The Falafel Man and Prahran Market, Melbourne

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The Best Falafels in Town

If not for the queue which was absent from the rest of the food stalls, I would have laughed at this bold assertion and walked away. But if I did, I would have missed out on some stellar falafels and so I was glad to have followed the herd (this time, at least). The falafel man was a quiet steady man who displayed no frazzledness, or emotions for that matter, even when the queue snaked across the courtyard. Working alone, he fastidiously fried the falafels and served them up with either pita bread or the “whole lot”; a mixed of Middle Eastern salad, pickles topped with a thick yoghurt-based sauce. The falafels were orgasmic. I like to see myself as an adventurous soul and I have tried my fair share of falafels but never tasted anything so good that made me think all others I raved before were nothing compared to the plate in front of me. My lunch was good for several reasons. First up, it was freshly deep fried. With the high turnover and small fryer, the falafel man was constantly throwing them into the hot oil. The result was a thin crispy crust surrounding the soft, moist chickpea and parsley filled meatball. I heard the “crunch” the moment I bit into it. The well-seasoned and generous parsley provided the flavour. The salad – with its contrasting temperature, mushier texture, and refreshing taste – only heightened the goodness of the falafels. This plate alone alone definitely warrants a trip to Prahran.

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Aside from good food, I fell in love with Prahran for another obvious reason: shopping. There was a good mix of charity and quirky shops. I had the time of my life going around the shops to hunt for good deals and I scored a Cheese and Biccies serving plate for AUD$1(!) From Olga de Polga, a shop based in London, a beautiful pink bow shorts that was perfect for the hot weather in Singapore. It was here in Prahran that I started to enjoy Melbourne although it still pales in comparison to the underhyped Sydney. Melbourne did not quite cut it for me. All I saw around me was a coffee and brunch culture. A monotonous culture that I quickly got bored of in a day. I missed Sydney a lot. People were warmer and friendlier; I never got lonely there. Plus being so closer to nature provided amble respites from the city life. Sydney, you stole my heart.

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