(photo credit: PR)
Almost every café in Israel has an Israeli breakfast on its menu, but only a handful make sure that the ingredients are top quality. Café Mason is one of these places. This neighborhood gem is situated on Tel Aviv’s Luntz Street. The staff is very friendly in a down-to-earth way that feels genuine. The café is quite small and patrons have the option of indoor or outdoor seating. But no matter where one sits, the ambience is homey.
After we sat down we were greeted by the manager, who talked us through the morning menu. Created by chef Oded Saida, the menu has options that range from shakshouka and poached egg croissants to a variety of sandwiches, salads and pastries.
All the main breakfast items come with a choice of a hot or cold beverage.
We started our meal with the eggs Benedict with salmon (NIS 62), which looked stunning and tasted even better. I’m not an eggs Benedict connoisseur by any means but I’ve tried my fair share, and this dish was one of the best I’ve had. Atop two pieces of toasted brioche, the poached eggs were cooked to perfection, and the strips of smoked salmon on top provided the savory flavor I was craving. The Hollandaise sauce was lemony and buttery and just a little bit tart and not too rich. So many places make it from a tasteless mix, and you can tell.
The dish was accompanied by an Israeli and green salad and a basket of rolls and pastries.
We then tried the vegan siniyah (NIS 52). There were generous portions of roasted eggplant, chickpeas and Swiss chard. When mixed together with the tahini butter and tomato capsicum sauce, it simply burst with flavor.
This dish was easily the best part of the meal.
I’m a coffee snob, so I get very picky about my coffee. While a lot of places have sprouted up in town with their fancy pour-over, pour-under and just plain poor coffee, Café Mason is a true gem.
They serve a perfect espresso. I’m not sure if it’s the machine or the barista or both, but they definitely know what they’re doing.
For dessert, we opted for the pancakes with maple syrup and toffee sauce (NIS 38). The pancakes were so soft, they almost slid down my throat. What made them so good was that they were light and fluffy but still had flavor and substance without tasting like cake. Slather on that warm toffee sauce, and just let your senses soar. A nice serving of fresh fruit garnished the plate.
Café Mason really hit the mark.
There is a really good energy to the place, and you can tell they put a lot of love into their food. A return trip, even just for a cup ’o Joe, will be necessary.The writer was a guest of the café.
13 Luntz Street, Tel Aviv