CORK

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - SEVEN DAYS | EATING OUT -

EAST by The Rock­et­man Winthrop Ar­cade Oliver Plun­kett St, Cork City face­book.com/ east by the rocket man

At the Oliver Plun­kett side of Cork’s Winthrop Ar­cade you’ll find EAST, a falafel project brought to you by plant-fo­cused lo­cal food he­roes The Rock­et­man. Jack Crotty runs The Rock­et­man with his mum Si­mone, and the pair were ap­proached by Winthrop Ar­cade’s most re­cent land­lord Stephen Dal­ton.

EAST opened for busi­ness in De­cem­ber 2015. It’s a small space with just about enough room for a cof­fee ma­chine, a counter of fresh fill­ings and a saj, an oven which the EAST team use to cook their flat­bread wraps ev­ery day.

I or­der through a take­away win­dow and am drawn to­wards The Greek (¤7), a falafel wrap filled with EAST’s sig­na­ture falafel plus black olives, feta cheese and zhoug, which Crotty de­scribes as a Mid­dle Eastern pesto. It’s messy but re­ward­ing work to chow down on this de­li­cious par­cel of fresh­ness, and I make a right mess of one of the lit­tle tables that line the hall of the Ar­cade, while I sip a Syn­er­chi Kom­bucha (¤2.70), brewed in Done­gal.

There are four other choices of falafel sand­wiches. The Orig­i­nal fea­tures hum­mus, zhoug and tahini, the Mex­i­can adds gua­camole and salsa to the mix, the Ital­ian of­fers up moz­zarella, sun-dried to­ma­toes and pesto, while the Cana­dian fea­tures beet­root crush, sweet po­tato fires, pick­led beets and tahini. EAST have nailed their falafel recipe, and they’re exquisitely moist on the in­side yet crispy on the out­side. They make up their mix, but they roll and fry them to or­der, mean­ing they’re as fresh as you can get.

Aside from the falafel, there are de­li­cious gluten-free sweet treats from lo­cal Free Birds Bak­ery on of­fer, in­clud­ing a dev­il­ishly good peanut but­ter brownie (¤3). There are two types of cof­fee from two ex­em­plary lo­cal roast­ers on of­fer – a Brazil­ian bean from Golden Bean and an Ethiopian bean from Bad­ger & Dodo, of­fer­ing a caramel-flavoured cof­fee (the per­fect ac­com­pa­ni­ment to my brownie - ¤2.50 for a flat white) or a more acidic, fruity cof­fee.

What makes sim­ple street food like a falafel sand­wich spe­cial is that it’s al­ways the sum of its parts. At EAST, not only are the falafels great, but the bread is floury and fresh, and the fill­ings are crunchy and in­ter­est­ing. AMcE

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