Falafel Without Faff
As one of the most Michelin-spangled cities in the world, Tokyo has its fair share of swanky eateries and an understandable preponderance of refined Japanese cuisine, but when painterly sushi and premium sake just won’t cut it, tracking down simple, hearty soul food among the already indecipherable streets may prove a challenge. So imagine our gluttonous glee when we discovered a fantastic little Israeli restaurant, Ta-Im (which is Hebrew for ‘delicious’), nestled away in Ebisu with the deliciously stodgy-cum-crispy falafel as the star of its menu!
The cosy dining space offers only a simple lunch-counter, behind which stands owner Dan Zuckerman (formerly of David's Deli) who ensures the authenticity of his made-from-scratch Middle Eastern fare by importing tahini, spices, olive oil, and wine. However, vegetables are always sourced locally and are mainly organic which, along with a legume and protein-heavy lineup, makes this a fab spot for the eco-conscious veggie or vegan. Their popular set meal kicks off with a winter-warming pumpkin soup, followed by a zingy tabbouleh (a herby bulgur wheat and tomato salad) creamy hummus, fat falafel patties, babaganoush, and a basket of hot-to-trot pitas. Meanwhile, drinks include Israeli beer (Maccabee) and Israeli wines (like Pelter and a fruity Yarden Viognier from the Golan Heights), and you’d be nuts to miss their sticky pistachio-laced baklava to finish – falafel without the faff, baklava without the palaver!