Tag Archives: Fish

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

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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

The Disappointed Tourist – Herbert Samuel

2 Nov
Tel Aviv from the City Lookout Point of Azrieli

Tel Aviv from the City Lookout Point of Azrieli

This year, birthday came early. As Inbar headed off to Spain for a business trip (wait for the post…) she decided to celebrate my birthday by doing a touristic tour in the wonderful city of Tel Aviv. Starting off at the city lookout point of Azrieli Towers, we had some great views of Tel Aviv, the neighboring cities and the sea. A bicycle ride throughout the Tel Aviv boardwalk led to the mystic Montifiore graveyard where all the famous Tel Aviv founders are rested. The final spot at that Friday morning was the chef restaurant of Yonathan Rushfeld – Herbert Samuel.

Famous chef Rushfeld, is the head chef of three different restaurants across Tel Aviv (Tapas Echad Haam, Yavne Montifiore and Herbert Samuel) and also appears as a judge in the Master Chef TV show. While we visited the other two restaurants, Herbert Samuel is considered as Rushfeld’s flagship, one of Tel Aviv best restaurants and a tourist favorite. That in mind, you can understand what were our expectations from the Friday birthday lunch.

Olive oil with balsamic vinegar

Olive oil with balsamic vinegar

Though you can hardly have a view of the sea, the large glass font window allows nice lighting around the place, especially at the fabulous large bar facing the front. Arriving on Friday noon, we knew there’s a good option of an affordable fixed price lunch. The set menu named “Discover Herbert Samuel” includes five courses which we took along with a “regular” Friday lunch set menu.

Eggplant and Tulum Cheese

Eggplant and Tulum Cheese

Throughout the lunch we felt the food was good. We can’t say anything bad about it, really. It’s just that there was very little special about it and most of the food can be found at the same quality in a handful of places around town.

Chopped Raw Grouper and Tuna

Chopped Raw Grouper and Tuna

Take the eggplant and Tulum cheese starter for example. Yes, Tulum cheese gives a nice kick to a light starter. Even though, the Baladi Eggplant is such a boring starter that every restaurant in Tel Aviv serves that event the cheese couldn’t wow us in any way. The other starter, chopped raw Grouper and Tuna fish on top of eggplant cream, was better and had very delicate flavors, but again it was nothing special.

Soup of Jerusalem Artichoke, Chestnuts and Truffles

Soup of Jerusalem Artichoke, Chestnuts and Truffles

Things became way better when a foamy soup of Jerusalem Artichoke, chestnuts and Truffles arrived to the table. The surprisingly large dish was exactly what you would expect from a chef restaurant – original, bold and simply excellent, and emphasized the disappointment of the rest of the lunch.

“Torn” Pasta with Crystal Shrimps

“Torn” Pasta with Crystal Shrimps

Seared Grouper Fish

Seared Grouper Fish

A “torn” pasta with Crystal Shrimps had some nice fresh zucchinis and tomatoes but was a little blend and didn’t exposed the quality of the Shrimps, which was a shame. Together came a seared Grouper fish that was cooked great, but was accompanied with a zucchini and garlic paste which lacked flavors and didn’t suit the fish at all.

Lamb Chops

Lamb Chops

The next two dishes came as we started to feel a bit full yet still looking for some fine courses. Again, it was just lacked a bit. A course of Lamb chops was OK but way (way) below the great Lamb Chops at Haim Cohen, while what was labeled as “Chopped Rib-Eye Steak” turned out to be just a burger. Luckily this burger was very good and was accompanied with a very tasty red wine sauce.

Chopped Rib-Eye Steak

Chopped Rib-Eye Steak

The dessert was a joy to the eyes and the palate. A Pistachio ice-cream and fresh chopped tropical fruits accompanied with Mascarpone sauce filled Baklavas and Pistachio was a very cheerful and refreshing dish.

