Tag Archives: Ibn Gabirol

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

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The Blues Brothers – Haachim

13 Nov

Before I’ll start I have to give a proper disclosure. I don’t like the 80’s. There, I said it. Though born in the decade, I always find it somewhat redundant. I was never sympathetic of Gorbachev, East Germany, Boom Boxes, Pac-Man and Big hair style. Oh and Israeli “Middle Eastern” Steakhouses. The Israeli oriental steak house is somewhat an import of an Arabic style of serving with the simplest way of beef cooking – grilled. The 80’s were a blossom for these Middle Eastern restaurants which always included a generous amount of pre-made salads and a medium-level grilled kebabs or skewers.

Haachim - Urban Setting

Since the 80’s, the amount of Eastern restaurants had decreased as more modern kitchens entered the culinary space, though some still survive. Imagine the surprise we had when we saw a new such restaurant opened just now at the heart of Tel Aviv.

“Ha’achim” (The Brothers), located at Ibn Gabirol, is an effort to take the Middle Eastern cuisine and bring it to our times, along with an up-to-date urban setting, cumbersome salads and upgraded types of beef.

Opening Salads

The bunch of salads that came to the table weren’t necessarily better than the common Middle Eastern salads. The Tehini was quite good and the black lentils salad was very nice, but the carrot salad was mediocre, the grapes and onions were too cumbersome for us and the red cabbage and truffles (?!) was simply a weird combination.

Sweetbread Skewer

Having mixed feelings for the salads, we were happy that at least our skewers were not bad at all. A skewer of sweetbread was juicy, very well grilled and generally very good while a Beef Fillet skewer was nice but didn’t stand out.

Beef Fillet Skewer

Skipping the desserts (being afraid as desserts in Middle Eastern restaurants are not usually recommended), we decided that, although “The Brothers” presents a nice value-for-money, the attempt to bring the 80’s to our time didn’t succeed in this case. Though not really comparable, Haj Kahil (or Al Reda in Nazareth) is better suited for those who look for true Middle-Eastern food.

The Check Please (2 people)

2X Salads (including refill) – 44 NIS
Beef Fillet Skewer – 36 NIS
Sweetbread Skewer – 35 NIS
Soda Water – 10 NIS
Nestea (w/ refill) – 13 NIS

All in all: 138 NIS

Summary:

Food: Middle Eastern
Price: Medium
Location: Ibn Gabirol

The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale:

2.5 Forks

Contact Details: The Brothers

Address:  12 Ibn Gabirol, Tel Aviv | Phone: 03-6917171
Opening Hours:  Sunday – Saturday 12:00-Late
http://www.rest.co.il/sites/Default.asp?txtRestID=12031 (No English)

Street Food in Disguise – Hamiznon (The Buffet)

16 Apr

Hamiznon

Recently we have reviewed one of the famous’ Eyal Shai restaurants – North Abraxas, and we were a little disappointed. Even though, a lot of buzz went through the city with the opening of Shani’s new place called Hamiznon (“The Buffet”). On the uprising area of the renovated Habima square, besides a few new places that seem to open up as mushrooms in the winter, Shani opened a place that serves the typical Israeli street food – the Pita bread. The only difference is what he delivers inside. And that is a whole different story.

As I (Shahar) was hungry, I called Tomer and we decided to check out the place. Just as we came by, two stools were vacant on the bar for us. This is the time when you need to be ready as the cashier will ask you how do you want to be called today (“Shrek 2” was the funniest they ran into according to them). As the whole chalked wall menu displays what you can insert into your Pita bread, we took Minute Skirt Steak Pita Bread and Kebab Pita Bread.

Preparing the dishes

As you wait for your dishes to be cooked (and seasoned in front of you), you are welcomed to grab a “row” (the remains of the Pita bread) together with some pickles, Tehini and a wonderful tomato paste.

"Rows" Buffet

Receiving our dishes, we were quite amazed for how Pita bread can taste. The Skirt Steak was perfectly cooked (and that is often very hard), and together with the same tomato sauce, onion, peppers and tehini was a truly delicious dish. The kebab Pita Bread was described by Tomer as excellent as the Kebab itself wasn’t over cooked and felt juicy.

Minute Skirt Steak Pita Bread

As I couldn’t resist myself, I ordered Chicken Liver Pita Bread as well. That too, didn’t drop from the level of the other dishes. Though chicken livers are again, easy to ruin, it simply melted in my mouth.

As we were about the finish our evening, complimentary Vodka chasers were served to us as well as a desert of a “Row” with roasted bananas and chocolate paste – which was a great way to end the evening.

Though many believe the price of Pita bread dishes should not rise from low-end prices, we think that the quality of the ingredients and mainly the wonderful taste of the dishes (as well as the great atmosphere sitting on the bar) justify the prices.

The check please (2 people):
Minute Skirt Steak Pita Bread – 44 NIS
Kebab Pita Bread – 42 NIS
Chicken Livers Pita Bread – 32 NIS
Sodas (X2) – 16 NIS

All in all:  134 NIS

The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale:

4.5 Forks

 Summary:

Food:  Pita Bread with many options
Price:  Medium
Location: Ibn Gabirol and Dizingof

Contact details: Hamiznon
Address:  Ibn Gabirol 21, Tel Aviv | 03-7168977|
Opening Hours:  Sunday – Saturday 12:00-00:00
No Webpage

Hot Dogs with Respect – Frank

28 Mar

Frank

There has been a lot of improvement with the variety of what is considered “comfort food” in Tel Aviv. After a long night out, you’ll get awfully hungry, but you wouldn’t want to have an actual dinner. After a long time when you had a choice between Hummus, Shawarma & Pizza, few other types of food have entered to this niche. The quality sausages of Frank are a very good example.

Zeev Tana, the owner of Frank sausages, has collected the recipes on a trip to Germany and gave this hot chain of fast-but-quality-food a Berlin chic. The three branches serve few types of sausages, including classics like Bratwürste and Frankfurter, and more special like Brat-veal Emental and Chipotle.

Brat-Veal (XL) & Potatoes

As Gal, one of my (Shahar) best friends and a fan of German food, came all the way to Tel Aviv, we took Tomer as well and decided to check what it’s all about. As expected, Gal took the classic Bratwürste, Tomer took the Brat-Veal and I took the Chipotle sausage. Though none of the sausages were among the best we had, and none of them are in the level of sausages in elite places as the Charcuterie, all of them were fleshy, juicy and generally good. The classic German Currywurst sauce, a fresh baguette, over baked potatoes as side and bottled beer gave us the exact German feeling we looked for, and summed up the place as a great value for money comfort food.

Bratwürste Chipotle

The check please (3 people)

Bratwürste (XL) – 25 NIS
Bratwürste Chipotle – 25 NIS
Brat-Veal (XL) – 25 NIS
Brat-Potatoes – 12 NIS
3 Bottles Beers – 54 NIS

All in all: 141 NIS

The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale:

3.5 Forks

Summary:

Food:  Sausages
Price:  Cheap
Location: Ibn Gabirol & Dizingof (2 more branches)

Contact details: Frank
Address:  Ibn Gabirol 23, Tel Aviv | No Phone |
Opening Hours:  Sunday- Saturday 11:30-late
http://franks.co.il/ (no English)

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