Things change. Time marches on and decisions are made as the seasons change. I’ve been silent on my blog for a LONG time now. We’ve decided to make Aliyah – Go up and live in Israel. It’s been a lot to digest, a lot to organise as things are moving at a rapid pace. And as I move right along and change with the times, this blog will also change in name and nature.
We are moving from Johannesburg with our four Princes and our black Labrador dog, Blitz. To say it’s daunting, exciting, confusing, and a lot of hard work is to say the least. Sad is also a good adjective. It’s a big responsibility for parents to uproot their happy children who love their schools, friends and most of all their family. But we’re doing it with a deeper vision for them, a higher purpose for all of us, and an echoing call from the past of Biblical magnitude.

Aliyah may sound romantic and wonderful, which in many idealistic, dreamy ways it is. Really; it’s very practical. We’ve just been to Israel to find a rental apartment, visit schools and see banks. All the essentials. There’s a lot to whine about. Rental agents who waste time not taking us to places that meet our spec. (We saw exorbitant rentals, places which don’t allow dogs and lovely, perfect apartments that were in the wrong area.) Staying on top of it all requires constant thought, planning and action. So we keep going, doing and ticking off items from our Aliyah list.

On the upside I can share wonderful, must go to places in Jerusalem. The first place to add to my list of best eats in Jerusalem is CHABA – חבה. It’s a welcoming, fresh, industrial cool, clean trattoria in the midst of the shouting chaos of the Machane Yehuda Shuk. We walked past it when we were looking for a fun place to have supper at the shuk, and my darling husband gave in to my wish to go in after seeing the like in Paris pastry selection. It was almost too clean and beautiful to produce food to surprise the palate. I was pleasantly mistaken. Chaba is not only ultra chic, but the food was beyond good, it was special. My darling husband had the good taste to order the fish kebab, which sounds very average, but was very different. So different I wasn’t sure how they made it. I said to him, ‘You’d better enjoy it because I can’t copy it.’ It’s a must try. I ordered a beetroot salad, which was delicious, although I wouldn’t advise it as a main because it was too full of beetroot (the waitress did warn me). We also ordered a medium size plate of antipasti. The mushrooms were meaty and delicious and the kohlrabi was an interesting new taste to try. My only warning is that this was all too much. Israeli portions, especially salads, are massive.

This didn’t stop us ending off our memorable meal with cappuccinos and dessert. What to have? Chaba has a wide pastry selection (which attracted me into the store in the first place.) It was very difficult to decide. We ended up having a decadent multilayered chocolate slice, which fulfilled every chocolate craving possible. We left too full, and went to the bar next door to meet a friend. Which is what you do in Jerusalem. Meet old friends and have a good huck over a beer.

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Chaba – 119 Jaffa st, Machane Yehuda, Jerusalem