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 and most of the times vegetarian dishes that were being served to her wasn’t really 100% vegetarian at all. On February 2016, the couple opened Chaplin at Century City Mall in Makati. Chaplin serves authentic Israeli cuisine, pastries, fine coffee and curated cocktails.
Just on the 4th floor of Century City Mall, Chaplin is a great quick refuge from the bustling chaos of Kalayaan Ave and Poblacion. Its standalone restaurant has a breezy and nice Al Fresco set up and a minimalist interior fixture from the inside so customers won’t divert focus away from the food.
The Fat Girls Day Out crew immediately had an impression that once we sat down we would definitely stay for hours. Glass walls, plush couches, and the soft indoor lights all contribute to the laidback ambiance.
Chaplin takes its cue from no less than the Charlie Chaplin. The owners are fans of the legendary comedian.
The Essence of Israeli Cuisine
Israelis have developed and continue to enjoy a delicious cuisine rooted in the uniqueness of Israeli society itself. Israeli cuisine demonstrates the true melting pot that is Israel. Coming over from over 80 countries, Jews have returned to their motherland, bringing with them the food ideologies and recipes they developed during their journeys. Such culinary traditions and methods span 3,000 years of history. Imagine that. Of course over the years these cooking traditions have been shaped over time form Africa, Europe, and even Asia.
Basically, all cuisines are an interplay of many forces- from history, sociology, and agricultural. Israeli is the best example of that. Coming from many confluences “Israeli” originated from the wider spectrum of Middle Eastern cuisine. Popular outtakes are their Falafel (deep-fried chickpea balls served in pita bread), Israeli Salad which consists of cucumbers, tomatoes that are chopped distinctively into small pieces. Eastern European influence is also integral to their cuisine, with the use of sour cream. Expect heavy use of olives and olive oil, wheat, chickpeas, and fresh yogurts.
We like starting off with a nice aperitif. We ordered their house-recommended house Mojito.
Tel Aviv Mojito (375PHP)
Thick sweet cream layer with lemon zest on top which complements the drink below
A sampler platter of cheese sticks, samosas, and falafel. Try it with their 3 sauces (roasted bell pepper, yogurt, pesto)
Tons of fresh greens, juicy tomatoes, crispy red onions, toasted pita bread, crunchy cucumbers, a zesty lemon dressing.
Pureed chickpeas mixed with tahini, lemon, olive oil, salt, and garlic. This particular dish was quite overwhelming with the generous serving size and different texture. they added some crushed green chilies, cilantro, and whole chickpeas to the top that just changed the experience. Add this to the kebab, to the pita, or to any dish they serve.
Roasted eggplants, tahini, garlic and lemon topped with almonds and parsley.
The combination of bulgur mixed with lots of fresh mint and parsley is sensational. A bit of olive oil and lemon juice finish it off beautifully. They mixed in some dried cranberry and added some sweetness to give the dish a more balanced taste.
Deep fried Cauliflower with a tinge of sweet soy based sauce, parsley, and chili. This is not a dish we usually order in Mediterranean restaurants but this is wildly addicting.
Baked filo pastry with amba eith, ground beef, lamb fat, spinach, herbs, and pine nuts.
Bourekas are nothing short of edible perfection — heavenly little parcels of dough crisped with hot oil or melted butter and stuffed with any number of delicious savory ingredients.
Chicken Thigh Kebab
Served with grilled vegetables, long grain rice, and side of pita bread.
Traditional Turkish Coffee with Baklava.
Strong dark coffee with notes of cardamom and cinnamon served in a traditional Turkish coffee pot. Pair it with the crispy, nutty, and creamy baklava. These two elements together create balance for your dessert.
Why Dine at Chaplin?
Makati is an active city with full of ADHD individuals making you want to randomly move for some reason. It’s hard to find time to just sit back, relax, and enjoy a solid meal with friends or family. The food that we sampled was excellent and comforting. Israeli food has a lot of similarities in terms of character to Asian-style dining. Their food is served in big portion sizes that is meant to be shared family-style.
Israeli cuisine is a well worth dining experience worth sharing with our loved ones.
- Location: 4/F Century City Mall, Kalayaan Ave. Makati
- Operating Hours: 8am-11pm
- Spend Ratio: 1,400php for 2 pax