“ Address: 274 Portobello Road / Ladbroke Grove / London W10 5TE „
Falafel King is a takeaway restaurant with a few scattered tables to eat in near the north end of Portobello Road in West London. It's something of an institution existing as long as my memory serves. Endurance has probably come through keeping things simple... and simple is what they do! They sell falafel and they sell drinks to accompany it... And that's it and it's very good.
The restaurant itself is a tiny corner building just north of the main market square and flyover. It's got a handmade feel to it's exterior an decor with a few hand painted signs an falafel ephemera to decorate it. More often than not, the interior will be crowded with boxes and other supplies not yet put away. This leaves little room for the ravenous crowds to queue but regardless, the atmosphere is always relaxed and polite. There is no seating area inside but they have around 8 metal tables and chairs outside for the rare occasions that London allows for al fresco dining.
Ordering from the congenial staff is easy... You can either order falafel at £5.50 or a half, children's portion, at £3. This comes either with houmous or without. It is then freshly prepared in front of you and you are invited to chose from 6 or so things, what you would like in your falafel and pitta bread.
It's simple and very limited but effective. It's not somewhere you'd go often... Unless you love falafel... But for the occasional lunch, it's great. The ingredients are very fresh an the falafel itself freshly prepared and not too oily or greasy. It also doesn't taste too dry and earthy as some falafels can - it's fragrant and moist. The salad is crisp, tangy and crunchy and the chilli sauce as it's potent. For the latter, if you're not into such things, ask them to go easy or lose it altogether.
You get 6 falafel balls in each portion so it's a fairly filling meal and good value at £5.50.
They also make great homemade drinks including a wonderful lemonade that they give free with each order.
It has the perfect balance of sweet and bitter (perhaps leaning more to the latter) and is incredibly refreshing on a hot summers day.
I you like falafel and you like it flavoursome and fresh, Falafel King is definitely worth a visit. I don't have great falafel experience but of the few I have tried this ranks top.