Chapter E in Darlinghurst is a small cafe located on Darlinghurst Road. This tiny hole in the wall cafe serves up delicious Middle Eastern and Israeli offerings from shakshuka, felafel, Middle Eastern sandwiches and huge juices and smoothies.
Chapter E is owned by Israel or Issi Shtam who previously co-owned 3 Group Espresso and was a barista at cafes across Sydney. "The name Chapter E is after my daughter’s name (Ella). The shop was a new chapter in my life and at the same time came Ella to my life," says Issi.
Mr NQN and I grab one of the two outdoor tables available (although it's a bit of a wind tunnel when we ate there) and there are also a couple of small indoor tables . The menu ranges from healthy acai bowls, smoked salmon bagels, shakshuka, malawach sandwiches and their falafels and if you flip to the back of the menu some items come with full page colour photos. The prices are surprisingly reasonable with meals around $15 and service is friendly.
Energizer $8 Mango Banana Smoothie $8.50
We start wtih drinks and I didn't realise how enormous these were. My mango and banana smoothie is good and made with yogurt, honey, cinnamon and milk although more banana than mango while the Energiser juice with orange, pineapple and apple is mostly orange.
6 falafels with dip $6
You can get falafels in a variety of ways and at the very simplest you can get 6 falafels with a dip of your choice (hummus, baba ganoush or tahini). They come out freshly fried and moist on the inside and crunchy on the outside. Mr NQN isn't usually a falafel fan as they can sometimes be dry but he wolfs 5 of them down before I even know it. The secret to their falafel is a secret but Issi says that they use fresh herbs and spices and a little fresh red chilli.
Jerusalem Pocket $12
This looks slightly different on the picture menu as it was all wrapped up like a pocket but here it is presented like a quesadilla. Nevertheless the filling is very tasty and savoury with za'atar, onion, tomato, tasty cheese and kalamata olives that give this sandwich most of the flavour.
Chicken Shawarma Bowl $15
The chicken shawarma can come either as a wrap, a pocket or a bowl and we went for the salad bowl version. The chicken is tender and juicy with some aromatic curry spices and comes with a red cabbage slaw, pickled white cabbage, Israeli salad with amba, pickles, parsley and lashings of tahini. It's enormous and quite filling especially with the wonderfully soft folded over flatbread. It just needs a bit of seasoning added to it.
Malawach Shuka $15
The malawach shuka is their own invention and is like a cross between a malawach bread topped with shakshuka. Malawach is a Yemenite Jewish bread, similar to super puffy puff pastry or Malaysian roti and here it is topped with hummus, shakshuka, parsley, feta with green olives and zhoug (red chilli condiment). It's massive and delicious especially with the zhoug added to it to give it a spicy piquancy.
So tell me Dear Reader, have you ever tried malawach bread? Do you find menus with photos helpful?
This meal was independently paid for.
201 Darlinghurst Rd, Darlinghurst NSW 2010
Open 7 days 6am-4pm