A Pistachio ice-cream and fresh chopped tropical fruits

A Pistachio ice-cream and fresh chopped tropical fruits

Herbert Samuel might be the tourist culinary showcase of Tel Aviv and Israel. The food is good, we can’t say it isn’t. Even though, as a gourmet dining choice it is definitely not the best one.

Note: only days later we discovered the restaurant billed us for a bread basket brought to the table while it was never mentioned nor they asked us if we would like it.

The Check Please (2 people)

Bread – 19 NIS
Friday Set Lunch – 88 NIS
Discover Herbert Samuel – 160 NIS
Pepsi X2 – 24 NIS
Soda Water X2 – 20 NIS
Pistachio Dessert – 42 NIS

All in all: 420 NIS

Summary

Food: Chef Restaurant

Price: Very Expensive (though an affordable Friday Lunch)
Location: Hayarkon Boardwalk

The Cizer Kobrinsky Scale

3 Forks

 

Contact details: Herbert Samuel

Address: 6 Koifman st. Tel Aviv | Phone: 035166516

The hottest spot in Tel Aviv – Café Europe

25 Aug

This week we had a date with Yael and Yoni at the (currently) trendiest place in Tel Aviv – Café Europe. In Tel Aviv, where new restaurants open on a daily bases, every new restaurant has its 15 minutes of fame and since their lifetime is so short one should use it wisely. If last summer it was the Mizlala, this year (not very far away by the way), on the trendy Rothschild Street, it is Café Europe turn.

The trendiest place in Tel Aviv – Café Europe

The trendiest place in Tel Aviv – Café Europe

When I say trendy I mean that anyone who is “someone”, should find himself drinking wine on their bar. It also means that three days before our meeting, when Yael called to make reservations the hostess “did us a favor” and “pushed” us between 21:15 to 23:15 (Gee, thanks). And it basically means that they can over-charge for anything (scroll down to the menu or stay tuned). Oh and yes, they don’t have an online menu so you won’t know that in advance.

Lamb Tortellini

Lamb Tortellini

The menu is divided to 3 sections. One would expect that the graphical division will hint for the difference between the dishes size (Or their role in the dinner) – appetizer, starters and main courses. But it didn’t. Café Europe does not have any real “large” size courses. All of them are between tiny and medium (if you are lucky) and I’m saying it while taking the dish price under consideration. Take the Lamb tortellini with dry fruits “main course” for example that contains five tortellinis and cost 69 NIS. It was a good dish but way too small to share. But first things firsts, let’s go back to the starters.

Tomatoes salad that every restaurant in Tel- Aviv must have

Tomatoes salad that every restaurant in Tel- Aviv must have

Dreams about Thailand - Shrimps Cutlet

Dreams about Thailand – Shrimps Cutlet

The tomatoes-salad-that-every-restaurant-in-Tel-Aviv-must-have was executed as expected – several types of tomatoes, some grilled and some fresh, with a lot of garlic and goat cheese. It was good as the opening dish. Another dish we took was described on the menu as “Shrimps Cutlet, coconut milk and dreams about Thailand”. Well, they were right. In 3 weeks from now we will leave on a jet plane for a short vacation in the land of shakes and Pad Thai.  Until now, the longing was repressed. After eating this dish (and the Seafood plate later) – we cannot wait anymore. Thailand, here we come!

Polenta

Polenta

Back to the table in the humid Tel Aviv – We took to additional starters that were on the specials board –“Polenta with asparagus” and “Labneh, Matbuha and Red Mullets”. Both of them were good and tasty.  The Polenta was yet another very little dish. The Fish were fried and had a deep “sea” taste which Yoni didn’t like but we found as good.

