Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Vegan Ireland - Umi Falafel

For our first evening meal in Ireland, we visited a place I had read a lot about - Umi Falafel.

Umi Falafel is a reasonably newly established cafe/take-away serving a range of falafels, salads, and mezze items. Umi is Arabic for "mother", and it did feel like a lot of care had gone into preparing the food and ensuring we were all happy and contented.

The staff were very helpful when I asked what was vegan - our waitress even informed me there was a cake I could eat (!!!), but more on that later...

We ordered drinks first. Normally, I wouldn't write about my drinks but this one was exceptional! I was intrigued by the "minted lemonade", and when presented with a big glass of green lemonade I tried it eagerly. I LOVE fresh mint, and this drink made perfect use of it. I have filed away a mental note to try to replicate this drink sometime.

For my main course, I decided to get a "Falafel Your Way", which consisted of my choice of bread, 4 salad items, and a sauce. I chose: Lebanese bread (wrap), cucumber, pickles, fried aubergine, hummus, and tahini sauce.

I have tried a lot of falafels, and I can honestly say I think these are the best I've ever had. And that tahini sauce? Smooth, creamy, dippy goodness. Want to take a closer look at the inside of the wrap? Look at how green the falafels are from all the fresh herbs!

Mr Hatter and I also shared a side dish of Batat Hara (spicy potato wedges). These wedges were fluffy on the inside, crispy on the outside, and coated in a delectable spice blend. They also came with a little pot of (rather hot) chilli dipping sauce:

My mum and sister shared a number of items, most of which were also vegan. (And Mr Hatter had a similar wrap to mine.) Everything at Umi is vegetarian, with a good chunk also being suitable for vegans - it's really just the cheesy dishes and the mayo that aren't. Look at how much food we had! (And you'd better believe we finished it all...)

When it came around to pudding time (which we somehow still had room for...?), I was delighted to find that I could eat one of the cakes - although sadly not the baklava, unsurprisingly. The cake I did have was called Basbousa, which is a sweet cake made from semolina and doused in a simple syrup. Mine came with an almond baked into the top, and coconut and cocoa sprinkled over it.

It may look simple but don't let that fool you - it tasted fantastic. It was a soft, sumptuous slice of syrupy sweetness. This is something else I would like to try to recreate at home. It was beautiful!

I have nothing but good things to say about Umi, and will definitely revisit if I ever end up back in Dublin. I would recommend this wholeheartedly to anyone who likes falafels - or even anyone who doesn't, as it's so good it will probably change your mind!


  1. Oooh falafel and cake, I will have to give this place a try! Thanks for your review!

  2. Mmmm mint lemonade and the best falafel ever?! Awesome!