Archive | June, 2013

Best of the Best? Mul Yam

27 Jun

When it comes to true fine dining, Tel Aviv doesn’t offer many options. It might be the endless summer dictating the dress code in the city, or it might be that the Israeli cuisine is simply less formal than the European one. Nonetheless, Tel Aviv still possesses one of the most famous seafood fine-dine restaurant in the world – Mul Yam. Mentioned in Les Grandes Tables Du Monde, Mul Yam is arguably the best restaurant in Israel, presenting fish and seafood from all around the world. Matching the price to its products, you will be best to do as we did, and try to go for its Business lunch, available on weekends too.

Arriving a little early for lunch, at about 12:00, we were the first table for the day, and the place looked a bit like a museum, where the white table cloths and the silverware were all still in their exact spot. Even though, and despite the fact the outside windows makes it feel a bit like an aquarium, we were treated very nice by the waitress and haven’t got the feeling of strangers eating in an exclusive Oligarch place.

Looking at the business lunch menu, it seems a 170 NIS is indeed a fair price to pay for such products (at least once in a special occasion). Half a dozen Normandy Oysters, Coquille St. Jacques, Blue Crab and Canadian Lobster will make any seafood enthusiast to drool even before the food comes in. But it did have lot to prove making us say it is the best restaurant in the land of milk and honey.

The bread

The bread

After very good bread as an appetizer, we received two starters: Salmon Sashimi, Japanese Style, of a premium Norwegian Salmon, and Scallop Cassoulet, with lentils and smoked Eggplant sauce. The Salmon was amazing and quite different than the “simple” Sashimi Salmon you would normally get anywhere. The minimalism of the Japanese escorts (Ginger, Wassabi and Soy sauce) were a good idea to keep focus on the brilliant salmon. On the other hand, the Scallop dish rather lacked minimalism. Though the Scallops were seared perfectly, the lentils weren’t that good and the sauce simply took over, which was a shame as the scallop taste got lost there.

Salmon Sashimi

Salmon Sashimi

Scallop Cassoulet

Scallop Cassoulet

Off to the main dishes, we took seafood again: Grilled Langoustine with Lobster sauce and root vegetables, and “Popeye’s” Shrimp, with Turkish spinach, Feta cheese and poached egg. The Langoustine was simply amazing, filled with a lot meat, and juicy from the fabulous sauce – couldn’t get any better. The Shrimp dish was very unique, but it suites a real spinach lover, as it controlled the dish. But again, the Shrimp itself was excellent.

“Popeye’s” Shrimp

“Popeye’s” Shrimp

Grilled Langoustine

Grilled Langoustine

On the dessert section, though we knew there are better ones, we couldn’t help taking the famous “Faberge Egg”, which is basically sugar-made egg, filled with Chestnut ice cream, vanilla cream and caramelized almonds. Though it looks like a real museum piece, you really better off choosing another dessert other than this dull one.

Faberge Egg

Faberge Egg

Wow, how can you summarize such a meal in the one of the most famous places in Tel Aviv? Yes, when you expect the best of the best, you might get a little disappointed, we can’t say we loved every piece in that lunch. Even though, comparing to other restaurants around, it definitely presents a very unique set of products, which you probably know only from the best restaurants around the world. All in all, for 170 NIS for a business lunch it is well worth the experience.

Us

Us

The Check Please (2 people)

Business Lunch X2 – 340 NIS
Fabrege Egg – 70 NIS
Soda Water – 12 NIS
Orange Juice – 13 NIS

All in all: 435 NIS

Summary:

Food: Seafood Chef Restaurant
Price: Very Expensive
Location: Tel Aviv Port

The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale:

4.5 Forks

4.5 Forks

Contact Details: Mul Yam
Address:  Hanger #23, Tel Aviv Port, Tel Aviv | Phone: 035469920
Opening Hours: Daily 12:30-15:30, 19:30-22:30
http://www.mulyam.com/indexEn.html

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Cuban Disappointment: Alma the Cuba

22 Jun

A while ago we decided to check the new Latino restaurant that was opened in Ha’Arbaah Street. In general, Tel Aviv lacks restaurants that bring the Latin American sense. When we found out that a new Cuban place opened up, we’ve invited Roee and Gal to join us checking the place.

Mojito

Mojito

From the outside the place looks empty but when you go inside you realize that this is where everything is actually happening. This is kind of weird because usually bars and restaurants take over some of the street in order to create more room for their tables, but in this case you had to go inside, pass an empty bar and just then get to the action, not that there is much of it. It seems as all the elderly people from the nearby Bridge club have finish playing earlier that day and decided to go for a drink in the new bar. We were the youngest people in the room.

