, COBURG! Are we clear? Okay, then.
I very rarely venture all the way up Sydney Rd, but the fact that Adam and I were visiting our church’s Moreland branch on Sunday morning gave us an excuse to walk a few block ups from Moreland to suss out what the current edition of Cheap Eats declared as ‘some of the best falafel in town.’ An undistinguished cafe tucked between the library and several bakeries was our destination, with only the enormous number of patrons munching on falafel rolls on tables outside the cafe being the only obvious sign that we were in the right place. The wall menu reads like a typical kebab shop menu, but the focus is obviously on owner Nabil Hassan’s falafel rather than meat dishes. In fact, there were only about a handful of meat dishes that one could choose from. Adam was keen to try a meat plate so that he could make comparisons to the ‘meal of the day’ plate that we so dearly love over at Footscray Best Kebab but I stood by my decision to go all falafel.
Adam’s ‘mix of two dishes’ ($14) where you were asked what sort of meat you’d like with your salad, pita bread and dips. Adam opted for the lamb and the kofte (which were also made with lamb – clearly he chooses things poorly). We both loved the interesting array of salad items, which was a refreshing change to the usual garden salad items that we normally get elsewhere. Loved the olives, the pickles and the fetta cheese cubes in particular as well as the hummus, the babaghanoush and the cacik dips. Having said all that, I couldn’t honestly say that this was the best meat plate we’ve had. The meat was not as succulent nor tasty as the ones dished up by the bloke at Footscray Best Kebab and quite frankly, nothing beats warm Turkish bread. Not even good quality pita.
My ‘Half Moon’ ($6), probably the most popular item on the menu if the number of people ordering this roll was anything to go by. It was pretty much a vegetarian’s dream: a toasted pita roll filled with lettuce, rocket, tabouli, chick peas, hummus, yoghurt, tahini, black olives and pickles…
… and OMG, THE. BEST. FALAFEL. EVER. Three pieces, gently smashed with a fork, all in one roll. Oh, the joy! And I can’t believe how cheap it was too. Apparently the falafel here are not your usual chickpea variety but rather, made with fava (broad) beans a la Egyptian-style. This gives it a more crunchy exterior and a more subtle taste. Delicious! Something that even Shinedown’s man on the moon would reappear for.
It is plain obvious that I will be back for more falafel (a bag of three costs only $2). I’ve been told that eating too many broad beans isn’t good for one’s health but if they can be made into falafel that taste THIS good, then stuff the health warning!