Not by bread alone

The Kemachim bakery in Ganei Tikva has expanded into a charming cafe serving good quality food.

kemachim food 370 (photo credit: courtesy)
kemachim food 370
(photo credit: courtesy)
Guli Pinhasov, the proprietor and brains behind Kemachim, began his professional career as a baker and patissier, so not surprisingly the bread and rolls at his café in Ganei Tikva are outstanding.
“The customers would come in for baked goods and because it’s a neighborhood bakery, we knew them all and they knew us,” explains Pinhasov. “They began to ask for food too, so we decided to offer a complete breakfast.”
The café is situated next to a small shopping center in the busy suburb of Ganei Tikva, not far from Tel Aviv. It looks out over a pretty park and has tables there too, so you can enjoy your breakfast under a spreading olive tree if you are so inclined.
Otherwise, there is plenty of seating on a glassed-in patio or inside the café, where you can enjoy watching the food being fed into the genuine brick-surrounded Italian tabun oven, which is the owner’s pride and joy.
We chose the full breakfast (NIS 49 – 52, depending on the size of the coffee). It consists of either shakshuka or eggs any style, with a bread basket filled with slices of walnut rye bread, grain-encrusted whole wheat bread, olive bread and small walnut rolls. All are delicious, especially the olive bread, studded with plenty of black olive chunks.
The breakfast comes with an individual salad, a portion of green olives, homemade jam and six small bowls, each with a different spread. They included whipped cream cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, pickled green and red peppers, tuna salad, vinaigrette and tomato jam. The latter was inordinately sweet, but it probably takes a huge amount of sugar to turn cherry tomatoes into acceptable jam, and it was delicious.
The shakshuka is served inside a round whole-wheat loaf, which is very aesthetic, although somewhat of a waste of good bread. It’s very spicy and the eggs were rather hard, but the tomato sauce was very good. If you are partial to soggy bread, this is the dish for you.
The other dish available at breakfast is a frittata with peppers and cheese. This can be scrambled eggs, fried eggs or an omelet, with roasted peppers and a very wide choice of cheeses.
If eggs are not your thing, a French breakfast is available with croissants, baguette, butter and jam (NIS 28).
Pizza is also offered at NIS 31 or a health salad for NIS 38. The sandwiches, on sale inside the bakery, looked very appetizing, the crispy rolls bulging with ample fillings. These cost between NIS 24 and NIS 29.
The coffee, as expected, is very good. Our second cup arrived piping hot after we complained that the first was not hot enough.
Pinhasov, who is 38, has been in the bakery business for more than 20 years and is well known in the Israeli culinary world. He studied at the Tadmor Culinary School and honed his patisserie skills in France and Germany. His team produces baked goods for some well-known café chains in Israel, and he also teaches baking workshops.
At Kemachim, he is aiming for a continental feel and if, as the customers tell him, they feel as though they were eating in Paris and not a Tel Aviv suburb, no one is happier than Guli Pinhasov.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.
20 Hacarmel Street
Ganei Tikva
(03) 716-1999