After a Hearty Vegetarian-Friendly Middle-Eastern Fix? Check Out ’Kuumba du Falafel’ in Shibuya!

  • TOKYO
  • SHIBUYA
  • RESTAURANT
  • Japanese cuisine tend to use a lot of meat or meat-derived products in its preparation which can make it very hard to avoid chicken or pork-based ingredients, especially in soup stocks, marinades or sauces for those that live a vegetarian lifestyle. Even though the vegetarian restaurant scene is starting to gain traction in Tokyo, current options are more or less limited to salads or Indian food. So where can a vegetarian or vegan go for a hearty fix?

    How to get there?

    falaf-inside

    Kuumba du Falafel is a small store located along a quiet intersection and is 15-minute on foot from busy Shibuya. It has a nondescript shopfront and is easy to miss. The interior is minimalist with a mainly wooden interior, and several seats by the bar counter.

    Falafel goodness

    falaf-pit

    Author’s photo

    The falafels are very high quality and served in full or half sized portions, the crumbly and moist fried chickpea patties are packed into a pita pocket with hummus, grilled eggplant and pumpkin, lettuce, purple cabbage, cucumbers, tomatoes, and finished off with tahini sauce. There was also a Japanese touch to it, with a shiso or barilla leaf. The fiery chili sauce that could be better described as a ground chili paste goes very well with the falafel, but should be used sparingly!

    falaf-feat

    There is also a plate option, with the pita served separately. I got the half size and it was big enough for a meal. There is also lentil soup on the menu, which accompanies the falafel in the lunch set. Drinks include coconut water, and various organic drinks and Japanese craft beers.

    falaf-jars

    The clientele appears to be comprised mostly of overseas visitors looking for a quiet spot for a meal. Along the bar are jars of nuts and dates that add to the flair of the place. This delicious traditional Middle Eastern falafel place is a hidden gem in the outskirts of Shibuya that is certainly worth a visit.

    Location:

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