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Sunday, February 18, 2007

February 17, 2007: Half Moon Cafe

On a sweltering Saturday, Michael and I had an errand or two to attend to in Brunswick. Lunch in Coburg was the incentive we needed to get ourselves out of the flat and into the scorching sunlight. In particular we were aiming for the Half Moon Cafe - a couple of months ago someone recommended their felafel to us and we've been slow to take their advice. This is one of several unremarkable-looking kebab shops in an area with a distinctly Middle Eastern flavour. However the menu runs a little further than what I've come to expect from the average haven for late-night hungry drunks: there are five different felafel wraps on offer, a couple of legume-based salads and other sides for the vegetarian customer. In fact, as our felafel fried, we were offered teaspoons to taste their fresh batch of Foul Medames. Don't be put off by the name - this is a creamy Egyptian-style fava bean dish packed with flavour. It was only the interminable heat in and outside the cafe that prevented me from ordering a $6 serve to pack, still warm, in our bag for later.

As we chewed and murmured in appreciation, we learned that the felafel here are also made from fava beans (rather than the usual chickpeas), making them superior in taste and texture. And they are great: for $5.50 apiece, we receive a huge wrap with three large, fresh felafel and a garden-full of salad-y bits. Michael's (pictured) is a Sunflower, with boiled egg, lettuce, rocket, tomato, pickles and yoghurt. I went for the Traditional felafel: lettuce, rocket, tomato, tahina and pickles. It's only since we moved to Melbourne that we've encountered the felafel pickle, and Michael and I are both pretty taken with its acidic inclusion, particularly the pink turnip. A Half Moon felafel also includes dill pickle.

You definitely do not need a night's worth of alcohol coursing through your veins to appreciate this fast food. And I can only express my amazement at how generous and good-natured the staff were as they spent a 38 degree day in the company of a deep frier and an ineffectual air-conditioner.

Address: 13 Victoria St (The Mall), Coburg
Ph: 9350 2949
Price: felafel rolls $5.50


  1. oh i've had this place recommended too and not yet made it even though it's a pickle's throw from me. you have motivated me though - i'm a goin!

  2. Let us know how you like it! And if you can fit it in, try some of that Foul Medames. :-)

  3. Great you visited Half Moon Cafe! (it was me who had suggested it, but was in a hurry so entered anonymous). It is yum yum. Next time, try the cafe next door Cafe Serafino - a homemade Indian food cafe. The lady cooks herself, menu changes daily, and food delicious. Also cooking classes... ceviz

  4. Thank you for that tip, Ceviz! We are definitely lovers of Indian food and will file away that recommendation too. :-)