It’s one thing to lust over this Israeli treat on TV, but tasting it — no, experiencing it — is a completely different story.
Shakshouka, an Israeli dish, from Chaplin bursts with such flavor and freshness; it makes braving the oft-horrendous Makati Avenue traffic well worth it.
And that’s just the beginning.
When Yuval and Norfar Mann moved to the Philippines from Israel about eight years ago, Norfar struggled to find restaurants that cater to vegetarians like her. About six years later — longing for the comforting flavors of home while still struggling to find decent vegetarian options in the metro — the couple decided to open their own restaurant that highlights authentic Israeli food, pastries, and other treats with a twist.
On February 2016, Yuval and Norfar opened Chaplin at Century City Mall in Makati. They named their restaurant after artist Charlie Chaplin, whose comedy they enjoyed and believed to be ahead of his time. They also chose minimalist interiors, so as not to divert the focus away from the food.
To start your Israeli food appreciation experience, order a fully loaded pan of Chaplin’s signature Shakshouka (available in three different variants). It’s tangy, rich, and absolutely satisfying without the guilt because it’s meatless! It goes perfectly with their homemade, crusty and fluffy ciabbata bread and their delicately flavored herbed
And as if the awesomeness of Shakshouka isn’t enough, Chaplin decided to make a shakshouka pizza to blow us all away. The Chaplin Pizza has a thin-crust base slathered with pesto, shakshouka sauce and topped with lots of mozzarella cheese and eggs. This is one of the best fusion dishes this writer has ever tasted.
Bourekas is a cross between a French croissant and a sandwich. Chaplin’s Bourekas has sliced tomatoes and hardboiled eggs with pesto sauce between flaky, pastry bread. It’s served with a hefty serving of fries and a side salad.
Chaplin is also famous as a brunch place. And with their Waffle Eggs Benedict with a delightfully tangy twist, brunch will never be the same again. Fluffy waffles topped with a perfectly poached egg and drizzled with their lemony hollandaise sauce — a pleasant surprise and a beautiful palate cleanser.
If you’ve got a major breakfast craving, order the Chaplin Breakfast— a gorgeous breakfast platter with all of Chaplin’s signature dips: olive paste, spicy cream cheese, guacamole, feta, eggplant salad, tahini, pesto, and tuna. The breakfast platter also comes with two eggs (cooked to your liking), mushrooms, tomatoes, and onions and topped with mozzarella.
If you’re feeling full, make some room for dessert by sipping on some of their house “tea” — the perfect combo of cinnamon, mint, ginger, orange, and honey in some warm water.
If the people of Israel are believed to be God’s chosen people, then this writer believes their food is God’s gift to mankind.
Chaplin is located at the 4th level of Century City Mall in Makati. Open daily, 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. For inquiries, call (02) 946-5335
By CHING DEE