Warsaw and Tel Aviv do not have too many features in common. This does not mean however, that you cannot taste a bit of Israel in the Polish capital.
Singer’s Warsaw Festival is one of those occasions when it becomes more trendy to show up at certain places. Those venues are happy to see more guests and try to catch them in many ways. Tel Aviv Deli+Cafe is a place in a bustling Poznańska Street in Warsaw that has been offering catering at the Festival’s events. Tempting as they have been, it would have been better to see them in their natural environment, freshly brought from the kitchen.
- Let’s go to „Beirut”, I haven’t heard anything good about „Tel Aviv” - says my friend with whom I was supposed to have lunch. Hearing is not tasting so we pass the competitive Lebanese restaurant and after couple more steps we are in Israel. Absolutely welcoming staff sends us directly to the lunch buffet as it showcases the place’s offer.
The choice is stunning indeed. You start with a variety of kosher bread and one of colorful houmous automatically lands on your plate to disappear faster than you can imagine. Olives, beans and corn are served in abundance so you can barely fit any of the mint-strawberry pasta salad. Still some place? Than you can proceed to pickles and a nice surprise: under a silver cover there is a hot buffet – aubergines, tomatoes, rice and sage rolls. If this was still not enough, a plate of soup can be an answer. Not to mention a set of fresh salads and mouthwatering sauces.
Walking back to a table with a plate (or what is worse with couple of them…) is a kind of walk of shame. You feel that eating all that will cause you pain but you still want to challenge yourself. Kosher bread, which is not a common thing in Poland is good but not remarkable. However, when dipped in houmus it is simply irresistible. Strawberry pasta is a challenging issue. You hate it or love it, especially if grown in the tradition of eating pasta only in salty versions. For me, could have been spiced up with some herbs, but still interesting. Pickles and olives must have been brought from somewhere more far away than in other high street restaurants. The star of the buffet however was a spicy tomato soup, which must have been touched by sun and carefully chosen spices. Unfortunately the hot buffet could not overtake the impression made by the soup.
Tel Aviv Deli+ Cafe is however not only an all-you-can-eat buffet. They have a wealthy offer of cakes (pretty expensive though) and coffees. In the mornings breakfasts are served and devoured by Warsaw’s army of freelancers coming here with their computers. The place has a little shop-section as well, where one can equip their kosher cupboard.
The only disturbing issue about Tel Aviv Deli Cafe is the music. What is served to the foodies ears should be desperately reconsidered. A mix of Polish pop, alternative and who-knows-what together with Jewish rhythms does not help too much in enjoying delicious pieces of Israel.
If you know Jewish places of Krakow, Tel Aviv Deli+ Cafe might be a shock – no old furnitures and dark colours. No smell of old textiles. The Warsaw’s face of Jewish food is bright, eco (the place is vegetarian) and well-designed without any superfluous decorations. Simplicity is the answer here.
Tel Aviv Deli+ Cafe
ul. Poznańska 11
22 621 11 28