Wednesday, 13 November 2013

[SF2] Meal Deal Chilli is King vs Brothers (Spicy)

Battling for a place up against Al Kouther in the final, in one corner we've got Meal Deal Chilli is King - a place we once said some terrible things about and in the other corner we've got Brothers - a place we have been known to almost exclusively say fantastic things about.

Brothers (left) vs Meal Deal Chilli is King (right)
We once slated Meal Deal Chilli is King for their slow and poor service but said that if they sorted out that side of the lunchtime experience then their product would be likely to stand up there with the best of them on Leather Lane. Fortunately for us and them they have done. Unlike previously and also some of the other shops on Leather Lane they have clearly defined roles within the falafel serving process: one to take your order and deal with money with one guy to make the wraps (two guys if it's busy). There was only one falafel-making guy when we went in but there wasn't much of a queue so we were out of the door having been wished a good weekend in next to no time.

The MDCIK wrap has less volume than Brothers but has about the same mass. The more astute of you out there will have deduced from this that the MDCIK wrap is therefore more densely packed. This feature along with the distinctive nutty taste are the two characteristics of wrap that set it apart the most from the rest of the falafel crowd. We've spoken about the taste of this wrap being incredible before and this was no exception - the gherkin, the sesame falafels, the fresh salad, the sauce all played their part in the wrap scoring a maximum 17 for taste. 

In Brothers' quarter final where they comfortably beat Mediterranean Food Bar's Moroccan wrap we were served out of turn and given what we suspect to be the wrong wrap. We didn't punish them too hard back then as we wrote this off as a one-off mistake but for them to do it again on our subsequent visit we aren't going to be as lenient. Sadly, this was exactly the case. Although we weren't served out of turn this time, we did end up with a 'Spicy' wrap with no evidence of spice within it - no jalapeƱos, no chilli sauce. In fact for the first time in the competition, despite the sauce and varied salad we actually found their wrap very slightly bland side compared to how impeccably delicious it usually is.

Bhaji Update: Brothers are back to form with their bhajis. Gone are the undercooked, over-spiced abominations and back are the perfectly-cooked, well-spiced 50p delights. It's worth us mentioning though that we ordered two bhajis which were put onto the grill by papa-brother immediately. As we queued we watched them cook and excitement grew as we neared paying sister-brother but then out of nowhere skinny-brother came out of nowhere, took one of our bhajis from the grill and then gave it to a seated customer without replacing it. Papa-brother disciplined skinny-brother on this misdemeanour but it was too late so we made do with one bhaji that had been on the grill for 3 minutes and one that had had about 3 seconds. Sloppy. We try not to influence this in the scoring but feel that this highlights how standards have slipped for this fraternity.

Securing the other final spot in the competition is Meal Deal Chilli is King who have gone from looking like also-rans to securing at least a silver medal. As you know, they'll face Al Kouther where the winner will be crowned as Falafeloff Champions.

Winner: Meal Deal Chilli is King

Brothers can be found at 99 Leather Lane.
Meal Deal Chilli is King can be found at 41 Leather Lane.

Previous Scores

Brothers (Spicy)
Heats - 76.5
Last 16 - 76.5
Quarter Finals - 76.5

Meal Deal Chilli is King
Heats - 59.5
Last 16 - 79
Quarter Final - 83



  1. When in MDCIK, request that the (pink coloured) pickled turnip to be included. you wont regret

  2. I fervently believe that the taste and format of the MDCIK wrap is closest to the genuine article as you would get in Tel Aviv or Amman.. Brothers/AK are more like a UK salad bar version.. coleslaw? please

  3. Good to see common sense prevail with the Meal Deal lads making it through. It sounds like The Brothers knew they were up against a genuine powerhouse and let nerves get the better of them with a couple of schoolboy errors on service creeping in to seal their fate. I expect The Brothers to learn from this and come back stronger next year. As for the Meal Deal team, it would take a brave man to bet against them in this year's final.


  4. Just had another read of the semi final report. How did Meal Deal only score 9/18 on cost with the Brothers scored 13.5? As you correctly point out, the Meal Deal wrap is densely packed and weighs the same as the more loosely packaged Brothers offering. I don't know what price the Brothers charge (which undermines my protest considerably) but Meal Deal only charge £3. Scoring a measly 9/18 on cost for densely packed £3 wrap just doesn't stack up. Hopefully this anomaly will be sorted out for the final.


  5. Hi Anonymous,

    It sounds to us like you're confusing 'Cost' and 'Value'. As explained on our 'The Scoring' page (, 'Cost' is scored objectively out of 18 against a going rate of £3. A £2 wrap would get a full 18 marks whereas a £4 wrap would get 0 meaning that a £3 wrap takes half marks i.e. 9/18. This explains why Meal Deal Chilli is King scores 9 whereas Brothers' £2.50 wrap was awarded 13.5.

    The idea of Value that you touch on is more accurately reflected by the overall score out of 100 which takes Cost, amongst the other rating factors, into consideration to hopefully provide an indication of whether what you get (the wrap) is worth what you give (Cost).

    Thanks for taking an interest in the blog. It certainly sounds like you've got Meal Deal Chilli is King earmarked to take the win in the final. Be sure to check back soon to see how they get on.

    The Falafelofficers

  6. Thank you for the calm explanation and apologies for my rookie misunderstanding that prompted it. Having re-read my previous post and your reply, it is clear that I've been a hot-headed idiot. The excitement and passion that this year's tournament got the better of me but I should have known better at my age. Keep up the great work.