Tag Archives: Jaffa Port

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’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


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


New House, Old Food – Casa Nova

3 Dec

Rainy Friday noon in Jaffa in amazing arched building – we set a brunch in a ceviche place named Casa Nova, or as the sign say “Cevicheria”. The place tells about itself that their specialty is new Latin food.  Sounds premising in theory, but in practice… well, read this post and decide for yourself.


Inbar took the Mixto – mix of Fish, Shrimps, Calamari and Mussels in lime, red onion and coriander in chili cream, which was probably the highlight of the meal – a nice and fresh sea salad. Shahar took Escabeche –Fish “a la plancha” in vinegar of onion and pepper served on top of avocado crème. The fish was soaked in vinegar for too long which caused it to be very sour and not so tasty. Adi took Calentado, rice with black beans and tomato sauce topped with egg, sunny side up style, and mullet fish fillet. The rice was undercooked, the egg came in a different plate (they forgot to serve it…) and the fish seemed to come from a different story (although Adi thought it was nicely cooked).

Escabeche - The fish was soaked in vinegar for too long

Calentado - fish from a different story

We have also shared Remolacha & Almojabanas. Remolacha is a beet salad that was served with carrots, coriander seeds and Manchego cheese. The salad wasn’t special but it was good due to the fine cheese that supplied that needed edge.  Almojabanas are scones of corn and cheese that were quite unique and suited the salad.

Remolacha - Beet Salad

Almojabanas - scones of corn and cheese

We were also served a complimentary dish (that was charged by mistake) – Choritos – Mussels and shells with salsa of red onion and tomatoes. The dish was small and the mussels felt as they were taken out of freezer.


To sum up the experience – the setting is amazing and you can have some wonderful sea view but the food is somewhat disappointing.  If you’re just looking for an outstanding sea view – go for it, just don’t expect outstanding food.

The Check Please (3 people)

Calentado – 74NIS
Escabeche – 39NIS
Almojabanas – 28NIS
Remolacha – 21NIS
Mixto – 40NIS
Cava Brut – 48NIS
Mineral water – 14NIS
Choritos – 28NIS

All in all: 264NIS


Food: Sea food / Latin
Price: High
Location: Jaffa port

The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale:

3 Forks

Contact Details: Casa Nova

Address:  Ratzif Haalya Hashnia 48, Jaffa port| Phone: 03-5413636

Beautiful Greek Eyes in Jaffa – Kalamata

11 Jun

In the south west of Greece, at the head of the Messenian Gulf, is where the beach city of Kalamata is located. Well known for its excellent Kalamata olives and olive oil, Kalamata got its name through the Greek phrase Kala Matia – Beautiful Eyes. The exact name suits perfectly to the new restaurant located at the Kdumim Square right on top of the gorgeous Jaffa Port.

View of the Jaffa port

Kalamata restaurant is designed to look like the traditional Greek stone made, whitewashed houses. It also supplies the best possible view of the Jaffa port (we suggest you pre-book the tables by the windows). Sitting there, enjoying the wonderful breeze of a Saturday afternoon, we were just hoping the food will be a match to the setting. And oh, it did.

Roasted Beets Salad

It started off with Roasted Beets Salad. The salad, which combines beets on the “plancha” along with many herbs such as Mint leaves, Basil, Coriander and Parsley, was definitely one of the best we ever had. Its sweet seasoning together with the fresh herbs gave it a super refreshing taste. Roman Style Artichoke dish kept the bar way up high. Grilled Italian artichokes lay on a ceramic bowl together with roasted peppers and cream cheese and were fantastic.

Roman Style Artichoke

Looking at the view from time to time, we continued our happy Mediterranean meal with a dish of Shrimps in Ouzo. Set again in an authentic ceramic plate, the Ouzo was a great alcoholic kick to the well cooked Shrimps. Another delicious dish was Shredded Black Pasta with Mussels, Calamari and Chili. We literally licked our fingers.

