Sunday, January 15, 2006


Signs outside this caff near Leicester Square proclaimed that it was home to the best falafel in London. Inside, they adhere to the slightly tarted up greasy spoon look, with plastic tables and minimal decor consisting of several framed copies of a photo of the owner posing with Matt Damon and an incongruous looking black board proclaiming that the wine of the week is a Sauvignon Blanc. The laminated menu comes, bizarrely, in two versions - one with prices and names of food and one with just pictures. Personally, I just found this confusing, but I guess it can appeal to some (especially given all those news stories about poor literacy levels in this country). I had falafel - a few bright yellow crumbly balls served in a valley of indifferent hummus with one piece of warm pitta. For five quid. My companion had a fatty, gristly lamb kebab served on top of some salad (which was consequently warm) and accompanied with a huge mountain of chips. For over eight quid. This place may look cheap, but it's lying. The portions were a good size, but even in central London you can find nicer and cheaper food (try heading across Leicester Square to Stockpot). The service was attentive enough, but our dinners were brought out one by one, with considerable time period elapsing in between plates. The place was quite full on a weekday night and seemed to be quite a popular place to bring young children. I guess being in the centre of theatre land it's a useful pit stop, but for me there was nothing special enough about it (atmosphere/food/price/decor) to warrant a return visit.

Gaby's; 30 Charing Cross Road, WC2H 0DB, Tel. 020 7836 4233; Tube: Leicester Square

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