Try This: Traditional Meat-Filled Burekas at Chaplin Café IsraeliDecember 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 here from Israel about a year and a half ago, is first to point out. The metal gray interiors are all highlighted with a boyish shade of light blue; posters with amusing quotations you may find on souvenir keychains hang on the walls; old black-and-white Charlie Chaplin movies loop on silenced TV screens. Mann explains that Chaplin was able to create timeless characters that people of any generation can recognize and enjoy, and 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 a passing mall-goer to get the point, but even then, the restaurant suits its name in that the menu doesn’t match its labelled identity as Israeli. Though Mann clarifies 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.”
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.