The Very Very Hungry Caterpillar

YES, this is yet another Melbourne food blog!

Half Moon Cafe

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!

Half Moon Café on Urbanspoon

8 Comments on Half Moon Cafe

  1. Food Floozy
    April 3, 2010 at 23:31 (5 years ago)

    I know what you mean about Fava Bean falafel – my hubby made them a while back and we were both shocked at their amazing flavour but also their delicate texture. YUMMO! This place sounds awesome!

    Reply
    • libishski
      April 4, 2010 at 17:15 (5 years ago)

      Nice one! How did your husband go about making the fava bean falafel? Exactly the same way as one would make a chickpea falafel but substituting the chickpeas for fava beans?

      Reply
  2. Food Floozy
    April 4, 2010 at 17:34 (5 years ago)

    Not 100% sure. I’ll ask him to make them this week and he’ll post the recipe on our blog – that way you, I and everyone else will know. :)

    Reply
  3. DivSix
    April 5, 2010 at 12:11 (5 years ago)

    Doh it’s in the north!

    Reply
    • libishski
      April 6, 2010 at 10:23 (5 years ago)

      Well worth the trek though, DL!

      Reply
  4. SugarSnap
    June 21, 2011 at 11:38 (3 years ago)

    Hi there,
    I’m a first time visitor to your blog and knew I’ve come to the right place when I spotted Footscray Best Kebab House because that place is DA BOMB. (Try their ‘spicy dip’ with one of your plates, though I don’t order plates but a la carte because their plates are imo, not enough eatin’!)
    I went to Half Moon Cafe with my partner twice and each time I’ve had one of their plates – I think its really ‘light’ (at least my definition of what light is, heh) and absolutely loved the pickles – my partner has had a love affair with pickles since his childhood in the Mid-East filled with pickle stuffed egg sandwiches and chicken kebabs.
    One thing you HAVE to try is Foul/Fooul (however you spell it). Its a fava bean dip which smells absolutely FOUL (maybe its a bastardisation of what the pioneers of the dish, smells foul, tastes great). Have it with one of those plates with chicken kebabs instead of lamb (always felt chicken kebabs were better marinated in M-E cuisine) with the breads, its very addictive! :)

    Reply
    • libishski
      June 26, 2011 at 22:27 (3 years ago)

      Half Moon is amazing, isn’t it? :)

      I will most def’ try their plates next time and well as the foul (wonder if it’s better than the foul at Al Alamy in Coburg)… and then buy half a dozen falafels to take home. Mmmmm.
      :)

      Reply
  5. Neeno
    October 8, 2012 at 08:18 (2 years ago)

    They are $7.50 now! But can’t complain, they taste fantastic. I wanna try Abbout’s falafels too but i don’t think I will go back to chickpeas now that I’ve have fabulous fava!

    Reply

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