Meeting up for dinner with visitors from overseas celebrating their engagement called for a special restaurant, and a friend suggested we try Haj Kahil in Jaffa. As we were currently experiencing the heaviest heat wave of the year, my wife insisted that I first find out if this Arab style eatery had air conditioning. When I called to make a reservation, I asked this all-important question.
The man who answered the phone laughed for many seconds. “Do you think I could work in a restaurant in Jaffa in the summer months if there wasn’t air conditioning?” he asked me.
Haj Kahil indeed has air conditioning, and you can’t miss it due to its prominent location at the edge of the Clock Square in Jaffa. Well, you could be slightly mistaken if you turned towards either the Haj Kahil Express or the Haj Kahil Shwarma restaurants across the street. Apparently they all belong to the same Israeli Arab family which has a track record of four decades in the restaurant business. Taxi drivers and locals know the square as Haj Kahil Square.