2 Hayim Levanon St. Tel Aviv
This place, located just outside of the Eretz Izrael Museum is a 100% little ladies restaurant. This is why I went there with my grandparents. We went there at lunch and enjoyed the business menu: bread, first course and main course in the price of the main (which is about 10 NIS higher than its normal dinner price). The bread was delicious, brown, sourdough, nuts. I took the last slice with me back home. The daily soup was Tomato soup with sour cream. Kinda boring, like tomato juice or thin pasta sauce. I asked for some parmesan to sprinkle on top. The Eggplant roll with goat cheese and tomato sauce was a better starter but the cheese was just a normal soft goat cheese and not a real Chevre. The Tomato and rocket salad with polenta was very nice, best starter of the bunch. The polenta bits were good addition and the rocket was strong and flavorful. As a main dish we had Mezzi Rigatoni with artichokes and portobello, olive oil, garlic and white wine (78 NIS for the business lunch). A surprising dish – good ratio between pasta and lots of mushrooms and artichokes which were of good quality, a lot of garlic and very delicious. The second dish was Conchiglie filled with spinach, ricotta and parmesan baked in tomato sauce (74 NIS for the business lunch). Five large pasta shells arrived inside the same tomato sauce from the eggplant roll and the tomato soup. The filling was lacking character. For dessert we had Strawberry Crumble with vanilla ice-cream (36 NIS). I really liked this tart and loved the strawberries inside, could have enjoyed more if the ice-cream was of better quality. Overall I think it’s a perfect place for little 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 museum restaurant – at least to be overpriced, right?
32 Ha’barzel St. Tel-Aviv
New Thai restaurant claiming to try to steal Thai House its distinguished place as the top Thai restaurant in Israel was intriguing enough to try. The service was prominently unprofessional – the waitress knew little about the menu and got confused between the dishes several times (Som-Tam-Tom-Yam-Tom-Yom), she was busy replacing our silverware all the time and couldn’t bring us water even after asking four times! We started with Som Tam, green papaya salad (32 NIS). Nicely seasoned and a tad spicy but lacked green beans, not bad but Thai House winning this dish easily. The next was Naam-Tuk: Spicy raw beef salad with green onions, cilantro, lemon grass, shallots, mint, chili, roasted rice and lemon (43 NIS). My favorite dish of the meal, very spicy, very pleasurable. The parallel dish in Thai House is very good as well, I think it’s a close one between them. As a main dish we tried Pad ka Pau: Chopped pork, oyster sauce, basil, onion, garlic and chili served with fried egg (62 NIS) which was disappointing. The sauce highly sweetened and salted, nothing Thai about it. We found the green beans there and wondered why they haven’t found their way into the papaya salad. Refusing to leave disappointed we ordered one more starter which seemed to be better bet. We went for the Yum-Kong: Shrimp salad with chili, lemon grass, shallots, mint, cilantro, Kfir lime, fish sauce and lemon (39 NIS). The shrimp were well cooked but it’s the only positive thing I can say about this “salad”. It was drowning in sticky sauce which was just not tasty. For dessert we took the Banana Lotti (35 NIS) craving for Bangkok’s street lotti. It didn’t pass the “Pesek-Zman test”. Don’t bother, go eat ice-cream instead. Overall – another mediocre place that invested too much money in renovation and branding, less effort on research and dish development.
Another visit on: December 2013
Haim Lebanon St. Tel-Aviv University
Recently a new branch of King George restaurant was opened next to the Tel-Aviv university. It’s a cheap place that attracts young poor students to its doorstep. I don’t recommend it at all but this same spot used to be Coffee To Go, where we used to go sit in high-school times and after. The perfect place for a little reunion. I was positively impressed with the dish of Portobello with goat cheese (22 NIS) that was served with a nice sauce. The Meat Empanadas (22 NIS) was okay as (I think) frozen product deep fried on the spot and Carpaccio (22 NIS) was a very miserable version of this otherwise great classic. Oh well, at least it’s cheap.
19 Habarzel st. Tel-Aviv
The only place that agreed to serve us at midnight at Ramat Ha’chayal, so we could have a small midnight snack. We had a Health Salad: chopped chicken, cabbage, coriander, mint and peanuts in a spicy Thai dressing (33 NIS). It was mostly healthy because it was so small, but it was okay overall. Due to Omer knowing the menu by heart and ate there too many times, we went for an Indian special of the day: Chicken and ginger meatballs with coconut curry sauce and pineapple. It was excellent! The chicken balls were well made with lots of ginger and a very tasty sauce.
43 Ahad Ha’am st. Tel Aviv
Just hopping for a quick Saturday lunch in the purpose of tasting Cafe Noir’s famous Schnitzel. We split the Veal Schnitzel with mashed potatoes and green salad (72 NIS). A bit expensive for a dish of Schnitzel but it was a well made one, with crunchy crust, soft veal inside, great mashed potatoes and all the condiments to accompany the meal without us needing to ask for it even.