It is almost like a new restaurant opens in Kuwait every day! And while we are always excited about discovering new places, some restaurants will forever have a special place in our hearts.
Sharaf is just that! It is a small restaurant in Sharq on Ahmad Al Jaber St, right across Dasman Complex, and they make the best falafels in Kuwait!
But first, let’s get it out of the way that it is pronounced falafel, but you might see it written as felafel. The Egyptians call them ta’ameya too, and they constantly argue which is the right name. But they never disagree on their love for them.
Basically, the story goes, that the original owner Sharaf opened his first restaurant in 1936 in Jaffa, then moved it to Jerusalem. In 1954 he moved to Kuwait and set up shop in Sharq. He ran the restaurant with his children until 1990 when he passed away. His children sold the business, but it is still operating today and the fried bean patties are still the reason people flock to it.
That is a true feat of accomplishment! Sixty-four years is tough for any business, let alone a restaurant in Kuwait where the competition is tough and the clientele even tougher to please.
Falafel are a staple in the region, and for good reason, too! They are cheap, quick to make and work well as breakfast, lunch or dinner. They are also suitable for vegans and vegetarians because they are high in protein. Their only downside, perhaps is that they are fried. They are perfect enough that they are best eaten alone.
To make falafel you start out with a bean base: garbanzo beans, broad beans (a.k.a. fava beans) or a mixture of both. Broad beans are the way to go if you are having Egyptian falafel. They are green in the center because of all the herbs that are added into the batter. The rest of the world seems to go the garbanzo route.
They can be shaped as patties or doughnuts with a hole in the center. The secret is usually in the mixture of herbs and spices. Fresh parsley, cilantro, coriander and sometimes mint are chopped and added. Cumin, cayenne pepper, black pepper, coriander, and sesame seeds are also options for spicing it up!
They are best eaten piping hot. They have to be crunchy on the outside and soft in the center. While some people love them in a sandwich with tahini and salad, we really do love scorching our fingers eating them fresh out of the fryer.
Sharaf makes garbanzo bean based doughnut shaped falafel but their spices are a mystery. We might be curious, but we would prefer that it stays a well-kept secret so they stay in business forever so we enjoy more years of stuffing our faces with the delicious falafel.
Sharaf is located in Sharq across Dasman Complex.
Featured image from Pixabay