Segev Express is like an express version of a different restaurant, Segev, and now, already turned into a real restaurant in itself. We went there one rainy afternoon before the business lunchtime is over. Entering the place my expectations went high, because the decoration was adorable, and I liked the atmosphere and the vibe. It felt like sitting out in the street but actually you’re just a part of a scene inside the structure. It has a small alley in the middle with benches and a tree painted silver with little Christmas white lights. It’s kitsch but it worked, I loved it. And so, whenever I like the atmosphere of a place I hope to also like the food, because still it’s number one priority for me. Unfortunately the beginning was rocky – some good, some not so good, but went straight down-hill with the main dishes. Oh well, see for yourself:

 

The lunch options are between 60-80 NIS for the basic first+main. Adding up to 18 NIS for more first and main options.

The lunch options costs between 60-80 NIS for the basic starter + main dish. Adding up to 18 NIS for more starters and mains options.

The bread is not included and costs 12 NIS extra but in an after-thought - it was the best dish of this lunch, so why not. Excellent bread.

The bread is not included in the lunch menu and costs 12 NIS extra but in retrospective – it was one of the best dishes of this lunch, so why not. Excellent bread.

The starters were generous, big dishes which can be very enjoyable if you select wisely.

Dim-Sum filled with Shrimp and soy sauce. Too basic, like the frozen kind - it's not bad but ya' know...

Dim-Sum filled with Shrimp and soy sauce. Too basic, like the frozen kind – it’s not bad but ya’ know…

Mushroom soup with onions, dried figs, Shata pepper and Truffle.

Mushroom soup with onions, dried figs, Shata pepper and Truffle.

Mushroom soup with onions, dried figs, Shata pepper and Truffle.

The soup was a very good dish, came in a little pot to pour from and it was airy and tasted very good and earthy. I didn’t feel the figs, I think they might have been replaced with chestnuts.

Asian salad: sprouts, radish, pickled ginger, black sesame and chili. A big plate of salad. I liked it but the sauce was a bit too on the sweet side and had mayonnaise in it. It's deceiving - a salad but a caloric bomb! Don't eat that alone and you'll be fine.

Asian salad: sprouts, radish, pickled ginger, black sesame and chili. A big plate of salad. I liked it but the sauce was a bit too much on the sweet side and had mayonnaise in it. It’s deceiving – a salad but a caloric bomb! Don’t eat that alone and you’ll be fine.

On to the main courses. I had some problem choosing a main in this menu because I don’t like ordering a vegetarian dish for main course, I didn’t wan’t chicken breast which I find boring most times and not so much fan for pizza or pasta for lunch – makes you feel horrible afterwards. But this was basically the menu. I like menus where I’m intrigued and want to try several dishes but in this case it was hard to choose from the wrong reasons, so I went for the shrimp dish. Oh how wrong was I.

Pasta Aglio e olio, mushroom "feet", fresh herbs, garlic and chili.

Pasta Aglio e olio, mushroom “feet”, fresh herbs, garlic and chili (59 NIS for the meal). I liked the type of pasta, but it was lacking a lot of the garlic and chili promised and after adding some dry chili that came with another dish it improved gradually.

Shrimp dumplings cooked in coconut milk, root vegetables, mild curry, herbs and peanuts (74 NIS for the meal).

Shrimp dumplings cooked in coconut milk, root vegetables, mild curry, herbs and peanuts (74 NIS for the meal). I tried one, it tasted vegetarian: I only found vegetables inside. I called the waiter and he said it’s supposed to be like that – the vegetables are mixed with shrimp. It was annoying and I sent it back, refusing to get the “only shrimp” version because the sauce was so bland as well.

Side dish that came with the dumplings - wild rice. we poked on it a bit.

Side dish that came with the dumplings – wild rice. we poked on it a bit.

Grilled chicken pizza, onions and roasted garlic (69 NIS).

Grilled chicken pizza, onions and roasted garlic (69 NIS). The problem I have with this dish is that the chicken was cooked else-where and then put on the pizza afterwards. The chicken didn’t do anything for the pizza and vice-versa. The chicken was over-cooked and dried out, but the pizza itself wasn’t bad. Best part was the onions and garlic.

I had to choose another dish. The menu came back but nothing got me craving for it. So I went for a fresh pasta dish, although I think paying 70 NIS for a vegetarian pasta dish on a business lunch is a stretch, it had to be a damn good pasta dish to justify itself.

Country Salad: fresh vegetables, tomatoes, red cabbage, white cabbage, green beans, radish, olive oil and Sunflower seeds.

While waiting for the replacement dish we got this small plate of Country Salad: fresh vegetables, tomatoes, red cabbage, white cabbage, green beans, radish, olive oil and Sunflower seeds. It was mostly cabbage and tasty way too salty, we thought maybe another client sent this salad back and it landed at our table.

Fresh pasta with tomatoes, goat cheese, roasted peppers, basil and truffles (69 NIS).

Fresh pasta with tomatoes, goat cheese, roasted peppers, basil and truffles (69 NIS). This was the replacement dish. It was boring and bland. The cheese was too soft and had no character, the truffles were probably just truffle oil sprinkled thriftily and had no aroma of it at all. I regretted ordering that dish a minute after getting it.

 

After my lunch in Segev Express I got to understand a bit better what Israelis like to eat: vegetarian, pasta, pizza, chicken, some Asian-influenced-like touches. Personally, it did not meet my expectations but the anthropological value was high. Maybe I just visited the restaurant in a bad menu season but perhaps this is the direction Segev is taking – vegetarianism, or better yet – carbism (eating only carbs). And I can’t blame him because it might just be the case that this is the path that Israelis are going towards as well. Know your customers, I agree. It’s hard to see what effects what – the crowd effects restaurants or the other way round. Well… When the crowd is so stubborn and conservative, I guess it’s the former, unfortunately.

 

Segev Express

38 Habarzel st. Ramat Hachaial, Tal-Aviv

077-4142025


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3 Responses to Segev Express Lunch – Carbism At Its Best (And Worst)

  1. […] opinion, for about the same price, Goocha offers a much better value lunch in Ramat Hachayal than Segev Express, but for a good papaya salad in Tel-Aviv, you’ll have to go to Thai House, or go as far as […]

  2. […] ladies. The prices for lunch are high, especially for a vegetarian meal, which reminded me of Segev Express’ expensive vegetarian lunch. The difference is that this area is lacking any competition and what can you expect from a […]

  3. […] ladies. The prices for lunch are high, especially for a vegetarian meal, which reminded me of Segev Express’ expensive vegetarian lunch. The difference is that this area is lacking any competition and what can you expect from a […]

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