Over the weekend I visited London’s first ever Falafel Festival held at Borough Market, where I got to try four variations of falafel, each made by a different international master.

London Falafel Festival; Borough Market

London Falafel Festival; Zooba

Zööba’s talented chef Moustafa El Rrefaey with his award-winning dish.

Falafel is one of the worlds most popular street foods, packed with nutritious beans, peas, lentils and chickpeas, typically deep fried and served in a light pitta. The venue was packed full of falafel fans, so I got stuck in! The first falafel I tried was from Cairo – made by CADA clients Zööba.

Zööba’s talented chef Moustafa El Rrefaey featured his signature Egyptian falafel made with fava beans, stuffed with charred aubergine and drizzled with beetroot and hibiscus tahini. The falafel was deliciously light and fluffy, and the fava beans offered a unique flavour and colour which was phenomenal.

Next, I visited Origins Of, a kitchen takeover group who are now in residence at Blessing’s Bar in Spitalfields. Head chef Abdullah Amin presented his ‘Trilafel’ – a beetroot falafel made from three pulses (chickpea, black-eyed- bean and red lentil) which came served with herb-infused tahini, scotch bonnet mayo and sumac yoghurt. I really enjoyed the range of sauces on offer and their falafel was packed full of flavour.

I moved on to Hoxton Beach, a trader I regularly see at Maltby Market. Their crushed falafel is made with a 50-50 blend of fava beans and chickpeas and came served in a wrap. It certainly packed a punch with its pickled chilli and hot chilli sauce. Unfortunately, I found the spice overpowered the flavour of their falafel and I left in search for a cool, soothing drink!

Last but not least, I wandered over to the Pilpel tent to say hello to past client and friend Uri Dinay who showcased his acclaimed spiced chickpea falafel sandwich with crunchy cabbage, pickle and silky tahini. I’ve tried this dish many times in their restaurants and it never fails to be delicious.

Finally, it was time for the public to cast their votes. I was delighted to hear that Zööba went on to win the competition, proving the Egyptian falafel is certainly a firm favourite amongst London foodies.

Thank you to all the chefs for talking me through each dish, it was lovely to meet you all!

Ruth | Marketing

London Falafel Festival; Zooba 02

London Falafel Festival; Origins Of

London Falafel Festival; Voting

London Falafel Festival; Winners

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