Tag Archives: Tapas

Tengo Hambre: The Spanish Experience

10 Nov

Two years ago Shahar and I visited Madrid for a private vacation just before I started to work for Microsoft.  As food lovers we searched for places to eat and as usual we were looking for the locals recommendations instead of the touristic places. At that visit we came across a blog of a Spanish guy from Madrid that wrote English recommendations about the Spanish restaurants. In that trip we have realized we should write such a blog about Tel Aviv. My current trip, which was a business trip, was some kind of a closure as I visited the city in which the blog was founded from.

Thanks to my Spanish guide Hector, and some wondering around the streets I have tested again the wonderful tastes of Madrid.

Mercado de San Miguel
I admit, this is a very touristic place and it seems that the locals don’t really go there. Nevertheless it was very nice experience of colors, tastes and sounds.  I even discovered over there that Sea Urchin is something people actually eat.

Mercado de San Miguel

Mercado de San Miguel

Mercado de San Miguel

Mercado de San Miguel

Bazaar Restaurant

Very ‘value for money’ place. You can’t book a place in advanced so we came there, registered and went to drink a beer in the Chueca barrio. At the restaurant itself I took a Burger that was a bit dry in my opinion but overall it was a good lunch. Very good Cheese Cake.
http://www.restaurantbazaar.com

Bazaar

Bazaar

El Zagal
To this place I arrived just because it was very close to my hotel. I had a traditional dish of Octopus with Potatoes and Paprika (Pulpo Gallego).
http://madrid.salir.com/cerveceria_restaurante_el_zagal

El Zagal

El Zagal

Taberna Txacolina
I have asked Hector for a tapas and beer tour in all the cool places, so he took me to Calle de la Cava Baja in La Latina. We were in a few places and the one I liked the best was Txacolina. The place had good vibe and quite big tapas.
http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g187514-d1942497-Reviews-Taberna_Txacolina-Madrid.html

Txacolina

Txacolina

Txacolina

Txacolina

With Hector at Txacolina

With Hector at Txacolina

La Gloria Montera
Another place by the owners of the Bazar restaurant. Overall i think it was also value for money as I payed 21 EUR for a good Salad, Entrecote Steak and wine. I drank the wine by myself, wishing Shahar was there to share the experience with me.
http://www.lagloriademontera.com/

Malatesta
I have arrived here by chance. I was walking around the streets looking for something to eat and I was already a bit tired from all the deep fried food. Then I have noticed this small and cute place and I knew right away this is the place for me. It was a bit expensive but definitely worth it. The pasta was great and I finally had a real salad with fresh vegetables
http://trattoriamalatesta.com

Malatesta

Malatesta

Orio Fuencarral
I went there on our night out with all the Spanish guys and the people from the training. In my opining the tapas there were over-fried. I mean why everything should be deep fried? And when I’m saying everything I mean that even the oysters were fried.
http://www.oriogastronomiavasca.com/

Orio Fuencarral

Orio Fuencarral

Tempranillo
My biggest challenge in Madrid was going by myself to a tapas bar, push people in order to get to the bar and then to ask for food in Spanish. On my last night in Madrid I decided I will do it no matter what. I went back to Cava Baja and found Tempranillo. It wasn’t easy for me but I found myself at the bar asking for “Jamon Serrano con pan tomate y vino tinto” and afterwards I was able to ask for 2 or 3 more tapas by myself from the Spanish menu. That was a joy! And the food was very good as well.
http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g187514-d990681-Reviews-Tempranillo-Madrid.html

Tempranillo

Tempranillo

Tempranillo

Tempranillo

Santiago Bernabeu
Yes I know, this is a food blog not sports. Nevertheless one cannot miss mentioning that he (or she) was at a game of Real Madrid in the Santiago Bernabeu. Absolutely amazing experience that does not remind the Israeli football in any way.

Real Madrid

Real Madrid

Los Campeones – La Champa Del Mar

9 Jul

Update July 2013: The place is closed.

Yes we know we’re reviewing another Tapas place. We can’t help but to surrender the love for the little Spanish dishes. Unlike many imitations, La Champa Del Mar, located at the restaurants and business area of Ha’arbaa Street, is the real Tapas (and Cava) deal. The Barcelona football club flag, hanged on the rear of the bar, keeps it no secret that the place is focusing on the fabulous Catalan kitchen, the menu written on chalkboard on top of the bar, as well as the rustic wood setting, provides a nice homely feeling.

