Debbest Dishes – April 2019

April was a varied month, starting with some private dining events in Tel Aviv for work, followed by pre-Pesach meals with family and catching up with visiting friends over Pesach.

  1. Lamb Kada Pastry @Jaya (Kosher), The Setai Tel Aviv – the beautifully crispy pastry pocket filled with well-flavored lamb and served with spicy tomato salsa and tahina. The new restaurant has some major service issues but hopefully, they will sort it out as the menu is interesting and setting is gorgeous.

  1. Beef Carpaccio @West Side (Kosher), Royal Beach Tel Aviv – paper-thin beef, topped with capers, garlic confit, mustard and truffle aioli. West Side never disappoints on food and service.

  1. Roast Beef @The Cooking Studio (Bishulon) (Kosher), Tel Aviv – as part of the Carnivores Class run by Chef Amir Schuller, the simple roasted sirloin, covered in whole grain mustard, was delicious straight from the oven and even better cold in a salad the next day. 

  1. Angus Burger @Josef Burger (Kosher), Jerusalem – served medium and topped with the perfect amount of seared goose liver.  New burger places keep opening around the shuk but Josef is still my favorite burger bar in Jerusalem.
  1. Sea Fish Fillet “Taboon” Roasted @Yaffo Tel Aviv – the restaurant was featuring a special menu as a tribute to Chef Haim Cohen’s previous restaurant “Keren” which closed in 2002. The simple fish dish was served with white wine and spring vegetables. The service was friendly and efficient, and we all enjoyed the ambiance, cocktails and desserts.
  1. Arancini @Anna (Kosher), Jerusalem – the perfect balls of crispy and cheesy risotto, were served with aioli and marinara sauce. We also loved the Sea Fish Crudo and Roasted Kohlrabi starters and Lemon Tart for dessert.
  1. “Hamud” Risotto @Dekel, Jerusalem – a unique tasting risotto made with a hint of middle-eastern sour flavor. The Kubala Bread with salted caramel butter was as addictive as it was the first time, and we also demolished the polenta dish. We were sat at the shared table, which is normally fun, except that we were sharing it with a group of seven friends who got louder the more they drank and started banging on the table on a regular basis – not something you expect at a restaurant of this level, and especially not at a shared table.

  1. Pesach Angus Burger @Josef Burger – the potato flour bun was so light and fluffy that I wish that served them all year around. I also love the addition of the sweet and spicy grilled pineapple.
  1. Veal Sweetbreads @Jacko’s Street (Kosher), Jerusalem – a friend reminded about this delicious starter so I had to try it again. Every bite of grilled sweetbreads, tahina powder, tomato and chard worked perfectly together.  
  2. Sea Fish Tataki @Jacko’s Street (Kosher), Jerusalem – everything about this dish works. The seared salmon, with the spicy Asian pistachio sauce, the acidity of the yuzu and the refreshing addition of cucumber caviar.

Other meals in April that didn’t qualify for this list:

  • Mapu, Prima City Hotel (Kosher), Tel Aviv – the tuna tartar was very nice but the Pesach menu was very unadventurous with most dishes being a piece of meat, mash potato and a vegetable on a plate, with no finesse.  Three of us ordered the Sirloin steak which was almost equal amounts of fat to meat. I have never been served a sirloin steak like that. I normally find the food at this restaurant to be great but was embarrassed that I had chosen to take friends here.
  • Etnika (Kosher), Herzliya Pituach – a great option for a group dinner with efficient and friendly service. The 700g of Aged Entrecote on the bone was good but not great.

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