Posted by: susanjcaldwell28 | December 14, 2013

UMI – felafel – Dame Street

umiNo coincidence that Umi rhymes with Yummy, this is a relatively new establishment, of 2 months duration, that has opened on Dame Street.  Its a  vegetarian and vegan Lebanese establishment, yes another one, halleluiah, us “weirdos” are becoming more mainstream.

Its a casual diner nicely laid out with open booths and seats that could have you bum to bum with the people behind you if you were of the largest variety!.  Myself and my daughter Sarah went into today and I get a bit stupid in places where I have an actual choice rather than the normal restaurant where they squint their eyes, roll their nose upwards and place a finger on their upper lip and announce “we could do ya a stirfry, I suppose” There were sandwiches, mezze, salads, soups and bites to choose from.  Lebanese, I have to say is the most vegan friendly food with their array of vine leaves, hummous, felafel, taboulleh etc. it just ruins it for me in so many places when I also see the word “halal” proud ways to murder be it kosher, halal or organic freerange etc, all in the name of cruelty just make me want to scream almost as loudly as the poor animals.

Sarah and I decided to go for the Umi Felafel Plate for Two People Sharing, we opted to change the cheese roll for spinach rolls to make it all vegan.  I love tapas and mezze and basically any meals that have loads of bits and pieces of food, variety being the spice of life.  Our server Stephanie was very helpful and recommended the Tunisian Salad as part of our meal, there was also a Moroccan quinoa salad, a felafel salad, tabouleh, tahini and fatoush salad, all sounded amazing.

Our meal arrived, for 14.50 between 2, we received 8 felafel in their own really cutsy fryer, 4 stuffed vine leaves, 2 spinach rolls, a huge salad, pitta bread and hummous.   All the food was so delicate and flavoursome, the spinach rolls tasted like they were made from rice paper, nothing heavy,  just mouthwateringly delicious, the hummous had the exact right amount of lemon, garlic, herbs infused into it, absolutely fabulous, could have eaten it off my fingers!.  The felafel had a beautiful spicy flavour to it and the salad was fabulous and the warmed pitta just delightfully enveloped all the flavours, I usually hate cold vine leaves, something about them makes me squirm but these were delish.  All the food is made on the premises and tastes so fresh and delicious, the staff are wonderfully friendly and helpful.  This is a really good eaterie.  They had many juices on offer, they are awaiting their wine licence and I meant to ask them if they offer a BYOB in the meantime. I would have many ideas how they could cosy up the premises at night as everything is more stark during the day but a few candles and a little music can change any venue.

The prices are very reasonable, the staff lovely and the variety is fab. I dont eat dessert myself but did ask where there any vegan desserts on offer, they have not, they tried the vegan pancake but felt it was not working well enough.  I know from my own children making vegan desserts that you can replace dairy with so many different options like almond milk, oat cream etc. and I do think they should make an effort to produce a good vegan dessert.  I did recommend my friend Debbie Debbo and her Cakeability Company as an option.

This is  a fantastic casual dining option with really gorgeous fresh food and ample portions.  Lebanese is quickly becoming my most favourite food. Highly recommended, just get the wine in and Ill be back!.



  1. Great to hear of somewhere doing vegan options 🙂 Thanks for the recommedation for Cakeability

    • Delighted Debbie, Sarah still talks about your amazing chocolate cake that she had in Lurve Cafe. Yes Debbie, Dublin is waking up to veganism, its pretty amazing. Im so delighted. xxx

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