Archive | February, 2011

At the vineyard – Erez

26 Feb

The number one fan of the blog, Adi, had suggested us to try a restaurant that we can rank as less than “medium” in the price level category. As a response Elad had suggested we all go to Erez in Kerem HaTeimanim (the Yemenite Vineyard) neighborhood.

Kerem HaTeimanim

So we did. We all met in the Kerem on one Friday noon. The place wasn’t like any other restaurant we have visited; when we thought about how to define it, the first word we could think of was a mess: no queue, no chairs, missing dishes and Elad acting as our waiter. Yet, despite this unflattering introduction, we liked it a lot.

We had to push some elbows in order to get a table. A couple’s fight in front of us was the distraction we needed to get ourselves seated. We were missing two chairs and our requests fell on deaf ears. Eventually, it was Elad’s initiative that made us sit – he just went inside and brought two more chairs together with the menus.

Masabcha

Adi took Masabcha, Which is very similar to Hummus, but thanks to a quick bet between her and Shahar we found out that the main difference between these two lies in the chickpeas’ tenderness. The Masabcha was very good and in Adi’s words “a respectful representation of Masabcha”.

Meatballs with Mujaddara & French fries

Elad had built our expectations regarding the Ptitim. Unfortunately by the time we got there it was all finished. Shahar & he took meatballs with Mujaddara & French fries as sides. The meatballs were very good and well seasoned. Inbar took grilled pullet skewer alongside with Mujaddara and vegetables salad.

And now, for the trick – this whole meal, 4 people including drinks, cost us ONLY 111 NIS! Getting these prices in Tel Aviv is a real deal. We really can’t remember the last time we have eaten such a meal at these prices. The place was quite a mess but we had good food, nice atmosphere and great company.

The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale:

3.5 Forks

The check pleases (4 People):
Masabcha with Egg – 15 NIS
2X Meatballs + side dishes – 50 NIS
Grilled Pullet Skewer + Side dishes – 22 NIS
4 X Soft Drinks – 24 NIS

All in all: 111 (!) NIS

Summary:

Food:  Homemade Oriental /Israeli
Price:  Low
Location: Kerem HaTeimanim (the Yemenite Vineyard).

Contact details: Erez
Address:  28 Nachlieli St., Tel Aviv |
Opening Hours:  Sunday- Thursday – 10:00-18:00 | Friday 10:00-15:00

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The Cannibal Corner – Butchery De Bariloche

19 Feb

When Samuel, Shahar’s long time friend, saw we are mentioning many of our friends & family here in our blog, he simply couldn’t resist. We have set a meeting to have some good food and biting reviews. After making some thinking on where to go, we decided to catch some quality steaks in the argentine steak house opened this year called Butchery De Bariloche (The Butchery from Bariloche).

Beef tartar

Bariloche is one of the best destinations in Argentina if not the best one. A combination of steaks, chocolate, ice creams & amazing nature combines to a truly memorable place. The Butchery’s setting is trying to imitate that feeling, with photos of Bariloche’s panoramic views, Argentine wines & a welcome piece of Argentine chocolate when you are seated.

Beef Carpaccio

The Butchery, like its other trendy competitors across Tel Aviv, has a cannibal-like way of choosing your courses. You simply go to the butcher’s display, and pick your favorite part of the cattle and it will arrive later to the table on top of a warming grill.

Before going through the grilled section, we started off with some appetizers. Samuel took the Beef Carpaccio, That although suffering from overdose of balsamic vinegar, was very good. The beef itself was fresh & tasty and so is the great parmesan cheese (that he asked to be served aside from kosher reasons). Shahar took the Beef tartar, which was a joy for the eyes, but so-so for the mouth. Although the beef was quite good, the course as whole was quite blend, and missed some sourness & spiciness.

The butcher’s display

After a while (really, a while – the service was trying but somewhat distracted) we got the order from the butcher. A grill containing two skirt steaks (about 200gr each), an Argentinean Rib Steak (there’s Israeli one as well) and two little veal T-Bone steaks. The skirt steaks, that were a little under cooked, even though we asked for Medium-Rare cooking, were quite good. The beef was tender and tasteful.  The Rib Steak was also a good piece of meat, but nothing to write home about (or blog about in this case). The T-Bones were excellent. The grill really flattered them and gave them a smoky taste. I was quite sorry they were so small.

