One does not usually associate top celebrity chefs with hamburger joints, but in
the case of the Black chain one has to make an exception, as Tsachi Buchstater
is the man in charge of the food.
The chef, who is instantly recognizable
from his many television appearances, was solicitous in his concern for our
welfare and enjoyment when we arrived at Black Burger Bar in Petah Tikva for a
The décor is all black and pink, the lighting is dim, and in the
restrooms one can barely see one’s hand in front of one’s face, but the crowd of
journalists assembled was not bothered, anticipating a good meal in the company
of their peers.
It must be said at the outset that Buchstater does not
stand at the grill and flip the hamburgers. He is actually a partner in
the chain and is mostly responsible for the menus.
The dishes arrive from
the kitchen in quick succession, and they are all variations on the circle of
chopped meat and onions universally known as a hamburger.
As one might
expect, they are perfect: juicy inside, crispy outside and have a great
combination of spices that makes them exceptional. They also come with a variety
of sauces, fresh salads and tasty chips.
One journalist brought his
eight-year-old son to give his opinion on the children’s meals and,
interestingly, the boy was not overly enthusiastic. Perhaps having a gourmet
chef direct the preparation of kids’ food produces tastes that are too
sophisticated for them.
However, the adults had no complaints and tucked
in happily to the hamburgers, kebabs and sausages, schnitzels and steaks that
appeared in abundance.
One of the original ideas we sampled was the Inigo
Montoya, named for the swordsman hero of the film The Princess Bride, which
consists of five small hamburgers impaled on a skewer. This came with a salad
and several dipping sauces (NIS 55).
Interestingly for a hamburger joint,
there is an extensive wine list with a choice of exotic cocktails. It is
difficult to choose, as they all sound so appetizing.
The Black chain is
aware that during the Nine Days observant people do not eat meat and introduced
four grilled fish dishes, including a specially invented fishburger, which was
served in the kosher branches during that time, one in Jerusalem and the other
in Petah Tikva. This is a thoughtful decision and shows how far the chain is
ready to go to satisfy the customers’ needs.
They have also started
serving a Fourth of July hamburger, which is available during July and August.
It consists of a massive 200-gram hamburger and side dishes, which they say is
enough to feed five people (NIS 139). It seems a very reasonable price to feed a
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.
18 Hasivim Street
Open every day except
Shabbat, from 10 a.m. till late. Friday closes at 3 p.m.