Labneh, Matbuha and Red Mullets

Labneh, Matbuha and Red Mullets

Hanger steak

Hanger steak

While we were still eating the fish Yael mentioned she was pleased with the timing of the dished arrived to our table. At that exact moment, Shahar’s main dish had arrived to the table, too early to its time in the game. The waitress accused the kitchen for the mistake but took no responsibility for the failure. Shahar took the Hanger steak and while he was eating his dish we were towards the end of the starts. The Hanger Steak itself was very nicely cooked, medium-rare in the inside while still burned and crunchy on the outside.

Seafood Plate

Seafood Plate

For the so-called-main-course I took the seafood plate that I have already mentioned. I think it was the most surprising dish in the dinner. I wasn’t expecting to have more Thai tastes in this meal and this was a good surprise alongside with a crab that I managed to eat without making a mess on my shirt. Yael took that tiny tortellini dish and Yoni took Meatballs in Pita Bread. According to Yoni, the Pita wasn’t fresh and contained too much onion.  Judging according to the leftovers, it wasn’t as good as he expected.

Meatballs in Pita

Meatballs in Pita

We ended our dinner with Savarin cake (Rum baba) which was nice and a bit retro in my opinion.

Savarin cake

Savarin cake

When we got the bill we thought it was a good dinner but it did not justify the price. On our previous post was about Elba, we had pretty much the same amount of dishes and paid equal price to the one at Café Europe. However, we could not escape the feeling the Elba was much more value for money, in the dish size perspective as well as taste. Nevertheless, at the end of the day we are all fashion victims. We meet at Café Europe because we wanted to know what everyone is talking about. Café Europe is just using their 15 minutes of fame.

The Check Please (4 people)

Bread – 13 NIS
Red Mullets with Matbuha – 45 NIS
Polenta – 32 NIS
Tomatoes salad – 43 NIS
Shrimps Cutlet – 42NIS
Seafood plate – 89 NIS
Hanger steak – 85NIS
Lamb Tortellini – 69 NIS
Meatballs Pita – 49NIS
Savarin cake – 32NIS
Coke – 12 NI
Diet Coke – 12 NIS
Traminer Wine – 168 NIS
Stela – 26NIS

All in all: 743 NIS

Summary

Food: Mediterranean (Were was Europe during this dinner?)
Price: Very expensive
Location: Rotchield street

The Cizer Kobrinsky Scale

3.5 Forks

 

Contact details: Café Europe

Address: 9 Rothschild street | Phone: 03-5259987 | Online menu not available

An Island – Elba

29 Jul

Once every few months, a new restaurant opens in Tel Aviv creates a massive buzz around it, with promising chef, some fine reviews and intensive PR. Elba, opened just a few months ago has created just that. It helped that Elba was founded at the floor of one of the new meant-for-rich 20 stories at the corner of Ibn-Gabirol and Shaul Hamelech.

Looking at Elba from the outside it does reminds an island (Elba is an Island in Tuscany, Italy), and not necessarily in a good way. Ibn Gabirol is somewhat a hectic street and the large glass windows showing the white table cloths make it feel almost as an aquarium. But on the other hand, this whole tower is some kind of an unrelated island in the middle of the City. Maybe the outside seating planned soon would combine Elba with the street a bit more.

Roasted Bread and Adyghe Cheese Salad

Roasted Bread and Adyghe Cheese Salad

In a way Elba’s food seems also as a unique scene in the city. It’s not that it is extremely original as it simply manages to step out of the city’s trendy-but-boring dishes. Take the roasted bread and Adyghe cheese salad. It is very easy to go with types of tomatoes as many other restaurants would do. Elba has decided to put white and greed asparagus with it, which along with the unique cheese gave it great crunchiness. Perfect.

Pickled Mackerels with White Wine and Avocado

Pickled Mackerels with White Wine and Avocado

Calamari Bruschetta with Mustard Leaves and Salicornia

Calamari Bruschetta with Mustard Leaves and Salicornia

Pickled Mackerels with white wine and avocado, as well as Calamari bruschetta with mustard leaves and Salicornia were both unique dishes but ones that did not rise above OK. One would still appreciate the originality and fearlessness of choosing such dishes for the menu. The Calamari a la plancha, was unfortunately slightly disappointing, especially after the other starters.