The warming grill

When the restaurant manager saw me photographing, he asked me what it is for. Telling him about this blog, he decided to give us a dessert on the house. Under this proper disclosure, the Jorje’s Banana’s dessert, which is basically burnt sliced bananas with dolce de leche, whipped cream & vanilla ice cream reminded me why I like Argentina that much, even though it is a quite simple dessert.

Concluding the cannibals evening, the dinner in the Butchery was a good one. Yet looking at the prices and comparing it to other steak houses in Tel Aviv in this price range, you would expect more.

The check please (2 people)

Beef Tartar – 34 NIS
Beef Carpaccio – 28 NIS
Entrecôte – Rib Steak (39 NIS per 100gr) – 78 NIS
Veal T-Bone (30 NIS per 100gr) – 45 NIS
2X Skirt Steak (37 NIS per 100gr) – 148 NIS
2X Pepsi -22 NIS

All in all: 355 NIS

The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale:

3 Forks

Summary:

Food:  Argentine Steak House
Price:  Expensive
Location: Ramat HaHayal

Contact details: Butchery De Bariloche
Address:  4 HaBarzel St., Tel Aviv | Phone: 077-5309700|
Opening Hours:  Daily 12:00-00:00
http://www.butchery.co.il/ (No English menu)

Cognitive Dissonance – Edna

15 Feb

July 2012 Update: The place have closed its doors. They still have the Ramat HaSharon branch. 

It was a rainy night in the middle of the week and we were hungry, tired & looking for something not too fancy. Shahar had just remembered that the successful Ramat Hasharon restaurant named Edna had recently opened a new branch in Tel Aviv. Edna, a 30 year old restaurant, was originally a workers restaurant that served Persian food. Over the years it has been influenced by European food and today it is a combination of “homemade” and European cuisine – a combination that creates a cognitive dissonance at times. The place is designed in a very classic-European style, taking care of all the little details like table cloths and stylish menus.

Edna Specials

We started off with a Mediterranean Salad that was basically a chopped vegetable salad and was fresh and tasty. Alongside it we ordered bread that came right out of the over and was steamy hot. It was served with pickled eggplant that acted as a fabulous dip.

Bread & Eggplants on White Cloth

For the main courses Shahar took beef & lamb meatballs that were served in beef broth with carrots. The meatballs were good and the broth was excellent, especially as another dip for the bread. Inbar chose a fan of fillet of beef. It was nice piece of meat that was served with red wine sauce and accompanied with baked potatoes, sweet potatoes & spinach. The fillet was a cooked just right and the sides were excellent. Together it made a good fulfilling dish.

Cognitive Dissonance (Main Courses)

The meatballs we ate, took the “Homemade” part of the restaurant, while the fillet of beef took the “European” part. The combination was quite weird and left us with some question marks regarding the character of the place. Despite of the dissonance, we agreed that Edna is a place that knows how to cook some good food. It does not fall from the quality of the original place in Ramat Ha’Sharon in any way and has a great value for money.

The check please (2 people)

Homemade bread – 12 NIS
Mediterranean Salad – 39NIS
Beef & lamb meatballs – 45NIS
Fan of fillet of beef – 74NIS
Soda – 11NIS
Pepsi -11NIS

All in all: 191NIS

Value for Money:

Summary:

Food:  Homemade / Persian / Classic European
Price:  Medium
Location: North Dizngoff / Yirmiahu

Contact details: Edna
Address:  52 Yirmiahu St., Tel Aviv | Phone: 03-6289000 |
Opening Hours:  Sunday- Thursday – 10:00-01:00 | Friday 09:00-01:00 | Saturdays 12:00-01:00
http://www.edna-rest.co.il/ednata (No English menu)

Japanese Panic – Japanika

10 Feb

Just as scheduled, we decided to search for bride’s shoes. After an exhausting tour on the long Dizingoff Street, we set for a relaxing lunch at Japanika. This time, Shahar brought the camera as you can see. Japanika is one of few chains in Tel Aviv that specialized in Fast-Food Sushi, and this place was no different.

Sum Tam salad

We shared a Sum Tam salad, as well as a Tuna Tataki that was served over a Wakame salad. Shahar also took Tuna Sashimi & Inbar took the Inside-out Maki tuna avocado. As you can see the tuna fish had a major role in this lunch. Luckily for us, the tuna fish was fresh.

