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Umi Falafel takeaway review: Great Middle Eastern food that is particularly good value

An impressive selection of vegetarian fare that comes in generous portions

Umi Falafel
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Address: 180 Rathmines Rd Lower, Rathmines, Dublin 6, D06 XK73
Telephone: 01 497 6028
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Cost: €€

What’s on offer?

After graduating from his studies in hospitality in Aleppo, George Labbad left Syria in 2006 to study for another degree in international management at the Dublin Institute of Technology. He completed his studies, worked in the Westin Hotel (now the College Green Hotel), and the plan was to return to Aleppo to run the family restaurant business. The conflict there had serious implications for the business, which was ultimately forced to close.

Labbad continued to work in hospitality in Ireland and in 2013, opened his first restaurant, Umi Falafel on Dame Street. There are now eight branches of Umi Falafel, located in Dublin, Cork and Belfast.

It is Middle Eastern cuisine, offering a wide selection of mezze such as hummus and stuffed vine leaves, salads, falafel sandwiches and sweets. There is a fair degree of customisation available. It is 100 per cent vegetarian.

What did we order?

The Palestinian falafel on the sandwich deal which includes lentil soup and a soft drink, the cauliflower pita sandwich, baba ghanoush, lentil moujadara and tabbouleh.

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How was the service?

Our food arrived in good time, piping hot and in perfect condition.

How was the food?

The Palestinian is delicious, a substantial sandwich in pita bread, filled with falafel that are crunchy and nicely textured with fried aubergine, pickles, tahini and plenty of heat from the chilli sauce. The lentil soup (part of the sandwich deal), is very good – a smooth, wholesome soup that is nicely seasoned with cumin. The cauliflower, a newer addition to the sandwich menu, has cauliflower fritters instead of falafel, and is packed into the pita bread with crunchy cucumber, red onions, tomato, tahini and baba ghanoush. The side of baba ghanoush is deliciously smoky, the tabbouleh is wonderfully green from plenty of parsley, rather than the usual excess of bulgur wheat, and the moujadara, rice with earthy lentils and chilli sauce, is topped with crispy onions.

What about the packaging?

The packaging is 90 per cent compostable. The bags, sandwich and pita bread wrappers, and containers for the soup and the mujadara are compostable; the containers for the baba ganoush and tabbouleh are single-use, recyclable plastic.

What did it cost?

€43.49 for dinner for three people: sandwich deal, €13.50; cauliflower pita sandwich, €8; baba ghanoush, €6.50; lentil moujadara, €6.50; tabbouleh, €6.50; and service fee, €2.49.

Where does it deliver?

Open daily, noon to 9pm, delivery by Deliveroo within 3km radius of outlets.

Would I order it again?

Most definitely, the food is very tasty and the portions are generous, there’s an impressive selection and it’s very good value.

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