09 October 2010

Woohoo! Sabbaba opens in Newtown! [CLOSED]



The legendary Bondi Israeli falafel roll joint Sabbaba opens in Newtown. Happy.

[CLOSED NOVEMBER 2012 - NOT SO HAPPY]






We first stumbled across Sabbaba around seven years ago when I was moonlighting as a night manager in a Bondi Backpacker hostel. Sabbaba serves freshly made falafels and other treats to homesick Israelis and a  legion of Bondi health nuts hooked on the uber-tasty pita rolls.

A few years later we see a development notice for a new Sabbaba restaurant opening near our home in Newtown, next to that choco-junky shooting gallery, Max Brenner. We have been watching and waiting for our beloved Sabbabah to open in Newtown for what feels like forever. At last, this week, the newspaper comes down from the windows, and the doors open...

We charge inside on the first chance we get and have a mild food nerd freakout. Sabbabah Newtown seems to have been McDonald-ised a bit. The Sabbabah we remember in Bondi was rustic, laid back and kind of hip in it's own way. Even the new closet sized outlet in Bondi Junction retains some Israeli cool. But the new Sababbah seems a bit more 'Westfield' than Newtown.

We make a hasty retreat to the Marly Bar across the road to workshop the situation over a beer or three, decide that looks aren't everything, then return with renewed hunger.



It's opening week so get a free coffee, it's a killer flat white with some master latte art, got to be happy with that.



The food arrives in branded packaging, we fear the evil gloved hand of Ronald McDonald...



I go for my old favourite, the Sabbaba Pita Pocket, $8.90 - falafels, lots of salad, tabouli, red cabbage, pickles, tahini, hummus, and babaganoush. Oh my god it's good.



Miss Chicken's bottom lip quivers as she discovers the Newtown branch doesn't have her old favourite, the Jerusalem Mix which she loves for the chicken livers. She wipes here tears away and chooses the Larnaca Pita Pocket - $8.90 - original falafel balls, salad, olives, green chili, eggplant, hummus, tahini and haloumi. She was lured in by the haloumi but couldn't taste any in the roll, but is was still excellent.



It's the humble falafel that made Sabbaba famous. Forget those dry old horse turds you might have had in a dodgey kebab shop, Sabbaba makes falafels fresh to order. They are insanely delicious: served hot and crispy on the outside, mushy in the middle. I can imagine this is how you would have a falafel on the street all over the Middle East.

I'm over the moon with our lunch however Miss Chicken is a little disappointed, though expectations were sky high. Miss Chicken prefers the original Bondi store, she misses the Jerusalem Mix and the extra gloopy bread-soaking sauciness of the pitas. I, on the other hand, hate chicken livers and don't mind my pita a little drier, it's easier to eat and tastes just as good. But we both agree the falafels are still sensational, and that's what counts. We debate whether $8.90 is a steep price for falafel roll, maybe, but I think the fresh hot falafels make it worthy of its price.



Sabbaba Newtown Menu - Click to Enlarge



Sabbaba Newtown Menu - Click to Enlarge



Sabbaba Newtown Menu - Click to Enlarge



Sabbaba Newtown Menu - Click to Enlarge



Sabbaba Newtown Menu - Click to Enlarge



Sabbaba Newtown Menu - Click to Enlarge



The menu has expanded to include burgers, breakfast, beer and bacon. It's not all Kosher but I guess they can't survive on falafels alone. We look forward to eating our way through the menu in the coming months and (hopefully) years.

Sabbaba is on King Street Newtown, near the intersection of Missendon Road, across the street from the Marborough Hotel.

Sabbaba Newtown on Urbanspoon

20 comments:

  1. Bondi Sabbaba is a fav, so will try this!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yummo love these. Thanks for writing about it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I spotted this place at lunchtime on Friday when I was hauling butt down to see my optometrist. It was WAY too busy to even consider eating there...but I'm going to try again on Wednesday - hopefully the lunchtime crowd won't be quite as big.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ah it's so good Miss Mel, Miss Chicken recommends dragging vego Carmen with you :-)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Noticed this place last night after eating a dismal pizza at Ice & Slice. They were giving free felafel balls away on the street. Beautiful! Will be eating here soon

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hehe John - always wondered what Ice & Slice was like - thanks for warning!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Bondi Sabbaba is the best but the 1 in Bondi Junction show that is getting better even from that! so... if we have now a new 1 ,in Newtown, we just gona have the best-best-best one!

    :-)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Best Falafel in town
    the pita pocket its unreal

    ReplyDelete
  9. The best food in the world!!!! I love it I eat Sabbaba at least once a week. One of my favourite dish is the Sabbaba falafel were you get to taste all the dips and all the salads.

    ReplyDelete
  10. This is the best damn food money can buy - will be there a few times a week for sure...thank god they have arrived at my door step

    ReplyDelete
  11. Sabbaba Newtown looks like an instant hit - so happy!

    ReplyDelete
  12. yum.... i love fresh falafel..

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks so much for this, I googled it after going past it on the bus on my way to work. And your great site came up, though this might prove dangerous as I work in Chinatown, live off Enmore Road and love to eat. So it looks like your suggestions are lunch and dinner.

    ReplyDelete
  14. WE LOVE SABBABA AND ALWAYS WILL MOSHE SIMAN TOV AND FAMILY.

    ReplyDelete
  15. bloody brilliant what can i say. went by there this arvo for lunch had the falafel plate (totally vegan) and vegan chips. Sabbaba where have you been all my life?

    ReplyDelete
  16. I still say that Savion in the back streets of North Bondi is better that Sabbaba...both great though

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hey Anon - I didn't know about Savion, that's definitely on our list - thanks for the tip!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Wow, I guess I'll try it! I thought it was part of a massive chain thing, what with the super-slick fit-out and all, but it sounds quite good and not so McD as I'd feared.

    Ice and Slice has _very_ nice gelato, btw. Their pizzas are middling tho, it's true.

    ReplyDelete
  19. oh god savion is dirrrrrtyyy ! noone goes there its awful. coles had to cancel their dip line out of coles cause so many cases of food poisoning. Sabbaba is the one for quality and cleanliness. go to savion for a laugh though !!!! hehe

    ReplyDelete
  20. Btw Sabbaba was never kosher.

    and savion rocks, but pita mix in rose bay is pretty darn good too.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for your comment joy - please keep your musings happy - if you want to complain about a restaurant please do it on a restaurant review site (or your own blog) - we're all about celebrating cultural diversity and the great nom noms that come along with it. Think Maeve O'Meara, not Masterchef :-)
Our ethics: We pay for all our own meals and travel (although sometimes our Mum shouts us).