Archive | October, 2012

Off Topic – Thailand

9 Oct
Koh Samui

Koh Samui

It has become a tradition in our blog – writing summary post about a visit abroad. This time we spent the holidays in Thailand. It was actually our second visit and it was worth coming back.

Phuket

Kata Beach

We started the trip with a gamble about the weather in Phuket. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a good bet but we did have the chance to eat good food.

Lucky Toms

Lucky Toms

Lucky Toms – Traditional Thai food in reasonable price for a place that is located in center of touristic street. The spiciest Som Tam (Papaya Salad). http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g1210687-d1898885-Reviews-Lucky_Tom_s-Kata_Beach_Phuket.html

Largo Tapas – Although having oxymoron in their name, the place serves seafood tapas at a higher level than the average in Phuket. And no, the tapas were not big as the name promises and were quite expensive.  http://www.facebook.com/LargoTapas

Weekend Market

Weekend Market

Weekend Market

Weekend Market

Weekend Market – We can’t recommend on a specific stand but you can be sure that everything there looks good. We had a very good dinner just by picking small dishes form different stands. When you are tired from going around, in the middle of clothing section you will find a bar, located in a leather store where you can drink a beer and relax from shopping.

Weekend Market

Weekend Market

Kwong Shop Seafood

Kwong Shop Seafood

Kwong Shop Seafood – Nice place to eat seafood, big crab and prawn shrimp on the grill. http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g1210687-d1792735-Reviews-Kwong_Shop_Seafood-Kata_Beach_Phuket.html

Il Tagliere da Massimo

Il Tagliere da Massimo

Il Tagliere da Massimo – Italian relief from all the Thai. Good Pizza. This is also the place to ask why does every restaurant in Thailand that specialized in non-Thai cuisine doesn’t have courage of not having Thai menu? http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g1210687-d2152086-Reviews-Il_Tagliere_da_Massimo-Kata_Beach_Phuket.html

Koh Samui

Lamai Beach

Harry’s – The place specializes in breakfast (American style) and open just until the afternoon. We ate lunch that was the cheapest meal we had in Thailand – 280Bhat. Very good Massaman curry and Tom Yum Goong.

Harry’s

Harry’s

Harry’s

Harry’s

Chaweng Beach

Samui Institute of Thai Culinary Arts – Very nice cooking class that introduces you to the basic ingredients of the Thai cuisine.    http://www.sitca.net/

Samui Institute of Thai Culinary Arts

Samui Institute of Thai Culinary Arts

Samui Institute of Thai Culinary Arts

Samui Institute of Thai Culinary Arts

Samui Institute of Thai Culinary Arts

Samui Institute of Thai Culinary Arts

Bophut Beach

Zazen – Samui was supposed to be a culinary center and as such there are several chef restaurants. We decided to check Zazen that was declared as the people’s favorite in a fine dine local guide. Although the prices were much higher than the average Thai restaurants (even above average Israeli restaurants) the food was just OK. http://www.samuizazen.com/bestrestaurantssamui.html

Zazen

Zazen

Zazen

Zazen

Koh Tao

Barracuda – The Koh Tao’s surprise. Thai fusion. http://www.barracudakohtao.com/

Barracuda

Barracuda

FIZZ beachlounge – Beach bar with surprising good food.

Moov – Bar with a good atmosphere, good drinks and interesting food. Bad service though.

Bangkok

Bangkok's Skyline

Bangkok’s Skyline

Above Elven – AMAZING experience! Don’t miss the view from the 33 floor. Though there is a roof top restaurants trend in Bangkok, we heard most of them don’t justify their price. Above eleven was recommended otherwise and delivered. Above eleven is a Nikkei (Peruvian/Japanese) cuisine bar-restaurant that provided some excellent original dishes. Don’t forget to visit the toilet for another great city view. http://www.aboveeleven.com/

Above Elven

Above Elven

Bangkoks Skyline

Bangkoks Skyline

Isao – Tagged in some blogs as the best Japanese in Bangkok, Isao proved to be excellent. Smaller and more casual than expected, the sushi there was far better than any Israeli sushi we had. The Nigiri are especially tasty. http://www.isaotaste.com/

Isao

Isao

Isao

Isao

Tapas Café – As we can’t finish a trip without trying some Spanish food we tried Tapas Café, that was considered as a place of real tapas. The dishes weren’t cheap but quite true to its native country. Add the casual Spanish atmosphere along with the good authentic food (try the Galician style prawns) and you get a very nice place to have a dinner. http://www.tapasiarestaurants.com/

Us...

