Good news for metro foodies — there’s a new falafel place in town! Discerning palates can now enjoy traditional Israeli cuisine at Falafel Yo!, a new restaurant offering fresh, authentic, healthy, and delicious falafel.
Falafel plays an iconic role in Israeli cuisine and is widely considered to be the national dish of the country. It is a popular street food made with mashed chickpeas (or garbanzo beans), parsley, coriander, garlic, and other Mediterranean spices.
The General Manager of Falafel Yo!, Guy Mann, grew up eating the Israeli treat and wants to share that experience with Filipinos. He aims to preserve the traditional recipes and methods that have been refined and passed down from generation to generation.
“At Falafel Yo, we make falafel the same way we do it back home,” Guy says. “We want it to taste the same. It has to be authentic. The Falafel you get here will taste the same, if not better, than the ones you get in the streets of Israel. We make sure that what we will be serving to our customers are not only affordable, but also fresh, authentic, and are guaranteed to fill their empty stomachs,” He adds.
Usually served in a pita bread with a choice of vegetables, hummus, and tahini sauce, falafel is perfect for holding and snacking on the move.
Guy on their menu, “We have a very focused menu and that allows us to deliver the very best in authentic Israeli falafels. At the same time, we also want to cater to other people who maybe aren’t familiar with Israeli cuisine and introduce them to falafels.”
Falafel Yo serves 3 different sandwiches – the Falafel Yo (P159), Falafelito (P99), and Falafel Beast (P189).
The Yo is their traditional take on the Israeli sandwich. With 6 deep-fried falafel balls stuffed in a chewy pita bread lined with different vegetables, it’s a healthy and filling meal. The Falafelito is smaller version of the Yo made specifically for kids that also makes for a quick snack. It comes with fries and no chili. The Falafel Beast veers away from tradition in that it combines beef and chickpeas for the falafel balls.
“The Beast was something that our team developed to try and innovate the traditional falafel -mixing beef and chickpeas for a flavor that was classic and familiar and yet very different,” Guy shares.
In addition to falafel sandwiches, customers can enjoy salads or add-ons like fried eggplant, homemade hummus, pickled onions (or sumac), roasted green chilies, cabbage, lettuce, and a Mediterranean tomato and cucumber mix. Falafel Yo also boasts homemade dips to go with their sandwiches – the amba, a sour yellow sauce made of mango, cumin, and turmeric, and the tahini, which is a mix of sesame seeds, coriander, and parsley.
For drinks, they serve tangy Lemongrass Juice (P95), a perfect refresher for the Manila heat.
Falafel Yo! is located at the 3/F Greenbelt 3, Ayala Center in Makati. Situated on the cinema level, with a space that can fit only a few tables and chairs, they aim to provide affordable and hearty munchies for diners and movie-goers. Look out for more branches in the future as Guy and team are also planning on opening more branches within the year, and are targeting SM City North EDSA Annex and Vertis North as possible locations.