3.341 P31bO/Egypt(41): Ta'amiya

-Cycle 3, Item 341-
11 (Tue) December 2012

P31bO/Egypt(41): Ta'amiya


at Ali Baba

-Itaewon, Seoul-

with MtG

Egypt is the 41st consecutive country to be featured in the on-going Project 31 By Origin (see previously 3.340 P31bO/Switzerland(40): Baguette Sandwich with Emmental Cheese & Pork Pastrami).

 Ta'amiya is a type of Egyptian fritter.  Better known throughout the world as "falafal."  Typically, it consists of ground chick peas and/or fava beans plus aromatics (e.g., onions, herbs) and spices (e.g., cumin, clove).  As a snack/appetizer/meal, it can be served on its own or accompanied by flatbread, sometimes wrapped in sandwich form along with various toppings and condiments.

Ali Baba is an Egyptian restaurant.  Yet another in the recent series of unique establishments--"the only one in Korea, as far as I know"--representing a specific national cuisine, it's located in Itaewon.  Despite what I'd read in certain online reviews about the restaurant's popularity, it was empty during our visit at around 7 PM.  The menu seemed similar to those that I've seen at other eateries relating to neighboring countries in the region, including Lebanon (see 3.336 Manouche Kafta) and UAE (see 3.333 Bamiya).  

The ta'amiya at Ali Baba was pretty good.  It had a light and crispy texture on the outside, not a trace of grease despite the deep-fry.  The sesame seeds in the crust added pop, as well as a strong nutty flavor, to each bite.  Within, the beans were soft and sweet.  Combined with sliced tomato, cucumber, and onions, topped with yogurt and chili sauce, and wrapped in pita--components all included in the basic order--it made for a tasty, well-balanced, and fulfilling dish.  Not too bad at 13,000 won (+10%), though certainly no bargain.  

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