At that night, as I (Shahar) promised Eran, one of my friends, we headed out to review the place together. Since we came a little early, the place was empty but we didn’t mind so much. The ordering in La Champa Del Mar is done from the bar itself as a true Catalan Tapas place. The sausages hanging just besides the Barca scarf seemed inviting as well.

The Menu

In order to enjoy the food just a little more, we ordered a bottle of Semi Seco Cava (note that Cava is the only alcohol available). For the Culinary part, Eran ordered Hamburguesa with Emmental cheese, which was very good according to him. A dish of Calamari a la plancha, was a little ambiguous. Although the Calamari itself were very good, the sauce of our choice – glazed orange peel – didn’t fit the Calamari at all and overshadowed the taste of the Calamari.

Semi Seco Cava

However a similar dish of Shrimps a la plancha with a different sauce – “Spicy Español” (Chipotle Barbecue) – was a whole different story. The shrimps were grilled perfectly and the sauce was amazing. Another successful Tapas dish was the Morcilla – Spanish blood sausage. The sausage, served on top of baguette slices, was spicy and full of taste.

Calamari a la Plancha

Since we were still a little hungry, we also took a plate of Roquefort Cheese and Cured Spanish, Both excellent and emphasized the fact that La Champa del Mar is using the finest ingredients (Surprisingly now I see we weren’t charged for it). A dessert of “Champa-Jores”, a variation on the Argentinean Alfajores, Ended the evening with a good sweet note. Hopefully other people will figure out the fine character of La Champa so it won’t fade out.

Shrimps a la Plancha & Hamburguesa

The check please (2 people)

Shrimps a la plancha, Spicy Español – 34 NIS
Calamari a la plancha, Glazed Naranja – 34 NIS
Hanmburguesa (w/ Emmental) – 23 NIS
Morcilla – 25 NIS
Champajores – 14 NIS
Selection of Cured Hams & Roquefort cheese (not charged)
Semi Seco Cava – 69 NIS

All in all: 199 NIS

The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale: 

3.5 Forks

Summary:

Food:  Spanish – Catalan
Price:  Medium-Expensive
Location: Ha’arbaa

Contact details: La Champa Del Mar
Address:  16 Ha’arbaa Street,Tel Aviv | 03-5610630

Fashion Victim – Montefiore 7

25 Jun

Update July 2013: The place is closed.

Montefiore 7 Bar

The latest trend on town in the restaurant scene is the market restaurants that are opening up like mushrooms after the rain (which in this year was extended more than expected). As Adi offered to celebrate my birthday I chose to go after the trend and try one of the new market places – Montefiore 7.

Spicy Lemon Spread & Za’atar

Montefiore 7 (Sheva, in Hebrew), deli and restaurant, is surprisingly located at 7th Montefiore Street, the street that hosts at least two more places that adopted the street name when came to choose their names (Hotel Montefiore, Yavne-Montefiore). While riding Adi’s motorbike I was hoping that the place’s name does not indicate its (lack of) uniqueness.

When entering the well-designed market-oriented restaurant, I couldn’t help wondering whether I have been in the place before. And I did – I was in Machnea Yehuda, Tapas in the Port, Tapas 1 Haam, Cordovero and so on. Montefiore 7 is not different from all others.

We set on the bar and started with a bottle of Gewurztraminer wine and only then we were ready to order. We were served a complimentary paper bag, which luckily included white bread along with spicy lemon spread & Za’atar.

When coming to choose from the menu we couldn’t notice that it uses a lot of Hebrew terms that reminded us the terms of Eyal Shani in general and North Abraxas specifically. Nevertheless, we did not give up and ordered from the deli’s goods and from the restaurant menu, which changes on a daily bases and depends on the market supply.

Rump Carpaccio

We shared a Cold Sirloin, pickled in seven spices, served in a small plate and a farmer’s tomato salad – a salad that combines different kinds of tomatoes, red onion, garlic, spicy pepper, radish, black olives and Bryndza cheese. The fresh tomatoes salad, another hot trend in Tel Aviv, was served with small burned Pita bread, which added a different twist to the known dish.

Tomato Salad

For the main courses, although all served together, Adi took Rump Carpaccio while I took Purple Calamari served on top of yogurt and black pees salad. The Calamari was a bit stiff for me, but all in all it was a nice dish. The Rump Carpaccio was an average (but quite good) Carpaccio dish.

Malabi

For dessert we took Malabi, a small tasty dessert that was served in a mini jar alongside with pear jam.

