Smack in the heart of Shepherd's Bush Market, opposite the Shepherd's Bush Market tube station, there is a no-frills little restaurant with a few tables and chairs scattered around, and this unassuming place makes stupendous falafel wraps. Mr Falafel, in my opinion, is London's most underrated, understated, most delicious falafel joint. I lived really close to Mr Falafel until a few years ago, and worked not very far away either, and I was first introduced to it by a colleague who couldn't stop talking about it. "Ah the deluxe wrap at Mr Falafel", he'd say, "the best there is". So I had to give it a go, of course.
Good idea to say here that I am a huge falafel fan, and nothing upsets me more than bad falafel. Ok, that may be an exaggeration, but you know what I mean. Actually, a soggy sandwich is ever so slightly worse.
From that first time I went to Mr Falafel 6 years ago, full of expectation, to when I went last, they have never disappointed. And I have never been able to order anything else from the menu because I love that deluxe wrap too much!!
What does one want from a falafel wrap? Why aren't more people getting it right? The first thing Mr Falafel does right, is involve you. The man behind the counter is chatty and accommodating (one time we reached just after they'd closed and he opened shop again just because my sister was visiting from India and we'd come all the way to Shepherds Bush only for his falafel!) and genuinely interested in making you a good wrap. You get to choose how much of what you want in your wrap. You don't have to get the pink pickles for example. And you can get extra chillies if you like.
The second thing Mr Falafel does right is make ridiculously good falafel. Crumbly and soft and crisp all at once. And the third thing they do right is give you the option of so much more than just falafel and and salad in your wrap. The deluxe, for example, has fried cauliflower and aubergine and spicy potatoes. My mouth is watering just thinking about it! You've also got the option of wraps with olives, avacado, feta cheese, halloumi, makdous. So when you unwrap that first bit of paper and take that first big bite, you get a mouthful of incredible falafel and a brilliant harmony of Palestinian flavours, and smooth tahini sauce and garlic and hummous to hold it all together in warm pitta.
So good. Don't think, just go.