Umi Falafel, Dame Street
Falafel is something that has really grown on me in the last while. So far, the best falafel I have tasted in Ireland has been at Body and Soul in 2011 by a vendor whose name I forget (but clearly made a lasting impression on me!). Typically, I tend to avoid ordering falafel when dining out because it is all too often dissapointing. However, I figured a restaurant dedicated to it must be at least of a decent standard and decided to try Umi on my lunch break today.
My first impression of the place was slightly deflating. The interior is a bit dreary, its dull greenish walls and poor lighting almost reminded me of a hostel. I am not one to judge a book by its cover so this didn’t bother me too much. The friendly waitress greeted me and took my order promptly, advising me the food would take about 10 minutes to arrive. I really appreciated this heads up as I find myself all too often being incredibly frustrated by long waiting times for food at lunch time and barely having time to wolf my food down before going back to work in a food coma. As well as this I was also offered some olives, and being the major olive fanatic I am, was very content. I didn’t even notice the 10 minute wait when my food came. I opted for the lunch deal which was any wrap/sandwich + wedges + a drink for €7.50. The menu also has a good range of salads and soups and other nibbles. My palestinian pitta was filled with falafel, hummus, salad, pickles, aubergine and chilli and garlic sauce. The falafel had a perfect spice balance, and was nice and moist and not crumbly which I often find a problem. My only little glitch is that I like LOTS of sauce and I had to pay extra for more. Personally, I think tables should have a bottle of chilli sauce so people can tailor their own level sauciness and spiciness.
On my way out the manager/owner (?) seemed genuinely interested in my feedback and I love to see a manager with some passion! I went back to work feeling very satisfied, and surprisingly I didn’t have food coma! Will I be back? Definitely. But PLEASE let me smother my food with sauce!