Kuumba du Falafel
By: James Hadfield | Oct 1, 2009 | 2 Comments | 7,119 views

“I just opened this place because I couldn’t find good falafel in Tokyo,” says Eiji from behind the counter at Kuumba du Falafel. “If there was somewhere else that sold it, I’d close this immediately and go and eat there every day instead.” There’s still no sign outside his new eatery, which sits on the intersection of Kyu-Yamate Dori and Yamate Dori. Not the most ideal location, but it is within easy walking distance of Shibuya—and as any falafel addict will attest, the good stuff merits going the extra (half) mile for. Eiji is devoted to his craft, getting up early every day to source vegetables from markets in Tsukiji or Kamakura and bake fresh pita for the day. His falafel sandwich (¥945 for a full one, ¥680 for a half) is a genuine work of love, crammed with leafy greens, tomato, hummus, tahini sauce and other condiments. For want of a more gastronomically precise way of putting it, it’s damn near perfect. Order the Falafel Plate (¥1,260) and you can make up your own sandwich, while Eiji also serves up tapas in the evenings (from ¥525). The drink menu runs from fruit juice (¥315) to Louis Roederer Cristal Champagne (price not listed), with bottles of wine for ¥3,150 and Heartland for just ¥525. All the food at Kuumba du Falafel is vegan, but Eiji doesn’t like to make a point of that. “It’s boring, right?” he says. “I just care about whether or not it tastes good.”

23-1 Shinsensho, Shibuya-ku. Tel: 03-6416-8396. Open Mon-Sat 11:30am-2:30pm and 5:30-10pm (until midnight Sat), Sun 11:30am-2:30pm and 5:30-7pm. Nearest stn: Shinsen (Keio Inokashira line). Map. Directions.

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  • http://metropolis.co.jp/community/members/tokyoviews/ tokyoviews

    I have been looking forward to going to this place since it opened. I finally went today and it was a real disappointment. The prices have risen to 1,000 yen for a full falafel sandwich, and 780 for a half. There was only one other customer in the shop at 12:30 on a weekday, and the first thing they said to me was “we are almost out of pita so we can only make you a half sandwich.” I was pretty hungry and asked if they could make two halves. Yes, they could. Could they make one whole? No. What is the difference between two halves and one whole? “The price is higher,” is what they said. I didn’t have time to find another place to eat and so paid 1,560 for two half sandwiches which should have cost 1,000. It is a pita shop that doesn’t actually have pita.

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