Archive | September, 2011

Arabic Style – Haj Kahil

24 Sep

Haj Kahil

The biweekly meeting with Adi & Elad took place in Jaffa, according to Adi’s choice. For a while she was thinking about the Arabic restaurant in the clock square at the border of Tel Aviv and Jaffa. It was Thursday so it was very hard to find a parking space. Once we arrived to the restaurant it was easy to forget Jaffa’s chaotic atmosphere that took place outside of our street view table.

Tabouleh salad

We started with Tabouleh salad that was made mostly out of chopped parsley (as opposed to oriental restaurants that uses mostly Tabouleh and a bit of parsley) which gave it a fresh sense. We also took slices of Sabra fruit with Labaneh scoops, which was a very surpriesing dish that was quickly gone from the plate.

Sabra fruit with Labaneh scoops

For main course Adi and I shared Mansaf which is Lamb Ossobuco served with yogurt and rice on top of Taboon bread. The meat in this dish was amazing, tender and full of tastes you just can’t resist.  The rice, bread and yogurt were left far behind. Elad took Kebab skewer with Mujaddara. The Kebab was tasty but not something to write home about…

Mansaf

For desert we took Kanafeh which is a desert made from kadayıf noodles and goat cheese topped with sugar syrup. The Kanafeh was very good and was perfectly escorted by the black coffee in small glass.
If you are looking for an oriental Arabic restaurant in the heart of Israel, Haj Kahil will definitely do the job.

The check please (3 people)
Tabouleh salad – 20NIS
Sabra fruit – 28NIS
Mansaf – 95NIS
Kebab Skewer – 28NIS
Small Kanafeh – 24NIS
Coke – 10NIS
San Pellegrino  – 22NIS
2 X coffee  16NIS
Tea – 8 NIS

All in all: 251 NIS

Summary:
Food: Arabic
Price: Low – Medium
Location: Jaffa

The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale:

4 Forks

Contact details: Haj Kahil
Address:  18 Raziel st. (clock square), Jaffa| Phone: 03-6831239 |Opening Hours:  Saturday-Thursday 11:00-24:00 | Friday 11:00 – 1:00AM |  http://www.rest.co.il/sites/Default.asp?txtRestID=11694

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A Copy Well Made – La Shuk

9 Sep

La Shuk's Kitchen

The first really good market restaurant in Israel was opened just a few years ago just besides the Machne Yehuda’s developing market of Jerusalem. “Machne Yehuda” is also the name of the restaurant opened by the Chef Assaf Granit and is truly one of the best restaurants in the country (book well ahead). Following the success of the theme, market restaurants were opened as mushrooms after the rain in what seems to be a series of copycats. In “La Shuk”’s case, a well-made copy.

Dizengoff Square

La Shuk, opened just last spring, offers a rustic market setting, sounds that ranges from Israeli rock to Greek and Turkish taverns, and a surprisingly successful location, right below the Dizengof square that is about to go through renovations. Oh, and market food.

We weren’t that hungry, so we have settled for three courses. The smallest of which was Veal tartar which was a nice variation of the classic Tartar. Two toast breads with topped with mustard laid in a glass bowl that contained the Tartar along with a half-cooked egg. The Tartar tasted excellent and the combination, as a whole, was delicious. I was only upset it wasn’t a larger dish. Another combination was a dish of Tabbouleh Salad and Shrimps. In this case, although the Shrimps were cooked OK and were spicy in a good way, there wasn’t any real connection to the salad, that itself was mediocre.

Veal Tartar

Tabbouleh Salad and Shrimps

The last course was Siniyee, which is an Arabic dish that includes ground beef, vegetables and spices on top of oven baked bread. Although this Siniyee was less aggressive with flavors comparing to a “true” Siniyee (we recommend on the Siniyee served at “Al Reda” restaurant in Nazareth), it was tasteful and very satisfying.

Siniyee

A sweet and rich Malabi ended the evening, as we agreed that, although La Shuk seems like another copy of “Machne Yehuda”, it is quite a nice copy that we will probably return to.

