Brunch at Sofia

It was recently brought to my attention that the Sofia restaurant in the Inbal Hotel offers a regular Friday morning buffet brunch

It was recently brought to my attention that the Sofia restaurant in the Inbal Hotel offers a regular Friday morning buffet brunch. Personally, I am a big fan of brunches – a combination of breakfast and lunch usually taking place in the late morning-early afternoon and comprising various dishes.

Sofia is situated to left of the hotel and lobby and the prime location on the crossroads between down town, the old city and Emek Refaim – the German Colony – have established the Inbal hotel as one of the favorite hotels for senior dignitaries and business people visiting Jerusalem, so try not to stare if you are in line at the buffet and recognize a president or minister. On the day that we were there, I did not recognize anybody famous but it was interesting to see that most of the diners were tourists (French and American) as well as residents of the neighborhood who moved to Israel from the US and Canada. The average age was also a bit higher than one would expect to see in some of the cafes on Emek Refaim Street, a fact that also creates a different feel and atmosphere. If the weather is nice out, I would recommend asking the hostess for a table on the outdoor patio overlooking the Bell Park.

The brunch special is served every Friday between 10:00-14:00 and for NIS 86 per person, guests can enjoy a wide array of salads, cheeses, baked goods, quality breads, smoked salmon, grilled vegetables aside warm-cooked dishes like pasta, quiche and even soup. As the hotel’s chef – Moti Buchbut is also a pastry Chef, an emphasis is put on the assortment of desserts that are also served buffet style. After placing a reservation for the eggs, juice and coffee from the friendly waitress, we walked over to the buffet area and began filling our plates.

The first thing that I noticed was the beautiful and colorful presentation and attention to detail. We tasted some of the salads and our favorites were the beat salad and the baked zucchini salad which was cut into small cubed and seasoned with fresh herbs. From there we continued with several cooked dishes and enjoyed the sweet potato ravioli in a light cream of tomato sauce and fresh basil leaves and the star of the buffet – fried, breaded salmon fingers. Nice and crispy on the outside, though still moist, we dipped the salmon into some tzaziki that we found by the salad bar and went for seconds. Desserts change on a weekly basis but the home baked cakes and chocolate treats that we tasted were all pretty good. The downside with the desserts was that I had to pace myself, as I still had to head home and save some room for Friday night dinner.