Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Meal Deal Chilli is King, 41 Leather Lane

We're not sure if this place is called 'Meal Deal' and their slogan is 'Chilli is King' or whether they're called 'Chilli is King' and they offer meal deals so we've decided to hedge our bets and call them 'Meal Deal Chilli is King', which has to be one of the most bizarre names for a shop we've ever heard.

Let's start on the service. It was awful. We entered at 13:01 and the first time we were spoken to by one of their three members of staff was 13:06. Whilst there was a reasonable queue in front of us (about 8 people) most of these had already been served and were waiting patiently for their wraps so there wasn't an excuse for us to have to wait 5 minutes to just have our order taken. Even after that initial wait it was another 4 minutes until we were given our wrap. This is a stark contrast to Brothers where we would have been in and out in half the time having been served almost as soon as we'd opened the door. We felt that having to spend a sixth of a lunch hour waiting for food is inexcusable so punished Meal Deal Chilli Is King with 0/13 for speed

Whilst waiting in the queue we observed two misdemeanours. Misdemeanour One: One of the guys preparing the wraps accepted money from Customer X rather than directing her towards the guy behind the till. Misdemeanour Two: The customer in front of us (Customer Y) was shortchanged by said guy behind the till by a pound. We can't verify if this was intentional or not by the Meal Deal Chilli Is King employee but the actions of  Customer X in Misdemeanour One suggest that Misdemeanour Two could be a regular occurrence if they were unwilling to trust that employee with their money and were even willing to do this at the expense of the hygiene of their preceding fellow customers. We'll let you decide for yourselves if either of these misdemeanours are significant enough to consider not shopping here but we've given them a very reasonable 2/10 for staff. Cost was straight down the middle at £3. 

After the service we experienced we wanted to hate the wrap. After seeing that it wasn't cut into two halves we were even more riled. 

Q: What other falafel felonies would Meal Deal Chilli is King commit?
A: None.

Once we got stuck in, we wanted to rescind all previous crimes. This was a fantastic wrap.

As you can see from the pictures, the wrap was big, beautiful and well grilled. What the pictures fail to capture is how good this offering tasted. As a substantial amount of time has been spent by the wrap under the grill this gave the bread great crispy texture and added a toasty flavour to the bread.

There was no abdication from the chilli, he let himself be known without his acidity being too oppressive and stealing the limelight from anything else within the wrap. The falafels themselves had a delicious nutty flavour which perhaps came from the strong sesame seed presence. The wrap was filling and densely packed. No ingredients were too out of the ordinary but what was there was done exceptionally well. 

We hope they've bucked their ideas up by the time the knockout stage comes around as if service was slicker this would without doubt be a very serious contender for Falafeloff 2013.

Score: 59.5

Meal Deal Chilli is King can be found at 41 Leather Lane.



  1. I've been in here a couple of times and found the service quick and polite although I usually go after 1.30pm so they weren't as busy as they would be at 1.00pm. The falafels score well on freshness and taste and are excellent value at £3, given the size of them. Don't laught but I reckon these lads might be a good outside bet for lifting the 2013 trophy.

  2. For the last 6 months 90% of the food I digested during lunch time comes from "Meal Deal". It was a wonderful discovery. They have a wide choice of food and it pretty much never gets boring for me.

    As for the wraps - they are delicious and at a good price. They do get quite busy during peak lunch time but it's definitely worth a wait. Service is great. They remember all my weird food preferences by heart and always give some suggestions with the new stuff that they get. I can't really get why you were waiting so long to get your order taken, that had to be really unfortunate.

    And yes, the name is a bit bizzare.