Malabi

The check please (2 people)

Veal Tartar – 36 NIS
TabboulehSalad and Shrimps – 47 NIS
Siniyee – 44 NIS
2X Wine by the glass – 56 NIS
Malabi – 28 NIS

All in all: 211 NIS

Summary:

Food: Market Food
Price: Medium
Location: Dizingoff

 The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale:

3.5 Forks

Contact details: La Shuk

 Address:  92 Dizengoff st. (Dizengoff Square), Tel Aviv | Phone: 03-6033117 |
Opening Hours:  Sunday-Thursday 12:00-Late | Friday-Saturday 09:30 – Late
http://www.rest.co.il/sites/Default.asp?txtRestID=11726 (no English)

Social Justice – The Mizlala (Eatery)

9 Sep
The summer of 2011 will (hopefully) be remembered for the uncompromising fight of the middle class in Israel against the economic policy of Prime Minister Netanyahu, that caused Israel to have almost the biggest gaps between the rich and the poor in the western world. The people of Israel demand social justice.

Adoni in Action

The Summer of 2011 will also be remembered as the summer in which Meir Adoni opened the Mizlala – his middle-class restaurant. Adoni, well recognized and appreciated chef had become famous after cooking at the top fine-dining restaurants in Israel (Including Catit).

Peanut & Salt on the Bar

When Adoni opened this restaurant he stated that he aims to get to the young middle-calss crowd in Israel serving good food in reasonable prices. When we arrived to the restaurant we have realized we were the only couple that fits his measures.
As a place that suppose to act as an eatery (Mizlala), one would expect to encounter a loud and dense place with a chaotic atmosphere. Nevertheless, the design of the Mizalal is quite “clean” and sterile. Eatery with a high level design. To our surprise, Adoni was standing right behind the bar constructing our dishes.

Palestinian Tartar

We started with Palestinian tartar – if this is the meat you can get in Gaza, we can’t wait to have peace… Chopped rump beef, Tehini, Pine nuts, Yogurt, Burned eggplant paste & Cumin (just too much of it).  Great twist on the traditional tartar that usually comes with a French scent.

Mullet Ceviche

We continued with another starter (Although the menu is not divided to entrees and main courses) – Ceviche of Mullet fish that was served on top of some kind of Asian salad. This dish was good but had resembled to too many other dishes we have eaten in the past in restaurants such as the Thai House and The Officers Club.

Seared Chicen Liver

For main course we have shared (not too big of a dish) the Seared Chicken Liver that was served on top of Polenta, Forest Mushrooms & Asparagus. This dish was amazing and we felt as if it was melting in our mouth.

Vanilla Brulee

For desert, we took Vanilla Brulee that had nothing to do with Brulee. It was a thick layer of Vanilla that was topped (and not burned) with a layer apricot that was topped with layer of Crumble. This layer was also topped – with a scoop of berries ice-cream – Too Much!! when the bartender asked us if we enjoy the dish we had to answer that this was the least good dish in that dinner. The bartender replied that this is Adoni’s interpretation to the Creme Brulee -we thought he was too creative.

Summarizing this experience we were a bit confused. It was (mostly) a good meal in a (sort of) reasonable price, nevertheless we could not identify the middle class people among the crowd. So where is the social justice?

The Check Please (2 people)
2 X Gewurztraminer – 72 NIS
Palestinian tartar – 55 NIS
Mullet Ceviche – 63 NIS
Seared Chicen Liver – 53 NIS
Vanilla Brulee – 41 NIS

All in all: 284 NIS

Summary
Food: Israeli Chef Restaurant
Price: Medium-Expensive
Location: Nachlat Binyamin

The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale

4 Forks

Contact Details: Mizlala
Address: 57 Nachlat Binyamin st, Tel Aviv | Phone: 03 5505 566
Opening Hours:  Sunday – Saturday 19:00-01:00
http://www.mizlala.co.il

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