Sunday, September 1, 2013

Half Moon Cafe, Coburg by Big Fil

Best felafel in Melbourne? That’s a pretty big call but quite a common claim for Half Moon Cafe, a non-descript little shop in a small mall off Sydney Road, Coburg.

One thing which is a bit different about Half Moon Cafe is it promotes itself as providing “Egyptian” style falafel. So what exactly does that mean? Well my understanding, and I'm happy to be corrected if it's wrong, is it relates to the use of fava beans rather than the more typical chickpeas.

Anyway, arriving just after 10am meant no meat based dishes were available but that was ok, it was falafel we were after. There are several varieties of falafel wraps available and for once Snooze and myself were of one mind for which to order, the Colibaba (fried cauliflower, eggplant, baba ghanush and yoghurt) and the traditional (tomato, pickles and tahina sauce). Having heard about generous sizes we thought that may be enough but just in case also ordered the Ful Medames, cooked fava beans turned into a paste served with warmed bread.

Soon after we ordered others started to arrive leading to one amusing conversation between Snooze and a nearby older Greek couple. While it needed to be partly translated by the cafe owner, the moral of the story was in a Greek home the Husband rules the house, but in a Greek Australian home the Wife rules the house, if the Husband knows what’s good for him!

There was a slight delay in receiving our food but that was mainly due to our arriving so early, before they were really set for the day. When they arrived our wraps were certainly generous for a pretty good price, and of the two my preference was for the traditional. This had a slight tartness to it which lifted the flavours and made it lighter and more refreshing.

Snooze though preferred the Colibaba, with its more savoury flavour and softer textures. What was interesting though was just how different the two wraps were, given they're based on the same falafel.

We recently had some very good falafel at Marko’s Schnitzels and it was interesting to compare the two. Snooze's comment was the falafel at Half Moon felt more traditional and were her preference, whereas particularly for the Colibaba I thought the baba ghanoush masked the delicate flavour of the falafel to some extent and so preferred the more robust and less subtle Marko’s. On the other hand, I can’t say on another day I wouldn’t have preferred Half Moon’s, as the falafel were different but good at both.

The Ful Medames though, while I did appreciate the slight tanginess to the flavour, just wasn’t my thing. Not that I disliked it but just didn’t find the taste or texture very interesting.

Decor wise fairly typical but the falafel are good and plentiful, the owner and staff very friendly and the cost of a full belly low. If you are in the area definitely worth a try.

Food – 8
Ambience – 6
Service – 8
Price – 8

13 Victoria Street
Coburg VIC 3058
Tel: (03) 9350 2949

Half Moon Café on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

Cindy said...

I'm a big fan of this place, it's been too long since my last visit!

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