A Belgian bonanza

With soft and colorful furnishings, helpful staff and a Belgian-inspired menu, Chez Corine is the right place to relax.

Chez Corine 370 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Chez Corine 370
(photo credit: Courtesy)
When my friend and I sat down at Chez Corine we just couldn’t stop commenting on the interior and how every last detail had been thought of. This attention to detail and European flair is all thanks to Belgian-born owner Corine Rubenfeld-Shahar, who has a background in design and art. Seeing as how the cafe/bistro is just off Tel Aviv’s Kikar Hamedina, one would expect something a little special, and this place doesn’t disappoint.
The soft and colorful furnishings are inviting and put customers at ease, while retaining a certain je ne sais quoi. The friendly waitresses were all helpful and knowledgeable about the menu and the wine list, and were more than accommodating.
We were lucky enough to receive personal recommendations from Corine herself. After a lengthy consultation of what we were in the mood for, I decided on seared chicken livers rested on millefleur, made of apple served with a sharp sherry sauce (NIS 38). For me this was the dish of the evening, and at NIS 38 I thought it was one of the best-value dishes I have ever had in Tel Aviv.
The livers were perfectly cooked to ensure that the texture was soft, while the sweetness of the thin slices of apple only added to the great taste of the livers. However, for me the pièce de résistance of the dish was the sherry sauce. Even once all the liver and millefleur was gone I used the bread that we were served to soak up all the remaining sauce until the plate was clear.
While not quite as good as the liver dish, my friend’s choice of asparagus on a bed of mushroom ragu with creme fraishce (NIS 36) was not bad at all. The different parts of the dish were nothing special on their own, but once eaten together it was a winning combination. Simplicity at its best.
Corine’s recommendations for the main course didn’t fail us either. My grilled sea bass on a bed of vegetable ratatouille served with sage butter (NIS 92) was a light and refreshing dish. The vegetable ratatouille was not exactly to my taste but the fish itself was perfectly cooked, and when dipped in the sage butter there really was nothing to complain about.
My friend’s choice of fillet steak on a bed of chestnut creamserved sauce with gratin dauphinois (NIS 130) was a good one. The steak was served slightly too rare, but the helpful waitress was more than willing to take it back to the kitchen and make sure that it was served exactly how my friend wanted it.
Once it had returned from the kitchen it did not not stay on the plate for too long, as my friend polished it off rather quickly. The steak was soft even though it was cooked beyond well done, but once again it was sauce that stole the show with this dish. Corine is very proud of this distinctly- Belgian sauce, which adds a special twist to a classic combination.
With the generous portion sizes we were pretty full and did no have too much room for dessert, but once the waitress told us what was on offer we just couldn’t resist. I went for Profiteroles filled with chestnut sauce, complete with hot-chocolate sauce and whipped cream (NIS 36). This Belgian twist on my favorite childhood dessert did not disappoint one bit. The mocha mousse served with strawberries (NIS 32) that my friend ordered was slightly less inspiring, but hit the spot nonetheless.
Chez Corine is also a great place to go for a lazy weekend breakfast. With a special Belgian-inspired menu of unique breakfast options, it is well worth a visit. The menu includes a number of exotic options using only the freshest of ingredients.
All in all, we had a very pleasant evening in a very relaxed environment. Considering the quality of the food and the great service, the prices at Chez Corine are very reasonable, especially the starters.
Each dish has its own unique twist thanks to Corine’s hard work and passion for the country where she was born. If you have the time, energy and money after a hard day shopping in Kikar Hamedina, Chez Corine is the place to go to.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant
Not kosher 110 Jabotinsky Street, Tel Aviv Phone: (03)696-8581 Sun - Thu: 8:00-00:00, Fri:08:30- 18:00, Sat:09:00-00:00