Quick Jump to Chinatown – China Court

29 Jul

For my birthday, Ron bought me original chopsticks from Japan. For a while we were planning to use them somewhere and we were looking for an occasion and a location. The occasion was end of school year for Ron and the location was China Court – a place that we heard a lot of from Shelly, our manager at Microsoft.

When you enter the place you feel the 80’s at their best. The pink napkin on the plates, the green tablecloth and a family restaurant make you understand that you are in right place for some authentic food.

Tsingtao Beer

Tsingtao Beer

We decided to escort the meal with a Chinese beer named Tsingtao. Then we started with corn soup which was very rich and thick. In addition we ordered Wonton Dumplings. The dumplings were fried and felt tasteless and therefore our least favourite dish in the meal.

Corn Soup

Corn Soup

Wonton dumplings

Wonton dumplings

Until now, we were just playing. The real reason we came to this place was the Peking duck that was highly recommended by Shelly (and for a good reason). The duck is cooked and taken out of its bones. It is severed with thin pancakes, cucumber & spring onion and an amazing sauce. In order to eat the duck at its best you need to take a pancake, put some duck on it, cucumber & spring onion, top it with the sauce and roll the pancake. Each of us ate several of these pancake, although we were feeling full, we still had some leftovers.

Peking duck

Peking duck

The roll

The roll

At the end of our meal, we felt as we did a quick jump to China (though there was no use of the chopsticks).

The Check Please (2 People)

2 X Corn Soup – 32 NIS
Wonton dumplings – 20NIS
Peking duck – 118NIS
2 X Tsingtao Beer – 50NIS

All in all – 220 NIS

Summary:

Food: Chinese
Price: Medium
Location: Ben Yehuda

The Cizer Kobrinsky Scale

3.5 Forks

3.5 Forks

Contact Details:
Shalom Alichem 14, Tel Aviv | +972-3-5178454|http://www.rol.co.il/sites/china-court/

Short Post About Gnocchi

18 Jul

This post is going to be extra short as the dish was so tasty that we forgot to take more pictures. It is based on a fresh Gnocchi I bought at Marcato, artichoke, chestnuts, reduced white wine and finally a small Perfusion of truffle oil and Parmesan.

Ingredients

Ingredients

Chestnut and Artichoke

Chestnut and Artichoke

with the Gnocchi

with the Gnocchi

A True Stark – Aria

13 Jul

A while ago I was looking for a nice restaurant for some quality time with my husband, after I didn’t see him for a week while I was in Romania.  The decision was made to Aria, a new restaurant that has been on our “to-do” list for a while. Aria is located in a beautiful reconstructed building that contains 2 floors. The first floor serves as a cocktail bar and the second floor is a classic European restaurant of the promising chef Guy Gamzo. As expected, we choose the restaurant.

Aria Gin and Tonic

Aria Gin and Tonic

Since they have a cocktail bar on the floor below, I decided to start with “Aria Gin and Tonic” that contained (in addition to the basics) cucumber, spring onion, coriander dill & orange that made this cocktail very special and refreshing.

Coquilles St. Jacques

Coquilles St. Jacques

We decided to share three starts and one main dish. For starters we took Coquilles St. Jacques, Porcini mushrooms & Tortellini Raghu. The Coquilles St. Jacques were served in white almond cream and lobster foam that was amazing and we both really liked it. The flavors were fantastic and we had to fight for the leftovers.

Eggs & mushrooms

Eggs & mushrooms

The porcini mushrooms was actually a dish of two minute egg on wild porcini mushrooms & smoked duck. Although I have weakness for soft eggs, this dish did not meet our expectations. It was served in a very special plate but the plate was not made to contain the yolk liquid that spilled over the plate’s socket.

Tortellini Raghu

Tortellini Raghu

The Tortellini Raghu contained generous amount of meat and had the feeling of a beef that was cooked on a low heat for quite a while. The sauce was also quite good and we wiped it with the complimentary bread we were served.

Duck breast

Duck breast

For the main dish we shared the blush duck breast in its broth along with strawberry coulis. Usually we don’t have a lot of opportunities to eat duck. This was a fantastic opportunity as the dish was absolutely amazing. The duck breast was cooked to the right measure and it was pink and soft.  The puree that was served with it was smooth and suited the dish perfectly. A true hit.

Lemon tart

Lemon tart

For dessert we took the open Lemon Tart and Italian meringue with a zest of raspberry jelly. That was only a nice dessert, nothing more. But it did sign a very good meal of European flavors. We would definitely come back.

Summary

Food: Cocktail Bar & Bistro
Price: Expensive
Location: Nachlat Binyamin

The check please (2 people)
Aria Gin and Tonic – 47NIS
Coquilles St. Jacques – 65NIS
Eggs & mushrooms – 48NIS
Tortellini Raghu – 65NIS
Duck breast – 98NIS
Lemon tart – 42NIS
Sparkling water – 11NIS
2 X Espresso – 20NIS
San Miguel – 25NIS

All in all – 421 NIS

The Cizer Kobrinsky Scale:

4.5 Forks

4.5 Forks

Contact Details: Aria
Address:  66 Nachlat Binyamin St, Tel Aviv | 03-5296054 | http://ariatlv.co.il/

Homemade Banh Bao with Seared Tuna

5 Jul

A while ago TimeOut Tel Aviv have publish the recipe for Banh Bao, which is kind of steamy dumpling. This gave us the desire to mix it with seared tuna to get the Asian home made Saturday lunch. And this how it looked like:

The Banh Bao:

The Ingredients

The Ingredients

Mix them all together

Mix them all together

And the get a dough

And the get a dough

Create balls put in a bamboo steaming

Create balls put in a bamboo steaming kit

After steaming

After steaming

Seared Tuna: While the dumplings are in the steaming process, you can start to work on its filling.

Marinade ingredients

Marinade ingredients

Marinated red tuna

Marinated red tuna

Coating of white and black sesame

Coating of white and black sesame

Coating the tuna

Coating the tuna

burning the tuna on a plancha

burning the tuna on a plancha

Cut the tuna into slices

Cut the tuna into slices

Sliced tuna

Sliced tuna

Cut radish into thin strips

Cut radish into thin strips

Fill the buns with a little bit of wasabi

Fill the buns with a little bit of wasabi

Insert a piece of tuna and radish

Insert a piece of tuna and radish

Decorated with chili pepper and cilantro

Decorated with chili pepper and cilantro

And the results

And the results

Results #2

Results #2

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

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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