When coming to summarize our visit I must say that although the place was not very unique, it was good, after all we are all fashion victims.

The check please (2 people)

Blue Nan Gewurztraminer (Bottle) – 98NIS
Pickled Sirloin in seven spices – 22NIS
Farmer’s Tomatoes Salad – 28NIS
Rump Carpaccio – 32NIS
Purple Calamari – 39NIS
Malabi – 28NIS

All in all: 247NIS

The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale:

3.5 Forks

 

Summary:

Food: Market food
Price:  Medium
Location: Montefiore / Hertzel

Contact details: Montefiore 7
Address: 7th Montefiore St., Tel Aviv| 03-5100094 |
Opening Hours:  Sunday – Thursday 12:00-01:00, Friday- Saturday 09:00-01:00
No webpage

Memories From Madrid – Tapas in the Market

14 May

Update July 2013: The place is closed, a new place by Eyal Lavie was open instead.

A while ago, we decided to check the Tapas restaurant by the Yarazin brothers, owners of some of the most successful restaurants in town, Tapas in the market. Located at the new indoor market on Tel Aviv’s port, Tapas in the market offers sea and market view all together and promises to bring Spain to your plate.

Tapas in the Market

At our evening visit, though the market was already closed, we sat down with a lust for some good Tapas. We took some cold plates: Fennel Salad, pickled Sardines and crude Amberjack alongside some hot plates: Calamari “A la plancha” and Artichoke topped with breadcrumbs. Without any exceptions all of the Tapas were excellent, fresh and tasty. The open kitchen added to the atmosphere and reminded us the “Mercado de San Miguel” located in Madrid.

Fennel Salad

Calamari “A la plancha”

Crude Amberjack and Pickled Sardines

The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale: 

4 Forks


Summary:

Food:  Tapas
Price:  Medium
Location: Tel Aviv Port

Contact details: Tapas in the Market
Address:  Indoor Food Market, Tel Aviv Port, Tel Aviv | 03-7162757|
Opening Hours:  Monday-Thursday 08:00-00:00 Friday 08:00-17:00 Saturday 08:00-19:00  |

The Slippery Slope of Quality – Frida Kahlo (Updated)

7 Mar

Update July 2013: The place is closed.

A while ago we reviewed Frida Kahlo and we were quite satisfied with the dinner. Short while ago, after we have published our review, one of the Israeli coupons sites, Grouper, had publish a deal with the restaurant. Buy a 60 NIS coupon and get a 120 NIS meal. Since we liked the place we did not think twice and bought the coupon.

This time, the experience was so bad we that our moral obligation, to our readers, made us come back home and write this post.

We took the Plata de Mariscos, formally known as the best course from the previous visit – this time the seafood seemed to be forgotten on the grill while the cauliflower and sheep cheese mousse were tasteless. Other than this course, we took four new courses we did not try up until that dinner – Ensalada de Frida, Calamari & Shrimps Masabcha,  Elior’s ceviche & pickled rump steak. None of these dishes was at the level of taste we had in the last visit – we did not like any of them, therefore we are not specifying much about them.

While eating in order to be full and not in the name of enjoying the food, we agreed that the participation of Frida Kahlo in such deals and discounts took it down the slippery slope with regards to food quality. Unfortunately, because of the bad experience, though we did like the place in past visits, we shall not be back to Frida Kahlo again.

The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale:

1.5 Forks

 

A Taste of Spain – Tapas 1 Haam

5 Mar

Everyone wants to have a vacation from time to time. When, from many reasons, you can’t take one, you compromise to get just the vacation feeling. Getting out to a restaurant that brings another country’s atmosphere will get you somewhere close to that feeling. Tapas 1 (Ahad) Haam is exactly one of those places.

The setting

This Jonathan Rushfeld place, nearby his formerly reviewed “Yavne Montifiore”, was opened about a year and a half ago with a major emphasis on the restaurant atmosphere. The beautiful setting include colorful Spanish-style tiles, a classic display of hanging sausages, a wide open kitchen and restaurant goods set on the high tables, where we sat.

Tomato Salad & Shrimps and Calamari

After a bad experience we had in Tapas Ahad Haam around its opening, which included seating in the very end of the place and suffering from a pushy waitress, we decided to have a corrective experience. This time the waitress was very nice and our experience was much better.