Calamari a la plancha

Calamari a la plancha

Even though, we didn’t stay disappointed for much long as the main courses soon arrived. A Seabass on top of tomato cream sauce with semolina and roasted green onions was executed perfectly. Eating that dish with a spoon, absorbing the sauce in the semolina that, in its turn suited well with the fish, was exceptional and showed what can be done with simple ingredients.

Seabass on top of Tomato Cream Sauce with Semolina and Roasted Green Onions

Seabass on top of Tomato Cream Sauce with Semolina and Roasted Green Onions

The other main courses were not far behind as well. A burnt Tuna steak with lemon vinaigrette and Kale salad was dreamy. The Tuna was bloody red inside and quite thick, which made it feel as a real fleshy steak, while the sauce had great sour taste in it (though one needs to like lemony sauce). Another dish of fried Sweetbreads with Zucchini pure was extremely “corrupting” and fatty and reminded me how much I like sweetbreads.

Burnt Tuna Steak with Lemon Vinaigrette and Kale salad

Burnt Tuna Steak with Lemon Vinaigrette and Kale salad

Fried Sweetbreads with Zucchini Pure

Fried Sweetbreads with Zucchini Pure

Two heavenly desserts of sweet & bitter oranges with coconut ice cream and Panacotta with watermelon ice cream concluded a great dinner we would definitely remember.

Two heavenly desserts

Two heavenly desserts

The Check Please (4 people)

Bread – 13 NIS
Water – 13 NIS
Calamari a la plancha – 47 NIS
Calamari Bruschetta – 45 NIS
Pickled Mackerels – 57 NIS
Roasted Bread Salad – 53 NIS
Burnt Tuna Steak – 95 NIS
Seabass – 93 NIS
Sweetbreads – 77 NIS
Sancerre whine (bottle) – 160 NIS
Panacotta – 37 NIS
Sweet & Bitter oranges – 37 NIS

All in all – 727 NIS

Summary:

Food: Mediterranean
Price: Expensive
Location: Ibn Gabirol / Shaul Hamelech

The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale:

4.5 Forks

Contact Details: Elba
Address:  36 Ibn Gabirol st. Tel Aviv | Phone: 03-5467905 |
Daily (currently evenings only) |
no webpage

Saturday Sushi – Sushi Bar Bazel

2 Jul

Update July 2013: The place is closed.

Getting crave to fishes @the see with our underwater camera

Getting crave to fishes @the see with our underwater camera

Every year, when the spring is in the air, we are getting re-addicted to the beach. And every time we return from the beach we have a strong crave for fish…  This time we were in a bit of a hurry so we decided to go for a quick sushi meal in Sushi Bar Bazel.

One time Adi told us that Tel Aviv has one of the highest ratio of Sushi places per resident in the world. Some of them are exceptional, some of them are good and some of them are bad. Sushi Bazel is somewhere on the middle of the scale – good with reasonable (a bit high) prices.

Quiz: Which of these salads is tasteless

Quiz: Which of these salads is tasteless

We started with two salads – Tuna salad & Wakame salad. The Tuna salad was actually pieces of Tuna fish with a good sauce.  The Wakama was just tasteless.

Inside-Out Tuna Avocado

Inside-Out Tuna Avocado

Inbar took inside-out tuna avocado sushi role – 6 piece role, exactly what you would expect, nothing less nothing more. Shahar had to wait until we finish eating to get his main course – Toro Skewer – one of the day’s specials, which was actually a fine Tuna Skewer. We waited so long for the skeweer, that the waitress volunteered to give us the dish on the house. Shahar thought it was worth waiting because he really liked its taste.

Tuna Skewer – Worth waiting

Tuna Skewer – Worth waiting

All in all Bazel is a nice place for by-the-way sushi, nothing fancy.

