C’est si bon

The Orna Bakery in Kfar Saba is a delightful Parisian style café and patisserie.

The Orna Bakery 521 (photo credit: Courtesy)
The Orna Bakery 521
(photo credit: Courtesy)
In a quiet corner of Kfar Saba, not too far from the Country Club and the football stadium, you can find an unexpected little gem – Orna Bakery, a café and patisserie that would not look out of place on the Boulevard St.Germain in Paris. In fact, the marvelous cakes on display, all hand made by owner Orna Wilberburg, were inspired by the many years she spent learning the culinary and baking disciplines at the feet of the masters in Lyon and later in Brittany.
When she returned to Israel, she knew she wanted to open a café that would be a showcase for her skills but also a welcoming European style establishment where clients could feel at home.
And “It had to be somewhere not in a busy town center but in a quiet tranquil environment,” she says.
She found a small shop and saw its potential. With sidewalk tables, lots of greenery and a balcony with elaborate wrought iron banisters, Wilberburg set about creating her idyllic little dream café.
But attractive as the surroundings are, it’s always the food that matters in the long run.
With her background as an agronomist, she knows the importance of absolutely fresh produce in the making of her quiches and salads. For the cakes, the mantra is Butter, butter and butter.” Margarine does not even cross the threshold. And as the place is dairy and kosher, I went to try it out with a pleasant feeling of anticipation.
Although I adore cakes, I eat them sparingly, so my companion and I decided to try the breakfast, which makes up a generous part of the menu. Wilberburg was busy in the kitchen performing her magic but Ronit, the manager, explained the ins and outs of the fare on offer.
She wanted me to taste the galette (NIS 52), a large whole wheat crepe filled with onions and mushrooms that had been tossed in butter and a fried egg, the whole thing folded into a neat square and dripping with a mixture of gruyere cheese and crème fraiche. It was – how could it be anything else? – divine. I was well aware that the healthy whole wheatness of the pancake did not really outweigh all the sinful buttery and creamy innards, but just this once...
My companion chose the Lennon (NIS 52), so called because of the two fried eggs which, on reflection, do slightly resemble the great man’s spectacles. It came on a toasted brioche covered in a cheesy, creamy base. It was also very good. Both dishes were accompanied by a bowl of crisp, fresh green salad with a tangy, slightly sweet dressing.
The cappuccino was also excellent. And when we pointed out that the coffee was good but lukewarm, two fresh cups of piping hot coffee quickly materialized.
By now we were both quite full but still had to taste several of the other items. A plate of mazettim – small samples of different flavors like tapenade (black olive mix) and avocado – was quickly disposed of, and all were original. This is part of a larger breakfast that costs NIS 45. We also got to taste the quiche Balkani (NIS 43), a slightly piquant mix of grilled vegetables and cheese on a buttery crust.
Enough of savories. It was time to try the cakes! We sampled cheese, apple and almond croissant and found them all to be delicious (NIS 13). Then we inspected all the cakes, which looked authentic and amazing.
You can buy them to take away either in full size for NIS 85 or small but enough for two or three, for NIS 29. There’s apple pie with almonds, lemon meringue pie, chocolate fudge cake and threecolor mousse dessert.
At the entrance to the café, the earthy-looking home-made breads are piled high. There are yeast cakes (NIS 37) and boxes of cookies (NIS 32) and a few nosugar offerings.
We left clutching a box of goodies, as we were too full to taste anything else.
For people who like to eat breakfast out but are tired of the standard offerings, this is the place. Wilberburg also does catering for up to 100 people, and one can buy trays of savories and sweets for parties and the like.
Orna Bakery does take-away, but it’s worth finding an hour or so to sit and enjoy the atmosphere of this special place.

The writer was a guest of the cafe.

Orna Bakery
25 Bikat Beit Netufa Street Hadarim, Kfar Saba
Tel: (09) 766-9189