Another day, another recommendation for our quest to find great value food in the city.
Falafel Wales has caught my eye before- I am strangely attracted to the scuffed intrigue of Canton’s streets- but a hearty thumbs up from former food blogger Cardiff Bites had us beating a path to its door.
This time, I had had more than just a recommendation of somewhere to eat- I had had a specific dish pointed out. Koshary (£4) is an Egyptian speciality and something I had not met before- a mix of short lengths of noodles with rice and lentils, all topped with a lively tomato sauce and garnished with plenty of crispy onions.
Now, it’s not going to win any beauty pageants, and it might sound like something I’d have knocked up as a student, ratching through the cupboards trying to ‘make do before the new term’s grant arrived and producing a similar ‘dry goods’ overload… but it was delicious. It was comforting and filling in the way only big dollops of carbohydrate can be, but the contrast of textures and the chilli in the sauce left enough of a tingle to make it seem less stodgy, more life-affirming and perky.
The only appropriate verb here would be ‘wolfed’, and it had little to do with a 3.15pm lunchtime. It was no mystery why this had received such enthusiastic votes: I also found myself not missing meat. For a while, anyway.
My wife’s chicken shawerma (also £4) was generously filled with breast meat; they give you a choice here of whether you want it ‘mild’ or ‘hot’ (we went for hot on both). The bread was as good as bread usually is in Lebanese restaurants- a real strength, in other words, with fresh salad and flecks of chilli giving the wrap a good level of warmth.
It’s clear you can eat very well, very cheaply at Falafel Wales. Although most of the main course options are over a fiver- though not by much, in many cases- there is plenty here at an exceedingly reasonable price. I’d have loved to have had the option of adding some chicken shawerma to my koshary, but that would have taken it just above the strict £5 limit. Damn you, quest rules! Next time…
I won’t try to sell you any hand lotion, exercise programmes, coffee syrups or Patagonian nose flutes. You won’t find tips on dating, ‘wellness’ or yoga mats.
I write because I love it (and food, as indicated by my increasing girth). Greed happens to be my Deadly Sin of choice, but at least it is never shy of providing me with subject matter.
A simple thing, then: all you get is me wittering on semi-coherently about places I’ve eaten at; hence a ‘restaurant blog’ rather than a ‘food blog’, although there are a few recipes scattered throughout.
From mezze to Michelin ‘fine dining’ and all points in between.