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A slice of Tel Aviv warmth next to Canal Saint Martin.
Honouring our mothers is obviously on trend in new Parisian restaurants: first there was Yemma (mum in Arabic), now Ima (mum in Hebrew). Expect to feel immediately at home in this Mediterranean canteen from the team behind Sunken Chip, Cream and Gallina. A sunny space holds a big family-style wooden table and the stone walls are covered with beautiful mosaics. An open kitchen bursts with fruit and veg and irresistible smells of baking waft from the oven.
Ensconce yourself from 8.30am for breakfast and begin with excellent coffee from la brûlerie de Belleville, accompanied by dishes which might as well have come straight from Tel Aviv. Go for their delicious twist on traditional Shakshuka: a casserole dish of courgette, leeks, lemon peel, feta and baked eggs. Cilbir (turkish poached eggs) come with herby labneh, mint pesto and spicy butter. The plump cakes are made in-house and are often vegan, like the raspberry riceflour muffin topped with light cream. At midday, everyone piles in for the daily-changing house salads (think bulgur, kale, radish with pumpkin seeds, almonds and a mint vinaigrette).
Just before leaving, we spot a collection of Yottam Ottolenghi’s books, veritable king of israeli-mediterranean cuisine, whose restaurants have taken London by storm. We can only hope the same thing happens for Ima.
TRANSLATION: MEGAN CARNEGIE
39 quai de Valmy
|Transport:||Metro : République ou Goncourt.|
|Price:||Coffe €2.50-4, breakfast €6.50-10.50, salads €12.50-15.50, cakes €2.50-5|
|Opening hours:||Every day (except Tuesday) 8.30am-5.30pm|