I’VE been to so many kosher eateries over the past few months, I almost feel guilty about having a foreskin.
I’ve visited Falafel Omisi in Yokine, The Kosher Providore in Menora and Satchmo Cafe in North Perth.
My kosher road trip has given me a deeper understanding and appreciation of Jewish cuisine and opened my eyes to the world of falafel, which I used to think were little fried balls in health shops that only vegans and hippies ate.
This time I was rumbling down the Canning Highway in my jalopy to visit Fremantle’s Kapara Cafe, which specialises in Israeli-style street food.
Situated on Adelaide Street in the DADAA building, opposite Clancy’s Fish Pub, Kapara is tucked away in a relaxing, shady nook.
It has a gorgeous courtyard with cute tables and chairs, market umbrellas and lush plants, all framed by classy tuck-pointing and the DADAA art gallery.
This end of Fremantle can be rough around the edges with abandoned warehouses and uncouth graffiti, but in this little courtyard you are secluded from the urban decay.
There’s also a pleasant breeze, which will come in handy as the mercury rises in summer.
The menu had a small range of brunch and lunch dishes including bagels, toasties, bourekahs (stuffed savoury pastries), spanakopita, pitas, shawarma and of course falafel pitas and wraps.
The falafel plate with green falafels, hummus, green salad, Israeli salad, pickles, green chill zhug and tahini sauce sounded very appetising, but I wanted to try a few different dishes.
Kapara used to do half wraps and half shawarma – a good option for a lighter lunch – but they’ve scrapped them and now you have to order a whole.
I kicked off with the falafel pita ($18) a large open pita bulging at the seams with green falafels, hummus and Israeli salad.
Of all the places I’ve recently visited, Kapara had the best falafel – it had a delicious filling that wasn’t too dense with a pleasant nutty tang.
Sometimes after one or two falafel balls my palate is feeling a bit weary, but these were delicious and had a light, crunchy coating.
The accompanying diced tomato and cucumber in the Israeli salad was refreshing, and there was a nice zing from the pickles, preserved lemon and chilli, while the red and white cabbage added texture.
Rounding things off was a generous drizzle of tahini sauce. This pita was piled high and super filling. Top stuff.
After a few deep breaths and a slug of Irn-Bru, I ploughed into the mushroom shawarma ($24).
Surprisingly it didn’t come in a wrap, but a pita, which made it difficult to eat, as it was teetering on the abyss with slices of roasted spiced mushrooms.
Undeterred, I gripped the pita with both hands and took a massive bite, embracing the tactile, messy affair.
There was a lovely cacophony of flavours with the spicy mushrooms counterbalanced by the tahini, zesty pickles and preserved lemon.
It was full-on and not for the faint hearted. All the ingredients were high quality, but I thought $24 was over-the-top and it’s a shame they scrapped the half option for $14.
My lunch finished on a high with the spanakopita ($12) – a super light filo pastry stuffed with spinach and feta cheese.
It was a moreish and refreshing treat after all those strong flavours in the shawarma.
The service was top notch at Kapara Cafe with lots of smiles and chat from the helpful staff behind the till.
It’s a gorgeous spot for a lunch and I’ll be back to try the falafel plate and the bourekah.
92 Adelaide St, Fremantle
by STEPHEN POLLOCK