The waitress was more promising as she was talking with Spanish accent which made us believe, for a few moments, that maybe there is something authentic about the place. In the background, salsa music was played so in order to get into the mood we’ve asked for a Mojito, Quilmes and Havana Club Rum.

Havanna Club shots

Havanna Club shots

Although the (half) promising start, the food did not stand out our expectations. In general it was too fried and not cohesive. Part of the dishes was classic pub food and the others fit a restaurant.

Take for example the “Cuban Chips Mix” – theoretically you would expect some twist on the “bar chips” with mix of interesting ingredients – in practice these were thin slices of potatoes and yam deep fried. Nothing new, so why calling it “Cuban Mix”?

Cuban Chips

Cuban Chips

Another example is “Baby Back Ribs” – In contrast to other dishes we have ordered, this was a classic restaurant dish while others were much more suitable for a bar. The dish included Ribs, Rice with black beans and spicy carrot salad. Though it wasn’t bad, it felt as the dish came from a different menu. The other dishes – Croquets and Ceviche – did not stand out and were quite boring.

Baby Back Ribs

Baby Back Ribs

Heading out of the place we felt unsatisfied and still in desire of some fine food and drinks, so we decided to go the neighbor bar – La Champa (which unfortunately closed its doors now).

The Check Please (4 People)

Mojito – 42NIS
3X Quilmes – 78NIS
3X Havana Club 3 Shots –57 NIS
Baby Back Ribs – 52NIS
Croquets Paratagas – 47NIS
Cuban Chips Mix -21NIS
Ceviche Malakon – 37NIS

All in all: 334NIS

The Cizer Kobrinsky Scale:

2.5 Forks

2.5 Forks

Contact Details: Alma de Cuba
16 Ha’Arba’a st. Tel Aviv | 035234894
Daily 17:00-02:00
http://en.almadecuba.co.il/

Mix and don’t match – The Dining Hall

1 Jun

When you dine at a “chef” restaurant you can expect nothing but the best. Yes, although Omer Miller, the chef of “The Dining Hall” (as well as “The Table” – someone ran out of names), became more famous of his TV appearances than of its restaurants, The Dining Hall is still considered a chef restaurant and should be judges as such. Miller is doing a lot of mix & match and, most of the time, it is simply confusing.

As the site describes, Miller “uses local products”, together with “Mediterranean and European kitchen techniques” includes “well known dishes”, “familiar from home”, “modern, minimal and innovative”. Did your head spin already? Mine have. So yes, Miller actually tries to bring his interpretation of a classic homemade Israeli kitchen. But no, it is hardly enough for a chef restaurant taking these prices.

The Dining Hall Salad

The Dining Hall Salad

Take the Dining Hall Salad for example. Though the fancy serving along with separate boiled egg on the side, the salad was mediocre and had nothing over a regular chopped vegetable salad done at home. The “familiar from home” was way better when it came to the famous chopped liver starter. The dish did make the place famous with real justice as it is a real thick tasteful liver and the fried onions are a great fit to it.

The entrées did not bring any “innovative” part or any special “technique”. We rather picked two meat dishes that we did expect to raise the level of the dinner. The two main courses – 200 gr. Fillet Mignon with Marrow, Potatoes, Carrots and Demi glaze as well as 300 gr. Entrecote with Sweet Potato – were served the same – on top of a cutting board, and were somewhat boring.

Entrecote

Entrecote

On top of that, the Fillet dish was served cold (after the waitress forgot we asked for a different side). When told, it seemed the fillet was re-heated in the microwave, which kind of ruined it for us.
Overall both pieces of beef were not bad, and the roasted vegetables were nice, but we didn’t feel moved at all as you would expect.

When you are planning on spending over 350 NIS for a dinner out you do want to have something special. Though The Dinning Hall food is not bad at all it is not reaching its pricing level nor to its fancy website descriptions. We’ll just consider it as an OK place with a very high price.

The check please (2 people)

The Dining Hall Salad – 32 NIS
Chopped Liver – 32 NIS
200 gr. Filet Mignon – 128 NIS
300 gr. Entrecote – 138 NIS
Coke – 12 NIS
Soda Water – 10 NIS

All in all: 352 NIS

The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale:

2.5 Forks

2.5 Forks

Summary:

Food:  Classic Israeli
Price:  Expensive
Location: Shaul Hamelech

Contact details: The Dining Hall
Address:  23 Shaul Hamelech St, Tel Aviv | 0579443036|
Opening Hours:  Sun-Sat 12:00-00:00 |
http://thedininghall.rest-e.co.il/

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