Shrimps in Ouzo

After this experience we couldn’t help ourselves but ordering a dessert as well. Though Arabic and not Greek at all, we took the homemade Kanafeh that was tasty as well.

Heading outside to the beautiful square, we really felt abroad. Kalamata is definitely a perfect place to stop and have a meal during your stroll in the Jaffa Port and Boardwalk area.

The check please (2 people)

Roasted Beets Salad – 28 NIS
Roman Artichoke – 28 NIS
Shrimps in Ouzo – 44 NIS
Shredded Black Pasta with Seafood – 68 NIS
Kenafeh – 26 NIS
Coke – 12 NIS
Soda Water – 10 NIS

All in all: 216 NIS

The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale:

4.5 Forks


Food:  Mediterranean
Price:  Medium
Location: Jaffa Old city

Contact details: Kalamata

Address:  10 Kdumim Square, Jaffa | 03-6819998|
Opening Hours:  Monday-Saturday 12:00-01:00 Sunday 18:00-01:00 |
http://www.kalamata.co.il/ (no English)

Falling in Love – The Container

11 Mar


Some people in Israel hate saint Valentine, simply because of what happens on his day across all restaurants. Valentine’s Day is another day (together with New Year’s) when restaurants apply over-priced special menus. While this is a money milking cow, it still is an opportunity to have a special dinner. After many recommendations about the place, we decided to have our Valentine’s Day dinner at the Container.

The Bar

The Container, defined as a restaurant, bar, art space and a music lounge, is located inside an old hangar, at the heart of Jaffa port, one of the oldest ports in the world that was once the main port in the land of Israel. Right there, just besides the boats with a beautiful view, lies the Container. And this is just the outside.

Wine & Bread

When you go inside, large glass windows shows you this marvelous view, a high tin ceiling and warehouse walls gives you  a true authentic feeling, an extremely large bar allows you to sit where everything happens and a huge wood oven warms the whole space, just in the right way.

The Salads

Though we had an option to take the special tasting menu, just for that night, we decided to stick with the a la carte. Jerusalem & Italian Artichokes salad with truffle mushrooms was heaven for us, artichoke lovers. It was crunchy and fresh and had a great taste of artichokes. Grilled Calamari Salad with black lentils was no less than perfect, as the Calamari had a great grilled taste and the lentils were a great match to it. To conclude the starters we took a plain simple green salad which surprised us for the good. The combination of fresh roman lettuce, genuine Parmesan cheese and from-the-bottom-of-the-heart seasoning was excellent.

Grilled Calamari Salad

After a short break, in which we had some red wine (Bouchard Père & Fils – Beaune du Château) we bought earlier and took with us, we continued to the entrées. Sea bass fish a la plancha, with smoked potato (from that oven) was quite a good dish. The fish was nice and tender and the potatoes were nothing like we ever tasted, as one could clearly taste the scent and flavor of the oven.

Sea bass fish a la plancha

Chraime, a dish originated from the Libyan Judaism and is general referred to a fish in hot peppers sauce, was the highlight of the dinner. The tasty grey Mullet fish was hidden in a rich, inviting chipotle pepper sauce, along with black olives and “lost bread” which came from the same oven and was latter used to clean up the sauce leftovers.


Being a little intoxicated from the wine, we decided to skip deserts and head back home. The lovely Jaffa port and the Container have given us the feeling we wanted on that evening and we would definitely go back.

Intoxicated from the wine...

The check please (2 people)

Artichokes Salad – 49 NIS
Calamari Salad – 55 NIS
Green Salad – 33 NIS
Sea Bass a la plancha – 88 NIS
Chraime – 76 NIS
Corkage fee -50 NIS

All in all: 351 NIS

The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale:

5 Forks


Food:  Fish & Seafood
Price:  Expensive
Location: Jaffa Port

Contact details: The Container
Address:  Warehouse #2, Jaffa Port | Phone: 03-6836321 |
Opening Hours:  Sunday- Thursday 12:00-late | Friday-Saturday 10:00-late

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