When you first pull into the car park at Yokine hidden gem Falafel Omisi, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’re in the wrong place.
Words by Claire Trolio
Sandwiched between a couple of schools you’ll find a kiosk and a handful of tables overlooking the grassed expanse of Maccabean Memorial Oval.
But follow your nose past the playground for fresh and delicious, kosher Israeli fare. As the name suggests, falafel stars on the menu. It’s hard to go past the classic falafel pocket: crispy falafels and fresh salads served in a pillowy pita and laden with homemade hummus and tahini.
While we’re stuffing things into pita, you might like to try the Sabich, a traditional dish of sautéed eggplant and hard boiled egg inside a fluffy flatbread, or the meaty kebab pocket that – like everything – is made fresh to order.
“We only believe in serving fresh food every single day,” says Falafel Omisi partner and chef Maor Mantin.
“Our pita pockets are made by hand every morning and all of our food from scratch. We don’t serve anything from the day before.”
Mantin first started cooking in the army and later took a course with a chef. He opened his first restaurant with business partner Yaakov Omisi in Caulfield, Victoria, back in 2011. In fact, it was Omisi’s grandmother Rachel Omisi who deserves credit for the downright delicious falafels that the Perth shop is serving: they’re made according to her family recipe.
After relocating to Perth “for love,” Mantin felt there was a lack of tasty Middle Eastern fare. “I was craving a falafel pita pocket so decided to open a restaurant in Perth.” Lucky for us.
Mantin’s clearly passionate about sharing his culture through food. Whether it’s a plate of silky hummus topped with fragrant, sautéed mushrooms, or a flakey Malawach served with egg and tomato, his menu is full of traditional dishes.
“I love sharing my culture through traditional flavours,” he explains, “but what drives me even more is my customers. I love watching them enjoy my food, especially when they try the falafels for the first time and they just melt in their mouth.”
But Falafel Omisi is about more than just a good feed. Mantin’s hospitality is warm and uplifting.
Though largely set up as a takeaway joint, we love to eat in, especially if you have little kids in tow. The adjacent playground and grass expanse means you can munch your pita pocket in peace.
And if you’re hosting some last minute dinner guests, we recommend hitting up Mantin and his team for their combo platter. We’re talking 40 falafels, 10 pitas, fresh salads, hummus and tahini – so easy.
The doors swing open at 12pm Sunday to Friday, closing at 8pm Sunday to Thursday and 3:30pm Fridays.
(Stay tuned for a second Falafel Omisi location coming in the next few months.)
Falafel Omisi is located at 61 Woodrow Ave Yokine.