Spring is coming – Popina

15 May

Popina

Popina

The spring of 2013 is probably one of the more exciting times to be a restaurant lover in Tel-Aviv. Restaurants are opening up in such a rate even we cannot follow. One after the other, like mushrooms after the rain, promising restaurants such as Hannoi, Taizu, Tiger Lili open up and give us the great opportunities eating some fabulous food. It is definitely the Asian cuisine that having its renaissance around town. Popina, on the other hand, a brand new Chef restaurant, is trying to give a different, unique experience. Oh and it does.

The setting, inside a beautiful classic old building, is combining well with early 20’s century village-like Neve Tzedek atmosphere with its exposed stone walls and interesting wine cellar. Nevertheless, its setting is probably the only “classic” or “old” around. Popina is a modern chef restaurant, focusing on innovative kitchen full of techniques and presentations. And it seems like they really know what they’re doing.

Shrimp "Burger"

Shrimp “Burger”

Starters were somewhat Asian, and probably some of the best we ever had. A Shrimp Burger which came inside steamed bun with aioli sauce was a delicate, perfect dish, and was the star of the dinner. Goose spring rolls in steamed rice rolls and demi glaze weren’t any worse actually and kept a cohesive line of fabulous delicacy. Two other starters of Grilled Calamari with Root vegetables as well as Gin and Tonic Tartar made us feel we are having a really unique and original dinner.

Goose Spring Rolls

Goose Spring Rolls

Grilled Calamari

Grilled Calamari

The two main courses that came after were really exceptional. Braised Veal Check, a dish rarely seen in chef restaurants, was extremely tender and full of deep tastes, while Sea Drum and Scallop Cannelloni did not disappoint at all.

Braised Veal Cheek

Braised Veal Cheek

Sea Drum

Sea Drum

As it seemed the chef sat right by us on the bar, he noticed we are taking pictures. After asking us what we thought about the food, he did promise a surprising dessert. He actually added two desserts for the two we already ordered, and they were all really wonderful. Strawberries soup with tapioca, tiny lemon tarts, steamed mascarpone cake with berry foam and white chocolate with truffle (!) mushrooms ice cream were all amazing, no other word.

Strawberries soup with tapioca

Strawberries soup with tapioca

White Chocolate & Truffles Ice Cream

White Chocolate & Truffles Ice Cream

So yes, we did get two free desserts and no, none of these praises are because of that. Popina is a truly unique place, an oasis of original food at a chef level. Yes, it is expensive for the size of the dishes, but sometimes it is just worth it.

Popina

Popina

The Check Please (4 people)

Gin & Tonic Tartar – 64 NIS
Grilled Calamari – 56 NIS
Shrimp Burger – 48 NIS
Goose Spring Rolls – 58 NIS
Braised Veal Cheek – 98 NIS
Sea Drum and Scallop Cannelloni – 115 NIS
Alaska – 44 NIS
Lemon Tart – 42 NIS
White Chocolate & Truffles – 0
Steamed Mascarpone Cake – 0
Coke – 12 NIS
Soda Water – 12 NIS
Tonic – 12 NIS
Water – 12 NIS
Coke X2 – 24 NIS

All in all: 585 NIS

Summary:

Food: Chef Restaurant
Price: Expensive
Location: Neve Tzedek

The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale:

5 Forks

5 Forks

Contact Details: Popina

Address:  3 Achad Ha’am, Tel Aviv | Phone: 035757477
Opening Hours: Daily 18:00-01:00
http://www.rol.co.il/images/sites/popina/menu/english.html

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