Falafel King Taipei (炸豆丸子國王)

awesome
falafel

#1

Do you ever experience something so good you need to write a post about it? After three or four visits to Falafel King, I definitely have this urge now!

First, a disclaimer. Falafel King is not a “restaurant.” It’s a narrow storefront in the heart of the Shida night market (at least for now—more on this below). When visiting with an elderly friend for lunch, the owner kindly pulled out two stools for us to sit on. But this is basically a take-out spot where you can stand and eat in the alley or carry your purchase to eat elsewhere, perhaps at one of the nearby parks.

Now for the good stuff. The food here is amazing. I’ve tried the falafel sandwich and another concoction with grilled eggplant, hummus, and egg—both are superb, with their balance of vegetables and delectable sauces. The regular size for one of these wonderful treats is NT$85. For NT$40, you can add a pudding—the date version I tried was a tasty (and not overly sweet) way to end a satisfying lunch.

One of the pleasure of eating here is watching the owner (who I understand is from Israel) assemble the food. Let’s just say if the Chinese and Taiwanese food in this part of Taipei City were prepared with this level of thought and care, I would be delighted (unfortunately far too much of it is not). With fresh ingredients and bright flavours, this place would be an immediate favorite if it were, say, in Toronto or San Francisco. The fact that it’s up-and running in Taipei City is a blessing, and a sign of how the international food scene here is changing, in many ways for the better.

I mentioned above that Falafel King is currently located in the Shida night market area. It’s between Longqian Street and Shida Road on the alley that is immediately next to the Longqian 7-11 (address: No. 12, Lane 59, Shida Road; closest MRT Station: Taipower Building Station on the Green Line).

Alas, it won’t be there for long. I think I heard the owner mention January 20 as a possible closing date due to some unspecified issues with the landlord. I heard that Falafel King will return in early 2019 (likely in February some time) at a new location not far from El Sabroso on Tingzhou Road. With the number of international students living in and passing through NTU’s Shuiyuan dorms, this may turn out to be a good move if the shop can survive the quieter summer months.

In the meantime, Falafel King has given me an excellent reason to return to the Shida night market area—a neighborhood that, as many forumosans know, has undergone drastic changes over the years, and which I had almost given up on. For food this good, it’s worth going back.

Guy


#2

So cheap!


#3

Interestingly, this is NOT how I view the goods served at Falafel King, which have no markers of “cheapness” whatsoever. I think it would be better to think of this as a very fair price for fresh and carefully prepared food. Give it a try and see what you think.

Guy


split this topic #4

4 posts were split to a new topic: Imma Bakery Cafe Restaurant


#11

awesome! i’ll have to pay a visit. falafel ain’t too easy to get in taiwan, taiwanese are not very interested in it from my experience.


#12

Cool - thanks for the recommendation. I actually thought all the restaurants were gone from Shida - was that night market’s death overstated, or has it returned from the dead?

Here’s Falafel King’s Facebook page:

I still like Sababa, but it’s nice to have other options as well.


#13

I don’t think you can compare the two. I’ve been to Sababas twice and the food was mediocre. The falafel was terrible. Falafel king is as close to the real deal as you’re going to get in Taiwan.


#14

Do they do doner kebab?


#15

No they do not. This place is vegetarian only.

If you are seeking meatier options, you could consider Safranbolu Turkish Restaurant (蕃紅花城土耳其餐廳) on Nanjing East Road. I’ve not tried it but I have heard good things.

Guy


#16

Thanks for pointing out this place. Passed by yesterday for a very solid sandwich.

FYI: Per the sign on the counter, this is the last weekend for the Shida shop - their final day is 29 Jan. They’re looking to re-open 2 Apr at: No. 95, Section 3, Tingzhou Road, Zhongzheng.


#17

I swung by Falafel King this evening for one last delicious sandwich before their Shida operation shuts down. Happily I got my sandwich (there was quite the rush just before 6:00 pm)—and happily as well I learned from the owner that they will be open tomorrow (i.e. Wednesday January 30) as well.

Guy


#18

I ate there yesterday. Excellent food!


#19

I never knew the translation to Chinese is 炸豆丸子