Who would have thought there was a gourmet restaurant in the small of Bruchin, a few miles from Kfar Saba? Hillel’s restaurant is in a class of its own. It is known as “a cafe with a story,” and the story is a sad one – of three inseparable friends, Yaron, an Israeli, Gabriel (Gago), from Uruguay, and Hillel from France who were all B’nei Akiva madrichim (leaders). Hillel was in the Givati Brigade and was killed in in 1995.

Twenty-eight years later, the other two friends had the idea of opening a restaurant and calling it Hillel’s in his memory. Gago took care of us on our visit to the restaurant and proved to be an excellent host. He told us they had brought in a chef who had worked with the great to plan the menus.

Everything is made on the premises including the hot crispy wholemeal loaf with olives, served as an appetizer. The first course was shakshuka but not the standard one with spicy tomato sauce – this was green shakshuka and more like a soup with a very good Hollandaise sauce base, white cheese, and a lightly poached egg perched on top. It was certainly an original concept and a great starter.

(NIS 69) The next dish to arrive at our table was a toasted brioche with a cream cheese topping, served with smoked salmon on the side. The buttery toast was covered in a mix of greens, sliced eggplant, and cress and the blend of flavors was a definite winner. (NIS 58).

Yet another dish appeared, this one dubbed Croque Madame, a butter croissant filled with mozz.

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