By Jan Shure
May 6, 2009
On Friday, I went to Tel Aviv for lunch... well, not really, but it felt that way. Where I actually went was Kanteen, the shiny, new kosher café at Brent Cross. The first kosher eaterie in a major UK shopping mall, it has a distinctly Israeli feel to it. And not just the menu, which is undeniably similar to a thousand cafes across Israel; the ambience is pure, distilled Tel Aviv, too. The edgy, monochrome décor featuring curvy, black leather chairs and boldly-patterned, black-and-white flowered laminated tables, lift it from the usual run of kosher cafes, while the Bugaboo mummies chilling over capuccino and toasted tuna bagelach, to the little knots of kippah-wearing businessmen discussing turnover across Lavazza espressos and omelettes, to the glamorous balaboostas enjoying a relaxed lunch with friends before heading home to make Shabbat dinner, made it entirely reminiscent of a Friday afternoon in Sheinkin or Tel Aviv Port.
Up against the competing offerings at Brent Cross, it may turn out that you don't have to be kosher to enjoy brunch or lunch at Kanteen.