Living in the center of Tel Aviv for the past two years, I have become spoiled by the great selection of restaurants available on my doorstep. So when I was invited to head out of my comfort zone into the deepest, darkest suburbs of Yehud to check out local restaurant Lehem Yayin (Bread and Wine), I was a little dubious. At first I didn’t quite see the point of heading all the way out there when I had so many great places to choose from within walking distance. Once I realized that it wasn’t such a big deal and I should venture out of the bubble that is Tel Aviv, I asked my dad if he wanted to join me, mainly because he has a car and would be able to get me to Yehud without my having to deal with public transportation.
Lehem Yayin, somewhat of an institution in the Bakat Ono area, recently celebrated its bar mitzva after being in operation for 13 years. The somewhat dull exterior and the location beneath a suburban medical center was a bit of a turn-off initially, but once we stepped inside the restaurant, we could have been inside any one of Tel Aviv’s trendy establishments. The smell of fresh bread and the exposed brick walls give the place a rustic feel, while the low lighting adds a touch of class.
Our waiter was very attentive and seemed to know what he was doing, even though he did seem a bit nervous at times. He gave us some tastings from the special summer wine menu, and in the end I went for rose and my dad went for a Gewürztraminer.
To start with, I had the salmon carpaccio (NIS 27), which was simple yet elegant. The small pieces of freshly toasted bread went well with the generous helping of thinly cut cured salmon.
My dad had the tomato gazpacho (NIS 27), a good choice, considering the soaring temperatures outside. This refreshing dish was perfect for a sticky summer’s evening. The cold soup was served with a selection of chopped vegetables and croutons on the side, to be mixed in, and added some crunch to the otherwise smooth texture.
We also tried the corn schnitzel (NIS 29), which forms part of their summer schnitzel menu. While it was tasty enough, there was nothing that made the dish stand out.
For the main course, we both went for meat. I decided to take the fillet steak, served with creamy mushroom sauce and roast potatoes (NIS 114). The entire dish was served in a hot black pan, and while this added to the visual appeal of the dish, it also served a very practical role in that it kept the food warm for a long time. The meat itself was good quality and perfectly cooked. But what really stole the show was the creamy mushroom sauce. The roast potatoes on the side were also not too bad at all and were a great tool to soak up all of the sauce at the end.
My dad went for the rocket steak (NIS 89). Although it wasn’t as good as the fillet, it was still tasty enough. The thin strips of meat were well seasoned, and the baked potato gave it a homely feel.
However, the excess of rocket leaves on the plate with no dressing didn’t do this dish any favors.
As per usual, after all the wonderful food, we didn’t have too much room for dessert; but when presented with the great selection, we just couldn’t resist. In keeping with the summer schnitzel menu, there was a deep-fried chocolate dish dubbed “chocopie” (NIS 28), which I just had to try. It was very rich, and the fact that it was wrapped in a sweet batter and deep fried only added to the intensity.
But for a chocolate lover such as myself, it hit the spot.
My dad went for the apple tart tatin (NIS 34), which was fresh and had all the right components for a great dessert.
One of the main advantages of venturing out of the bubble of Tel Aviv is that the prices are significantly lower, and the whole experience becomes much better value for money. I did think to myself a few times during the evening that if I overlooked where I actually was, I could well be in a lively restaurant on one of Tel Aviv’s main streets, while not paying a premium for it. Therefore, Lehem Yayin is great for those that don’t want to have to deal with the stresses of the big city, such as worrying about finding parking, but still want to enjoy a sophisticated evening with good food.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.
Lehem Yayin (Not kosher)
4 Derech Horesh
Kiryat Savyonim, Yehud