This post is going to be a face-off of sorts, between two establishments situated on Edgeware Road, London.
A little bit about Edgeware Road first. It’s a long stretch of road in London, which plays host to many Middle Eastern restaurants, cafés and shisha parlours. Dubai-ans will feel a little at home there with many-a-sign being translated into Arabic as well. Closest tube stations are – predictably enough – Edgeware Road (which runs through the Bakerloo, Hammersmith and City, Circle and District lines), and you can walk up in 5-10 minutes from Marylebone tube station (Bakerloo) as well.
I went to two places in Edgeware Road – Café Helen and Slemani.
Café Helen is a little spot which is known for its shawarmas (thanks @eddydubai for the tip and taking me there!) which is the first place I went to. I sampled their chicken and lamb shawarmas. I was asked later how it compared to the shawarmas in Dubai and my reply was: “It was equally good”, which I think is high praise for any shawarma joint outside of Dubai-land. Tender meat which literally melts in the mouth when you bite into it, I was won over by the unassumingly small outlet which offered so much.
Next stop (on another day, don’t worry!): Slemani. Over here, we (this time I had Dee Rawat for company) branched out. We ordered hummus, falafels, arayes and shawarmas. When comparing the shawarmas here to the ones at Café Helen, I’d say Café Helen won hands down. The shawarmas at Slemani were good, but there was something about the taste that fell short to the ones at Café Helen. The other food was okay. The hummus was grainier than I’m normally used to in Dubai, but the falafels were just about the right taste, and the arayes was good. But again, I prefer joints in Dubai over this.
The clear winner at the end of the day? Café Helen. Value for money shawarmas, without a doubt.