Tuna Tataki

The Sum-Tam salad was weird – it was tasty and not tasty at the same time. We couldn’t put our finger on it – but it seems it was the sauce that made us so ambivalent. A better sauce would have made this dish a little better.  The Maki was no different from any other sushi roll at a fast-food sushi place. The Tataki & the sashimi were surprisingly good.

Tuna Sashimi

When evaluating Japanika as a sushi place, it is clear that it is not an extremely good one. Some dishes are fine, some a little less. Yet, comparing to other fast-food sushi places, it will probably get you a better lunch than others.

Japanika

The check please (2 people)

Soda water – 9NIS
Orange juice – 11NIS
Tuna Tataki – 28NIS
Sum-Tam Salad – 24NIS
I/O Maki – 16NIS
Tune Sashimi – 32NIS

Value for Money:

3 Forks

Summary:

Food:  Asian
Price:  medium.
Location: Dizingoff.

Contact details: Japanika
Address:  128 Dizingoff St., Tel Aviv | Phone: *3636|
Opening Hours:  Sunday-Wednesday – 12:00-02:00 | Thursday 12:00-3:00 | Friday 12:00-20:00 | Saturdays 18:00-2:00
http://www.japanika.net (No English menu)

It’s a Zebra? It’s a Bird? No, It’s Zepra

5 Feb

Let’s start with the bottom line. Wow. That is the one word which describes best our fabulous visit at Zepra (Herbew combination of the words Zebra and Bird) – a Southern Tel Aviv restaurant owned by Avi Conforti, who owned the mythic Chimichanga restaurant, just a few hundred meters away. Conforti opened this Asian style restaurant back in 2007. This was the first time (and definitely not our last) we have been there, with the invitation of Shahar’s parents.

Zepra

It starts with the setting of the place. A great décor gives the place a feeling of hanging out in a mega-lounge bar somewhere between Paris & LA. It keeps the same level when it comes to the music. It is simply outstanding – a combination of lounge music with a lot of electronic & drums rhythms.

Har Gau

The starters were very unique and didn’t resemble any other Asian restaurant around. We took a fresh tuna fish pizza – an amazing combination of western & eastern food, “Har Gau” – 3 Dim sums filled with shrimps in an amazing mushroom sauce, “Chop Sashimi” – 5 types of raw fish chopped together (kind of tartar) with Tobiko – one of the most original courses we saw around, “New Style Salmon Sashimi” – sliced of raw salmon with sesame oil – some happy reactions were heard about that as well. We also took a “Healthy Buddha” salad – a fresh Asian salad with red cabbage, vegetables mint & coriander, which stood out because of its good sauce.

Chop Sashimi

The Entrees were just a continuation of the starters. A “Bo Luk Lak” (two were taken) – Slices of fillet of beef, grilled with caramelized onions in a Vietnamese sauce, was the best of the best. An excellent cooked beef was juicy and fitted perfectly to the great unique sauce. A “Noah Pad Paric” – Sirloin pieces with sweet red chili, onion, coriander and cashew nuts, was nice as well but couldn’t keep with the “Bo Luk Lak” standards.

New Style Salmon Sashimi

The desserts on Zepra didn’t let down also. A Tapioca Malabi was one of the best Malabi’s we ever had. An apricot Crème brûlée was fantastic, as well as beautiful to look at and a Chocolate Soufflé with Indian Chai-Masala ice cream and aroma, given on the house, was a sugar-rush ending to an extra ordinary dinner.

Apricot Crème brûlée

The check please (4 people)

Chop Sashimi – 55 NIS
New Style Salmon Sashimi – 52 NIS
Tuna Pizza – 59 NIS
Healthy Buddha Salad – 38 NIS
Har Gau – 42 NIS
Bo Luk Lak – 2 X 108 NIS
Noah Pad Paric – 88 NIS
Tapioca Malabi – 39 NIS

Value for Money

After a lot of suggestions we decided to add this section to our blog.

4.5 Forks

Summary:

Food:  Asian
Price:  Expensive
Location: Yigal Alon

Contact details: Zepra
Address:  96 Yigal Alon St., Tel Aviv | Phone: 03-6240044|
Opening Hours:  12:00-00:00
http://zepra.pionetsv.co.il/ (English webpage unavailable)

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