Israel Foodie Roundup – May 2018

Each month when I come to prepare this newsletter I am always surprised at how much news there is. There seem to be some interesting openings this month, especially among kosher restaurants. As always, I would love to hear your feedback and if you want to get ongoing updates, please follow me on Facebook and Instagram.

KOSHER

The Jerusalem shuk might be full of bars but most of them are no longer places that people over 30 want to hang out. So I am particularly excited by the opening of Samantha Jones Jerusalem and I hope it will provide a welcome alternative. Named after a character in Sex & the City – the concept is meant to be a bar run by women, with a kitchen that offers female chefs a comfortable place to work, but when I dropped in last week, the chef on duty was a man.  They still have a test menu with a variety of incredibly predictable dishes like beef carpaccio, burger and steak, so I hope that the food is good or that they will develop some more unique dishes soon.

Another potentially exciting addition to the Jerusalem kosher dining scene is Andalucia Cocktail Bar in Kikar Hamusica. It is being advertised as a tapas bar but the dishes are a mixture of Spanish and Middle Eastern and not traditional tapas dishes. For now, the menu is only available in Hebrew and all dishes are NIS 55.

Tel Aviv is also gaining a new Spanish kosher restaurant called Carmen. The owners are North African Jews who moved to Israel from Toulouse and the menu embraces dishes with Spanish, French and North African influences. The chef Maurice Avitan previously worked at Par Derriere and Idelson 10. Starters include grilled spleen and goose liver, while some of the main dishes on offer are Toulouse-style sausages with goose confit and a grilled Rossini burger with a slice of foie gras and wine sauce.

A new Georgian bar has opened in Be’er Sheva named after the Georgian national drink, Chacha. The menu includes various Georgian Hachpuri pastries such as the popular Acheroli filled with melted cheese, egg and butter; Lobio soup and of course lots of alcohol. The bar is Kosher with no hechsher.

Caphé Hanoi has opened a gluten-free and vegan café next door called Bowl & Juice. All dishes are NIS 45 and include hot Vietnamese and Chinese dishes, as well as Buddha bowls, acai bowls, vegan desserts, shakes and cold press juices.

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Purple Rain for a Monday 💜

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The Sheraton Hotel in Tel Aviv has once again opened Veranda bar by Kyoto restaurant. The terrace overlooking the sea is open Wednesday and Thursday evenings and Friday and Saturday from 12pm until late.

Chef Meir Adoni has opened a second branch of his street food restaurant Dunya, in central Tel Aviv on Ben Yehuda. Traditional dishes include shawarma, arais, kubeh, sabich, burger and malabi.

NOT KOSHER

A new uber-cool restaurant has opened in Florentine called Kirkas.  The names of the dishes are all strange play on words but the food itself seems pretty mainstream, like fish ceviche, sweetbread salad and Jerusalem artichoke tortellini.

R2M Group (Brasserie, Coffee Bar and Hotel Montefiore) has opened Disco Tokyo in the Herzl 16 compound in Tel Aviv. The concept is not so much a traditional Japanese restaurant, rather a fun restaurant with a Japanese style, as well as many Korean dishes. Menu items include bao buns, beef in Agadashi sauce and Korean dumplings.

Captain Burger (originally from Jerusalem) has opened two new branches. The first is in Tel Aviv on Ibn Gvirol, where Wolfnights used to be, and the second in Hadera.

Café Popular recently opened in Jacob Samuel Hotel in north Tel Aviv, spread over two floors. As of now, only a bar with a dining menu is open on the lower floor, the bistro will open at a later stage and will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. The restaurant is owned by four Tel Aviv restaurateurs and the kitchen is run by Chef Avi Bitton, former chef of Adora.

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We’re speechless 😶

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Asia in the Yaffo flea market closed at the end of May, as did Ad Haetzem in Herzliya Pituach after 30 years of business. Ad Haetzem Express branches across Israel will remain in business, including a kosher branch in Raanana and the 12th branch will open in Herzliya Pituach, in place of the restaurant. This seems to be a trend with the move from old-school restaurants, in favor of high-end street food.

OTHER NEWS & EVENTS

Tel Aviv Cocktail Week takes place 27 May – 2 June 2018. Over 30 bars are taking part including The Norman, Imperial Craft Cocktail Bar, La Otra, Double Standard, and Tailor Made.

Eat TLV will be held in Charles Clore Park in Tel Aviv 29-31 May 2018. The event features food stands from some of Tel Aviv’s best restaurants and all dishes are up to NIS 35.

There will also be a Tel Aviv Cocktail Festival at Hatachana 6-7 June, 2018. Tickets are NIS 80 each and include 3 cocktails.

A new restaurant is opening in Kibbutz Ramat Rachel in Jerusalem called Ben Hamataim. It will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and it looks like it will be a coffee shop and a chef restaurant.

RECENT POSTS

  1. Hotel Review: A charming oasis in the heart of Haifa
  2. Debbest: Cafés and Diners open in Jerusalem on Shabbat
  3. YTK – 24 New Kosher Restaurant Updates from Israel – Q1 2018

To read previous monthly roundups, click here.

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