Saturday night, Rothschild Boulevards, Omer and I having a long walk around the streets nearby. “What is this place?” I stop in front of a little place in Nachalat Binyamin. It appeared to be a mysterious cool restaurant named “44”. Closed on Saturdays unfortunately. The following week we came back to 44. We found out that it’s a new eclectic restaurant trying to bring together Vietnamese, Italian, French, Thai and then some other cuisines all together. I love Asian cuisine and the lack of real Asian restaurants in Israel kept my expectations of this place high.

I loved the concept and the atmosphere of the place. Small inside space with a semi-open kitchen, bigger outside space which is not overly worked on or decorated. Simple, warm, inviting. I really liked it.

restaurant decor

Only few tables inside, in this warm and cozy space.


The blackboard with tonight’s specials, sitting outside


So simple outside, you could think it’s someone’s back yard for a minute. But there’s something about sitting under this decorated tree and enjoying a quiet and intimate dinner.


The permanent menu divided to small / medium / large dishes and some dishes can go either way (39 NIS – 130 NIS)

The daily specials on the board

The daily specials on the board adds 7 more dishes to the selection with prices ranging from 40 NIS to 100 NIS. 

The atmosphere was perfect: un-pretentious laid back feeling. The concept was promising: small restaurant, changing daily menu, Asian influences, neighborhood kind of place. Now the only thing left to explore was the quality of the food served. We ordered with caution, crossing our fingers that the dishes we’ll get would meet our total positive impression of the place.

bread butter

A plate with fresh bread and green butter free of charge to begin our meal with was definitely a thumbs up.


Our waiter was very helpful with the wine issue. We asked to try the house-wine from the wine list (20 NIS a glass) but it was a really cheap-tasting wine. The wine list didn’t show any other options by the glass, all the rest were bottles but we were suggested to try two other Italian wines from the list that we can have this evening by the glass. We were very pleased with one so we went for two glasses of it. Can’t remember the name unfortunately.

Now for the food:

Sirloin tartar, radish, mint, peanut sauce wrapped in rice sheet (45 NIS)

Visually this dish was a bit sloppy and the sheet of rice paper sitting on top didn’t add anything. The meat was fresh and tasty but under seasoned to my flavor, the sauce was a bit flat and lacked depth. Tasted like meat dipped in peanut butter. We like meat, we like peanut better, but still.

Indonesian peanuts soup, ginger, carrots, sprouts and coriander

Indonesian peanuts soup, ginger, carrots, sprouts and coriander (39 NIS). This dish was weird and definitely a mistake to eat right after the peanut tartar because it was too similar. The bigger problem was that it was too salty and the waiter suggested to take it back and didn’t charge us this dish. This was one of the specials so we were more forgiving.

Fish cakes, Asian spices and Som Tam salad (Thai Green Papaya Salad) (66 NIS). Two different things put together in a plate but not very flattering each other. The salad was okay, the pieces cut too thick. The fish cakes were fresh and crisp. There wasn’t anything surprising or exciting in any of them, nothing memorable as well.

Bánh xèo (sizzling Vietnamese cake), with bacon, shrimp and lettuce with a sweet chilly dip sauce (55 NIS). Interesting dish, tasty and crispy, flavorful bite. The dip sauce was a bit industrial. Good dish overall.

At that point we were still a bit hungry and weren’t sure what to get next. The Pho, Vietnamese soup, in my opinion should be eaten as a meal of itself like a light lunch sometimes. We thought of taking the Bahn Mi but as well it seemed like a sandwich snack more than a restaurant dish and the waiter didn’t recommend it. So we went for the Italian side of the kitchen and took the gnocchi and fish main courses, both in a medium size instead of the big size dish.

Gnocchi “clouds” with mushrooms (48 NIS – 2/3 dish price). The best dish of the meal. It was simple with only some olive oil, herbs and parmesan. Well made and satisfying.

Stripped bass, bak-choy, oyster sauce, served with bean vermicelli noodles with Nam Jin (?) (64 NIS for 2/3 of the dish)

Another unexplained “meeting” between two things in one plate. The noodles were blah and had nothing to do with the fish that was nicely cooked and seasoned. It was so redundant, the fish could do better without it.

To match the different types of kitchens we got so many utensils, it was kinda messy on our table.

Pineapple tarte tatin with sour cream. A very delicious simple ending to the meal. [Thank you Omer for taking this picture]

We also received a ball of their almond ice-cream. Amateurish at best but we could have enjoyed it unless I found a piece of plastic inside. Oops! [Thank you Omer for taking this picture]

For the final note we were served a small digestif, that came with an explanation: the restaurant is named 44 after this liquor which contains 44 cubes of sugar and 44 coffee beans left marinated with orange and vodka for 44 days. We thought it was awful but we were glad to hear they had a story behind the name. [Thank you Omer for taking this picture]

The bill was higher than expected and reached a bit over 400 NIS for the two of us. The reason was that the two glasses of wine were marked as 54 NIS – almost as much as the whole bottle costs but we were not warned about it. A bit annoying but partly our fault for not asking to elaborate on the prices which weren’t written in the wine list.

Also I noticed that this isn’t a fusion restaurant, the matching between the Italian and Asian isn’t really there. placing two things at the same plate doesn’t automatically make it a fusion. We enjoyed the Italian dish the best but also liked some of the Asian parts of the meal.

Overall – we had a great evening, the atmosphere was charming, the service was smiley and welcoming but not too much. The food was not amazing, especially if you consider the high prices of some dishes(66 for the fish cakes, 45 for the tartar and 54 for a glass of nice wine..). When we left I was a bit confused but still think they have a great potential to be a fun place to sit for an unusual meal sometimes.

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3 Responses to 44 Restaurant, What Happened When The Italian Met The Vietnamese

  1. […] my pursuit after Oriental and Asian food we went to visit “The Bun”. This Asian-American-Street […]

  2. […] soy sauce, tobiko (62 NIS). Another very successful dish. It was fresh and tasty. Reminded me of 44′s tuna tartar with a rice paper on top (which I still don’t get) but a better version of it. Hot pan of shrimps caprese mozzarella […]

  3. […] a fact that could be joyous yet it still didn’t reach that wanted state. I already reviewed 44 restaurant and The Bun, each has its advantages but both keeps their distance from authentic.  Now, with a […]

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