Archive | July, 2011

In-sea-fficient – Sifo

27 Jul

The Flea Market

Let’s start from the end – it’s not that we didn’t like the place – it is just that we expected more of it. It was simply insufficient. This year is the second year in which the city of Tel Aviv-Jaffa is conducting the Pishpashuk – opening the flea market late in the evening every Thursday night during the summer. In this event the stores of the market alongside some stands and restaurants are open until midnight.

The Crowded Street

One can imagine that this kind of event will attract a lot of people. As such, we came early to the market (about 8:00 PM – don’t come near with a car later then that!) and we went straight to Sifo – a new seafood place that we have planned to visit thanks to some good reviews.

Sifo

We started with Fish Tartar that was served with slices of beet. This dish was an example for the whole meal – it was good but something was missing. For example – this dish was made from fresh ingredients but we missed some spiciness in it – adding green paper would have made it better.

Fish Tartar with Beet

We then continued with “Pasta” – served with Artichoke, Crab Beef & Calamari – another dish that sounds good “on the paper” (or should we say “on the menu”). Once again, on the plate it was good – but this time we missed the salt.  The Octopus Salad suffered from a combination of unrelated ingredients such as Tehini.

Pasta

At that point Adi have joined the table and ordered the Fish Ceviche that took lots of time to get to the table and was not different from the other dishes. In the meantime we were still a bit hungry and ordered small plate of Grilled Calamari – that had too much oil in it.

Grilled Calamari

For desert we ordered the chocolate cake which had a good bottom and average top (which was the cake itself).

Chocolate Cake

All in all it the dishes were fine, but none of them shined over the view of the crowded market. Next time we’re going back to Kalamata

The check please (3 people)

Octopus Salad – 45NIS
Pasta – 63NIS
Fish Tartar – 45 NIS
Ceviche – 45 NIS
Grilled Calamari (100 gr)  – 32NIS
Krombacher beer – 18NIS
2 X Bottomless wine glasses – 50NIS
Chocolate Cake – 36NIS

All in all: 384 NIS

The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale:

3 Forks

Summary:

Food:  Seafood
Price:  Medium-Expensive
Location: Jaffa’s Flea Market

Contact details: Sifo

Address:  3 Rabbi Nachman St. Corner with 13 Amiad, Jaffa |   03-6038121
Opening Hours:  Saturday-Thursday 12:00PM-Late | Friday 12:00-18:00 | http://www.facebook.com/Sifo.Jaffa (No website)

Meat, The Expert

16 Jul

The Terrace View

Just one week after returning from our honeymoon in the Philippines, we decided to use our last wedding treat. Guy & Naama gave us – food lovers – the perfect wedding gift – beef cooking class with the chef Erez Komarovsky.

Erez & The Garden

The class attendees are invited to Erez’s home at Matat, located in the Upper Galilee. Matat is located 800 meters above see line, having amazing views on a beautiful valley.  We arrived at 10:30 AM as requested. Erez welcomed us with a smile and a glass of wine. We sat at his terrace, enjoying the view, when we were served the best Antipasti we have ever eaten. Tomato, Cauliflower, Eggplant & Zucchini were served with crispy, out-of-the oven bread (Erez’s specialty).

View from the inside

After a short mingling with the other participants, Erez invited us to his huge garden, where he tested our sense of smell. In his garden Erez is growing all kinds of herbs that he uses in his cooking.  From Hyssop through Lemmon Grass, Chamomile and other types of herbs that we didn’t even hear off.

From the tour in the garden, we continued to the ground floor of the house, where he carries out the actual cooking class. In the next 3.5 hours, Erez cooked for us 6 different kinds of meats and side dishes while using his garden’s goods. Beef Carpaccio, Seared Sirloin, Chicken hearts with Bamia, Beef Kebabs, Lamb Chops and Grilled Chicken Breast, were all served and were all amazing, without exceptions. These were escorted with lots of red wine and his amazing breads.

Rump Tataki

Rump Tataki

Rump Carpaccio

Chicken Hearts

Kebabs

For desert we had fresh Cherry & Raspberry – again – straight from his garden and drank black coffee and tea. Stuffed, without any ability to have another single crumb, we tried to find our way back to the car… Luckily, we booked ahead a Zimmer nearby.

Lamb Chops

Grape Leaves and Rice Pie

Hanger Steak

Los Campeones – La Champa Del Mar

9 Jul

Update July 2013: The place is closed.

Yes we know we’re reviewing another Tapas place. We can’t help but to surrender the love for the little Spanish dishes. Unlike many imitations, La Champa Del Mar, located at the restaurants and business area of Ha’arbaa Street, is the real Tapas (and Cava) deal. The Barcelona football club flag, hanged on the rear of the bar, keeps it no secret that the place is focusing on the fabulous Catalan kitchen, the menu written on chalkboard on top of the bar, as well as the rustic wood setting, provides a nice homely feeling.

At that night, as I (Shahar) promised Eran, one of my friends, we headed out to review the place together. Since we came a little early, the place was empty but we didn’t mind so much. The ordering in La Champa Del Mar is done from the bar itself as a true Catalan Tapas place. The sausages hanging just besides the Barca scarf seemed inviting as well.

The Menu

In order to enjoy the food just a little more, we ordered a bottle of Semi Seco Cava (note that Cava is the only alcohol available). For the Culinary part, Eran ordered Hamburguesa with Emmental cheese, which was very good according to him. A dish of Calamari a la plancha, was a little ambiguous. Although the Calamari itself were very good, the sauce of our choice – glazed orange peel – didn’t fit the Calamari at all and overshadowed the taste of the Calamari.

Semi Seco Cava

However a similar dish of Shrimps a la plancha with a different sauce – “Spicy Español” (Chipotle Barbecue) – was a whole different story. The shrimps were grilled perfectly and the sauce was amazing. Another successful Tapas dish was the Morcilla – Spanish blood sausage. The sausage, served on top of baguette slices, was spicy and full of taste.

Calamari a la Plancha

Since we were still a little hungry, we also took a plate of Roquefort Cheese and Cured Spanish, Both excellent and emphasized the fact that La Champa del Mar is using the finest ingredients (Surprisingly now I see we weren’t charged for it). A dessert of “Champa-Jores”, a variation on the Argentinean Alfajores, Ended the evening with a good sweet note. Hopefully other people will figure out the fine character of La Champa so it won’t fade out.

Shrimps a la Plancha & Hamburguesa

The check please (2 people)

Shrimps a la plancha, Spicy Español – 34 NIS
Calamari a la plancha, Glazed Naranja – 34 NIS
Hanmburguesa (w/ Emmental) – 23 NIS
Morcilla – 25 NIS
Champajores – 14 NIS
Selection of Cured Hams & Roquefort cheese (not charged)
Semi Seco Cava – 69 NIS

All in all: 199 NIS

The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale: 

3.5 Forks

Summary:

Food:  Spanish – Catalan
Price:  Medium-Expensive
Location: Ha’arbaa

Contact details: La Champa Del Mar
Address:  16 Ha’arbaa Street,Tel Aviv | 03-5610630

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