Restaurants / Bars

Try This: Traditional Meat-Filled Burekas at Chaplin Café Israeli

December 4, 2017

Upon first glance, Chaplin does not appear to be the kind of place one would find typical Israeli food—this is something that manager Guy Mann (who moved to the Philippines from Israel about a year and a half ago) is first to point out. The metal gray interiors are highlighted with a boyish shade of light blue; posters with souvenir-keychain-humor quotations  hang on the walls; old black-and-white Charlie Chaplin movies loop on silenced TV screens. Mann explains: Chaplin was able to create timeless characters that people of any generation can recognize and enjoy; this is something they want to be reflected in the way their guests experience the restaurant. “We want people to feel at home,” says Mann.

They had to add the “Café Israeli” part to the end of the restaurant name for the passing mall-goer to get the point, but even then, the restaurant Mann admits that the menu isn’t a strictly traditional Israeli one, clarifying that it would not be correct to call any dish “originally from Israel.” As a young country (about 70 years old, says Mann), Israel’s food is characterized by a a combination of food from other cultures as the population that makes up the country came from elsewhere, “bringing his own culture and food; it became a kind of mix so it’s very diverse.”

Mann himself is trained in mixology, and the café has a fascinatingly tasty cocktail menu that Mann himself developed.

While the menu is scattered with a hodge-podge of familiar dishes like pizza, waffles, and burgers, this is what we think is a must-try for your visit:


Beef Burekas are a typical breakfast dish in Israel that are oft enjoyed with a cup of coffee, says Mann. The crumbly and crackly pastry is filled with an herby ground beef that is lifted with a hint of mint. It comes with a creamy tahini sauce that rounds the flavor and enhances the ‘beefiness’ of the pastry. Another option is the amba sauce, their homemade version of the pickled mango dip—it’s a sweet, pungent, curry-like condiment that transform dish into something unfamiliar yet comforting.

Chaplin Café Israeli

A café-restaurant that offers comfort food and offers Israeli specialties.

Address: 4th Floor, Century City Mall, Kalayaan Avenue cor. Salamanca Street, Brgy. Poblacion, Makati
Visit: 10AM-11:45PM Mondays to Thursdays / 8:30AM-1AM Fridays to Saturdays
Spend: PHP220-600
Follow: Facebook / Instagram / Website

Bea Osmeña SEE AUTHOR Bea Osmeña

Bea Osmeña is a healthy-ish eater who is just as likely to take you to a vegan joint as she is to consume a whole cheese pie to herself. A former picky eater, Bea has discovered the joys of savory fruit dishes, but still refuses to accept pineapples on her pizza. On the rare occasion you catch her without food in her mouth, you are likely to find her looking at books she can't afford, hugging trees, or talking to strange animals on the street.

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