Us…

Expensive Taste – Jaffa Tel Aviv

3 Oct

It has been a while since we have visited an elite chef restaurant in Tel Aviv. We do get excited by food, but generally speaking, chef restaurants usually just don’t pay off. Though we have tried Messa restaurant (and though it received a very high score), we still haven’t tried many restaurants in that level such as Herbert Samuel, Refael, Mul Yam or Yoezer Wine Bar. It was rather the new restaurant of celebrity chef Haim Cohen, Jaffa Tel Aviv, that drew us for a visit.

Jaffa Tel Aviv

Jaffa Tel Aviv

Jaffa Tel Aviv has opened its gates about a year ago, when Haim Cohen came back to the chef restaurant scene after years of absence, generating a lot of expectations and buzz around it. Finally, along with our newly wed friends, Keren & Samuel, we went to check out how a chef restaurant is really like.

The Open Kitchen

The Open Kitchen

At first look, it is indeed expensive. Very expensive. The starters will cost you between 55 and 65 NIS while for a main course you’ll spend between 90 and 180 NIS. Is it worth it?
The ambiance is definitely our kind. There is a lot of noise around the restaurant, the kitchen is widely open for you to see anything, and generally the atmosphere is not super serious (no white table cloths). The food is somewhat unstable, counting in the price. Some dishes really justified it, and some really didn’t.

Red Tuna Fish Tartar

Red Tuna Fish Tartar

Take a starter of Red Tuna Fish Tartar for example. According to the menu, the tartar includes eggplants and “swims” in “off-road” tomatoes. Unfortunately the only taste we could feel of was the tomato paste. You could have removed the fish and the eggplant and no one would have noticed. The paste itself felt as if we could have made it at home, so generally, it was really a lousy dish.

Beef Carpaccio

Beef Carpaccio

From that point it was rather an uphill as the other starter, Beef Carpaccio with, again, “off-road” tomatoes (didn’t notice the difference with cherry tomatoes) and black-eyed peas, was very good. The beef itself was very good and together with on-the-house excellent focaccia bread, we liked it.

Gnocchi and Spinach with “Hameiri” Cheese

Gnocchi and Spinach with “Hameiri” Cheese

The main courses started giving a great fight to the prices as every bite brought out some enjoyable sounds. A dish of Gnocchi and Spinach with “Hameiri” Cheese was very good but was very small. The Filet of Beef, which was escorted by cauliflower cream, black lentils and bone marrow was delicious. The beef itself was from an excellent quality and grilled to the perfect level, and the cauliflower cream was very special.

Filet of Beef

Filet of Beef

Lamb chops, pilled figs, eggplant and fresh Za’atar

Lamb chops, pilled figs, eggplant and fresh Za’atar

It was rather the third dish that drew the most compliments (maybe because we took two of it). A very Israeli main course of Lamb chops, pilled figs, eggplant and fresh Za’atar was simply amazing. Unlike those “off-road” tomatoes, this truly felt as an off-road dish, coming from the Galilee Mountains. The Lamb chops were the best we ever had, and the combination of figs and fresh Za’atar caused some pleasure reactions around the table.

“Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate”

“Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate”

We really wanted the desserts to drive us forward the hill and continue the climb but it was the ups and downs that carried on through the last part of the dinner.
On the one corner, a dessert called “Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate”, which contained a Makaron Chocolate cookie, Chocolate fondant, Chocolate ice cream, Chocolate chunks and, of course, Chocolate sauce to dip it all. It was very sweet and very good. Recommended for Chocolate enthusiasts.
On the other corner, we took the waiter’s recommendation – Coconut Crème Brule. The Brule was very boring and didn’t top any of the other Brule’s we had around town.

Coconut Crème Brule

Coconut Crème Brule

It is very tough to rate Jaffa Tel Aviv according to that dinner. On the one hand, the main courses were superb and gave us a true chef restaurant feeling, allowing us to overlook the price for a few minutes. On the other, the starters and the desserts were a series of ups and downs that such a high class restaurant simply cannot take. We agreed that although a good restaurant, we won’t go back soon.

The Check Please (4 people)

Bread – OTH
Sira Châteaux Golan Red Wine (bottle) – 205 NIS
Beef Carpaccio – 52 NIS
Tuna Tartar – 65 NIS
Gnocchi – 90 NIS
Filet of Beef – 170 NIS
Lamb Chops (X2) – 360 NIS
Soda water – 12 NIS
Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate – 50 NIS
Coconut Brule – 40 NIS

All in all: 1044 NIS

 Summary

Food: Israeli Fusion
Price: Very (Very) expensive
Location: Yigal Alon Street

The Cizer Kobrinsky Scale

3.5 Forks

 

Contact details: Jaffa Tel Aviv

Address: 98 Yigal Alon st., Tel Aviv | Phone: 03-6249249

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