The Check Please (2 persons)

Wakame Salad – 21 NIS
Tuna Salad – 45 NIS
Inside-out Tuna Avocado – 27NIS
Toro Skewer – 0 NIS (On the house)
Soda water – 11 NIS
Coca – 12NIS

All in all – 115 NIS

Summary:

Food: Sushi and more
Price: Medium-Expensive
Location: Bazel

The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale:

3.5 Forks

Contact Details: Sushi Bar Bazel

Address:  20 Ashtori Haparchi, Tel Aviv|
Phone:  057-9442906 | Daily 12:00-00:00 |
http://www.rest.co.il/RecordPage.aspx?RestID=1383

The Jaffa Escape – Yona

9 Apr

Some things seem simply inevitable. The sun will rise up in the morning; Messi will score in the next Barca match; A new restaurant with a lot of buzz, a predictable name and a perfect location will succeed. At least it was our assumption when we headed at another Thursday night to the new hot name at the vibrant Jaffa Port area – Yona (or Jonah).

Yona

Yona

Yona’s atmosphere is pretty cool. The combination between wooden furniture, high ceiling and the open kitchen creates a setting which you can’t ignore – some kind of urban-yet-welcoming feeling. Even though, we felt it a bit too processed and trying too hard to impress. But hey – it wasn’t as bad as the food.

Taboun Grilled Tomato salad & Haloumi Terracota

Taboun Grilled Tomato salad & Haloumi Terracota

The starter we took was at least an attempt to create an original dish. The tomato salad Terracota and melting Halloumi cheese (cooked in the Taboun) isn’t something you’d normally see in a restaurant’s menu, but it lacked any real soul in it. The tomato salad was nothing more than a few chopped tomatoes without any kicking flavor. Too bad for the Halloumi, which definitely saw some better dishes next to it.

Bouillabaisse soup

Bouillabaisse soup

The two main courses we took were a different story altogether – some kind of a horror story. Bouillabaisse soup is one of our all-time favorite sea food dishes. When the chef knows what he is doing, it can be marvelous (we recommend the neighboring Container for this one).  Unfortunately this one was lousy. The soup was served separated from the seafood (why? It is best to cook them together), which made the soup itself simply tasteless. The mediocre fish, as well as the mussels and the shrimps seemed as they don’t understand what had been poured on them as Inbar combined the two.

Hanger Steak Medallions

Hanger Steak Medallions

The other main course could have been a rescue for the dinner. The Hanger Steak medallions we ordered felt they had taken care of by someone who understands how to pick beef. Unfortunately, the dish, served along some tired Chard leaves, was simply cold. After asking for another round of heating for the beef we got it again. Cold. At this point there was no hope for the beef after taken out twice out of the pan. While waiting for it, at least we had some very successful oven potatoes that kept us from starving.

Oven Baked Potatoes - Kept us from starving

Oven Baked Potatoes - Kept us from starving

After that experience, we have decided we will act as the Hebrew prophet and flee outside to the beautiful Jaffa Port. Though it seems the restaurant is a success in terms of occupancy, it should definitely have deep thoughts about its chefs.

The Check Please (2 people)

Taboun Grilled Tomato salad & Haloumi Terracota – 32 NIS
Bouillabaisse soup – 99 NIS
Hanger Steak Medallions – 79 NIS
Oven Baked Potatoes – 14 NIS
Guinness 1/3 lt – 22 NIS
Weinsteffen 1/3 lt – 22 NIS
Perrier – 8 NIS

All in all: 276 NIS

Summary:

Food: Seafood & Taboun grilled food
Price: Medium-Expensive
Location: Jaffa Port

The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale:

1.5 Forks

Contact Details: Yona (Jonah)
Address:  Hangar 1, Jaffa Port, Jaffa| Phone: 03-7742222 |
Daily 12:00-24:00
http://www.yona.be/en/

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