I had a job in Sydney that covered Bankstown and Fairfield Local Government Areas. 55% people in Bankstown and 70% people in Fairfield speak a language other than English at home, with Arabic and Assyrian / Aramaic among the top three languages. So as far as Middle Eastern food goes, we have been pretty spoilt.
Our first foray into Middle Eastern food in Helsinki was unfortunately disappointing. Three dry falafels served on rice with lettuce, tomato and a very plain hummus left us in despair. To make things worse, it was served with a drizzle of tomato pasta sauce which left Jonathan feeling like he’d had meatballs for dinner (not great for a vegetarian).
Enter Fafa’s – a small chain of eat-in or takeaway food stores in Helsinki, serving delicious stuffed pita. We were so happy when we saw the menu, which includes a great range of vegetarian options and extra chilli sauce.
I’ve yet to find my favourite Fafa’s pita, but have so far enjoyed the goats cheese pita and the fried eggplant too. The hot chips are cut in a handy scoop shape and Miko often enjoys a hummus plate with a boiled egg.
The food is fresh, the chilli sauce is good but I do think the other sauces could do with a bit more bite. The best sauce I’ve had in Finland so far was baba ganoush made fresh by a Kurdish woman at Hietalahdenkauppahalli. With winter coming there’s no need to be shy with that lemon and garlic!
So we’re very happy to have found Fafa’s – although I’m still looking for that meal that serves garlicky jajik, lemony hummus and smoky baba ganoush alongside dolmades, with baklava for dessert. If you know of a good place for fresh, flavoursome Middle Eastern food in Helsinki (and I don’t mean a kebab with fries) – please, let me know!
Fafa’s – Kamppi, Kallio and Iso Roobertinkatu