Café Melchett: British culinary heritage in Israel - review

With a breakfast like that, who needs lunch? We can’t wait to go back to Café Melchett.

 Café Melchett (photo credit: Sharon Haddad)
Café Melchett
(photo credit: Sharon Haddad)

Tel Mond was founded by the British Zionist family Melchett and the restaurant which bears the family name is a happy reminder of the connection between the noble English family of lords and viscounts with our little plebeian country.

The restaurant which we visited recently, with thanks to our old pals Cecily and Neil Spungin who told us about it, is situated in an attractive glass-walled building, with great views of the bucolic surroundings on every side.

From the table inside, one can enjoy the rather rare sight of a weeping willow, the bare ruined choirs of sycamores (to paraphrase the Bard) and waving palms over babbling brooks.

We decided to sample the breakfast and arrived one spring-like morning at about ten.

Within seconds, a jug of iced water appeared which hit the spot until we could get the second most important beverage of the day: Good, hot, strong cappuccinos, which arrived exactly as ordered.

 Café Melchett (credit: Dor Ben Dov) Café Melchett (credit: Dor Ben Dov)

My dining companion decided he would sample a full breakfast (NIS 80) and this is something we often share. For this he was on his own, but coped admirably with a massive amount of food, which included a basket of rolls, two fried eggs, salad, cheeses, tuna, eggplant and jam.

The eggs were perfect, crispy whites and soft yolks. Perhaps the chef could have made a bit more of an effort with the tuna, which was taken straight out of the tin with no embellishments, but on the whole it proved to be a satisfying breakfast.

I decided to be a bit more adventurous and chose shakshuka, two eggs in a spicy tomato sauce. There was slight confusion about my order. I started with Greek shakshuka, which included black olives, and when I pointed out that I had actually ordered the other dish, the chef insisted on sending that along too.

It was cheese and spinach shakshuka and is, basically, my dream food: stringy melted cheese plus fresh spinach. I was in heaven! (NIS 56 and NIS 64)

Although we could barely move by this time, the chef insisted we try a dessert: Gluten-free chocolate cake, very light and airy, with lashings of chocolate sauce and good ice cream to boot. (NIS 32)

With a breakfast like that, who needs lunch? We can’t wait to go back to Café Melchett.

Café Melchett, Kosher.HaLord 1,Tel Mond.Open: Sunday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The writer was a guest of the restaurant.