Many thanks to guest blogger ‘Wednesday’ for this review!
Finding myself with a rumbling stomach in Cardiff city centre of a weekday afternoon, my thoughts quickly turned to falafel. But where to find it? Surely Google would have the answer. Whereas in times gone by I might have had to wander around wearily on foot in the hopes of chancing upon a suitable establishment – or worse, ask a fellow human being for a recommendation – in this golden age of technological convenience and social isolation, all I had to do was whip my phone out, type ‘falafel’ into Google Maps and marvel as, like magic, various suggestions popped up on my screen. After perusing the results and skimming through some reviews, I settled on a place nearby by the name of ‘Fellas’. Despite not being one, I walked the short distance required and hoped they would still serve me.
Situated on a street lined with fast food joints and close to many bars and pubs, it was clear this place was mainly catered to the late-night reveller, so being as it was the middle of the day I was pleased to find it quiet and empty bar a solitary patron sitting inside. Upon entering the premises I was greeted with the sounds of Arabic music often heard in Middle Eastern eateries, hopefully promising an authentic dining experience. The familiar sight of rotating cylinders of meat graced the window, but there was only one thing on my mind. I asked the vendor if they did falafel wraps; he confirmed they did. Everything was falling into place… He fished some ready-made falafels out from behind the counter, and proceeded either to cook or reheat them in the fryer, I’m not sure which, but it didn’t take very long. There was a colourful array of salad to choose from; I greedily opted for all of it, as well as a dollop of humous and a smattering of chilli sauce. I paid the £6 due and hurriedly left the shop, eager to find a spot to sit in the sun and tuck in.
A suitable place found, I impatiently unwrapped my lunch and took the first bite. In my haste to scoff the lot I’m afraid I forgot to take any pictures, but I can tell you that the bread was pretty standard, if a little dry and chewy. The falafel itself was warm and tasty, but a little too smooth for my liking with an almost paste-like consistency, and without that vibrant pop of green that you might usually expect to find inside. The salad provided a pleasingly crunchy counterpart, though, and the pickled cabbage and peppers brought a nice tanginess and acidity to proceedings, though I felt there could have been a little bit more humous or chilli sauce to bring it all together and combat some of that dryness.
Though my meal was tightly wrapped and I managed to get most of it in my gob, inevitably some morsels escaped my grasp and fell to the ground so, as I polished off the last few bites and a rabble of pigeons began to gather excitedly around my feet, I got up, dusted myself off and resumed the rest of my day, belly full and falafel craving satisfied. All in all, while it was by no means the best, Fellas’ falafel filled me up and ticked enough of the right boxes to warrant a second visit some day. So if you’re in the vicinity and fancy a falafel, you could do a lot worse than Fellas.
Bread – 2/5
Falafel – 3/5
Salad – 4/5
Intoxication level – Muslim
Fellas, Caroline Street, Cardiff
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