There are eateries, bistros and restaurants and then there are culturally-rich café experiences. Tonight my family and I – on dining at the MG (Pop-Up) Café – encountered the latter and we’ll never look back.
From the quaint ambience overlooking the stunning Judean hills, to the plush purple tablecloths adorning each of the 6 family tables, we knew we were in for a treat as soon as we sat down.
Clearly the MG Café color coordinator had some serious professional backing behind them. Gracing the tablecloths were light turquoise vessels, enriched with matching delicate purple decorations: one to hold the water and the other for the silverware and napkins.
We had decided to order ahead, as we wanted to experience every item on the menu to be fully-equipped to write the review. But even so, within seconds of finding our table with our friends The Goldsteins (the café managers had enquired ahead of time with which family we would most enjoy the dining experience), we were handed our clearly-printed, fancily-fonted laminated menus, depicting the café’s logo which was no doubt put together by a talented top local graphic artist, one of the MG Café staff members.
We began with two plates of sushi – one with cucumber and the other with a selection of rainbow-colored veggies. They both arrived on cream-colored plastic plates with ginger and wasabi, as well as a small pot of spicy mayonnaise and soy sauce. Yummy!
Within moments of that coming though – understanding possibly more than any other restaurant we’ve ever been in about the necessity to FEED KIDS NOW – the boys’ pizza and pasta arrived. While they were happily muching on those (which by the way were at the perfect temperature for a 6- and 9- year old), my mushroom, barley and carrot soup arrived. As I dived into that, one of the wait staff asked if my husband would like added grated cheese and/or croutons in his onion soup. Indeed he would and his soup thereafter came to the table and he drank it down, while eyeing the salsa-roza pasta.
The other two types of pasta (there was a selection of three sauces available) were cream sauce and tomato sauce, were equally enjoyed by my husband. My personal favorite was the broccoli quiche (there was also a mushroom-onion quiche) that I told the Chef I was expecting next week as well.
At that point we were asked what we would like in our customized salad. The choices were: lettuce, cabbage, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, chickpeas, corn, hearts of palm, pickles, croutons, crasins. Out of the three dressing options (garlic-mayo, thousand island and balsamic vinegar) we chose the first. The salad arrived with ample vegetables of our choice and an evenly-distributed dressing.
Between the two courses we had consumed we were asked a few times if we needed anything else and if we required more water by all the polite and helpful wait staff who also cleared our plates efficiently.
They say that the best things in life come to those who wait and now I understand what that means. The evening’s piece de resistance was IMHO the dessert. Clearly kids know sweets. And the MG Café kids showed tonight that they are no exception. While there were three options (chocolate mousse – in a personalized cup that was very professionally put together; cinnamon bun and chocolate brownie with vanilla ice-cream) the winner was a no-brainer…it HAD to be the latter as that was just heaven.
Knowing that they had another hungry group arriving for the Café’s second session of the night we were asked if we were ready to pay, and, my favourite line of the evening, with a very straight face from the 9-year old maître d’ came at that point “will you be giving a tip as well?” which really, if you think about it, is just what every waiter is thinking anyway.
And yes, by the way, we did. A nice one. For a fun evening, with yummy food and a lovely family outing.
The MG Café was a Pop-Up restaurant run by young local Efratians between the ages of 8 to 11.