Saturday, 11 May 2013

Pane Caffé, 160 Clerkenwell Road

Pane Caffé is a well presented shop on Clerkenwell Road at the head of Leather Lane sat sandwiched between two Asian establishments, the excellently named Chinese takeaway 'Kung Food' and less excellently named Korean restaurant 'Tohbang' which according to their website translates, LITERALLY, as 'Larder'.

It was surprising to see that the Italian Café 'Pane Caffé' were selling falafel wraps. To our knowledge they're the only place of that ilk in the area that are branching into the falafel market as well as the usual chicken escalope and bacon filled paninis. It was clear on entering the shop however that their main focus was on filling sandwiches and paninis rather than wraps. In fact the only trace of evidence to suggest that falafel wraps were on sale was the board behind the counter. This same board told us that our falafel wrap was going to be 20p shy of £4, which was in line with the other things that they were selling but is well above the going rate for falafel wraps around the Leather Lane area.

It took a while to get the attention of the guy working there but after we did we asked for a falafel wrap (obviously) which puzzled him as if he'd never heard of such a thing. One of his colleagues had to then fill him in and he then duly asked for the £3.80. It took them a considerable amount of time to make but the stopwatch didn't come out this time so we can't say exactly how long it took. God knows what they were doing behind there as when we opened our wrap we found that, unforgivably, it had not even been toasted. This coupled with the fact that the wrap was a floppy, floury tortilla rather than a khobez was a big failure on mouthfeel.

The wrap was poor. It contained a fresh salad however the falafels themselves was bland and very dry as if they had been sat out for a couple of days. It was a reasonable size, about the length of a UK size 10 shoe but there wasn't really enough substance within it to provide much sustenance or excitement. The chilli sauce was potent which was one of the few positives of the eating experience.

Just edging Wrap It Up!, this has been the worst of the competition so far. We'd rather not part with this amount of money again for such a below par lunch so with any luck this won't make it to the knockout stage of Falafeloff 2013.

Score: 42.80

Pane Caffe can be found at 160 Clerkenwell Road.


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