Beef Tartar

We were glad to see that the place investment in its atmosphere did not subtract with the food quality. We shared five dishes between us. A Beef Tartar that was far better than the one we reviewed on the Butchery post (while Inbar thought the tartar at the Yavne Montifiore was better). It included quality beef, great sourness and a tasty smoked peppers sauce. The toasts that were served alongside were delicious as well. A dish of grilled Baladi Eggplant with eggplant paste was very good, though not Spanish at all (but rather an Israeli mainstream one).

Baladi Eggplant

A dish of Artichoke hearts on the plancha with goat cheese and oregano was wonderful, fresh and ended too quickly, and so was the Tomato Salad which included few types of cherry tomatoes, hard cheese and a great addition of Za’atar leaves.
Sevillian Shrimps and Calmari, taken from the restaurant specials, was the last dish of the night. The seafood itself was simply amazing. It had a very natural fresh taste and even a too oily sauce didn’t hurt the flavor.

Two glasses of Cava escorted the great experience abroad. Well, at Tapas 1 Haam.

The Check Please (2 people):
2 X Cava – 58 NIS
Baladi Eggplant – 22 NIS
Artichoke Hearts – 31 NIS
Beef Tartar – 28 NIS
Shrimps and Calamari – 44 NIS
Tomato Salad – 34 NIS

All in all: 217 NIS

The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale:

4.5 Forks

Summary:

Food:  Tapas
Price:  Medium-Expensive
Location: Echad Haam / Allenby

Contact details: Tapas 1 (Ahad) Haam
Address:  27 Echad Haam, Tel Aviv | Phone: 03-5666966
Opening Hours:  Sunday-Thursday 18:00-01:00 | Friday-Saturday 12:30-01:00
http://www.rest.co.il/sites/Default.asp?txtRestID=10748 (No English)

Spain was found in Tel Aviv – Tapeo

19 Jan

After a break of about a week, in which we ate only at home, we decided spontaneously to find a restaurant to break the drought. For a while, Shahar wanted to visit Tapeo. The problem is that when you’re spontaneous you won’t find a place at Tapeo bar. We were skeptical – but we tried. We made the call and the hostess told us she has a place on the bar for an hour and a half. We didn’t have doubts – We were on the way.

Cold Dishes Chef

Tapeo define itself as tapas and ceviche bar, and if you are one of our regular readers your already know what we think about Tapas in Israel. Tapeo is no different –this is not Spanish Tapas but it is so good we forgot the criticism. So… After that emotional introduction we can start with the interesting part – the reason we are all here – the food.

Red Drum Ceviche

We were seated in the middle of the bar with a good view on the cold dishes chef and his amazing work. We shared all the courses and ordered them together. We chose to escort this dinner with a half jar of their house white wine. The first course to arrive was the Sirloin Con Tres Pimientas – half-raw meat covered with pepper which was good meat dish. While we were eating, the chef had served us the second dish that he prepared in front of us – Cubes of Red Durm Fish in an herb chimichurri sauce served with grilled eggplant in yogurt-lemon sauce. This was an excellent combination of fresh fish with fresh sauce which made this dish delicious. The next course was Gambas a la Brasa – two prawns on the plancha seasoned with sea-salt. The prawns were in cooked in the desired manner and we enjoyed them very much.

Mejillones Al Ouzo

All these courses were good but they did not prepared us to the next one – this was Mejillones al Ouzo – small iron casserole filled with Mussels in tomato and ouzo sauce. This dish was very good and when the mussels were over we were left with a casserole filled with fantastic sauce. That was a good reason to order their breads – we got two buns & two small Pita breads – all of them hot from the oven – that were used to dip and wipe out the sauce.

We chose to finish this great dinner on the bar with a pistachio Crema Catalan that was served with strawberry and white crème – excellent and refreshing desert.

The check please (2 people)
Half jar of house wine – 70NIS
Sirloin Con Tres Pimientas – 38NIS
Cubes of Red Durm Fish – 38NIS
Gambas a la Brasa – 34NIS
Mejillones al Ouzo – 38NIS
Pan y Tres salsas – 18NIS
Crema Catalan – 28NIS

All in all: 264 NIS

Summary:

Food: Tapas
Price: Medium-Expensive
Location: Ha’Arbaa

The Cizer-Kobrinsky Scale

4.5 Forks

Contact details: Tapeo

Address:  16 Ha’Arbaa Street, Tel Aviv | Phone: 03-6240484|
Opening Hours:  Sun – Sat 18:00– until late.
http://www.rest.co.il/sites/default.asp?txtRestID=5545

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