Italian Restaurant 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
If Hatzela Hashminit were on a street filled with other restaurants in an area
that more people walked by, then I think it would be full every
night. However, on the night my friend and I visited, we were pretty much
the only people there, which is a shame. This is a great restaurant and deserves
to be filled with people every night and even have a line outside of people
waiting to try the unique dishes.
The interior is very intimate while
maintaining an air of sophistication. The waitress that served us could be
described in the same way. She was very friendly and was happy to talk us
through the extensive menu and maintained a level of professionalism throughout
After being served our bottle of Tulip Winery Gewurztraminer
Sauvignon-Blanc, we were given bread with butter and roasted garlic.
starters we shared seared tuna served with orka salad, wasabi peas and tobiko
(NIS 49) and an endive salad with stilton cheese, mango and goose breast (NIS
39). The tuna was very interesting and had a whole host of varying flavors.
Tobiko, which is the Japanese word for the flying fish roe, is something I had
never had before. On the plate it looked like little black specks; but when
tasted separately, it had a distinct fishy taste that worked well with
everything else on the plate. The tuna was perfectly cooked, and the salad was a
little different from the average offering.
The endive salad was better
than I expected. We went for relatively light starters because we knew we would
want something rich and heavy for the main course. The sliced mango gave the
salad a fresh, tropical taste that worked surprisingly well with the small cubes
of heavily smoked goose breast. The portion was very small and if I had ordered
without knowing that I was going get filled up by the main course, I might have
However, there was no chance of staying hungry after
the main courses. The moment I saw the Meat Celebration (NIS 135) on the menu, I
just knew I had to have it. I even checked out the menu online before I visited,
and my heart was set on this dish before I even stepped foot in the restaurant.
The layers of filet of beef, fois gras with smoked goose breast and fried egg
yolk served with truffle mashed potato just sounded too good to pass up.
not disappointed. Even though I wasn’t in the mood for so much meat by the time
I got there, I still had to order it. I don’t usually like so much meat, but I
do love fois gras and goose breast.
The dish was served in layers with
what can only be described as a thin dagger holding all the meat together on a
wooden board which had collected all the juices. It sounds as if it could be too
much and, to be honest, it was. But the flavors worked well together and the
small thin strip of smoked goose breast on top finished everything off
The truffle mashed potato deserves its own praise. The texture
was great, and the added truffle taste made it rich but very fitting for the
My friend went for sirlion steak with truffle puree and bok choy
(NIS 135). Although this was a pretty standard steak dish, the meat was
perfectly cooked and the bok choy added something a little special. The truffle
mashed potato also worked well with this dish.
By this stage we didn’t
have much room for dessert, so we decided to share profiteroles (NIS 39).
Profiteroles are my favorite childhood dessert, and when I order them now I am
always worried that they won’t taste as good as they did in the family-style
Italian restaurants where I used to eat them. I had nothing to worry about here.
The cream was fresh and had the right hint of vanilla, the pastry was rich, and
the chocolate sauce on top was just perfect.
For those looking for
something a little off the beaten track and a little off the food radar, then
Hatzela Hashminit is the place to go. The combination of a relaxed atmosphere
and sophisticated food should not be missed.The writer was a guest of
the restaurant.Hatzela Hashminit Not kosher 16 Rambam Street, corner
Nahlat Binyamin Tel Aviv (03) 510-0995 Warm and inviting, Hatzela Hashminit has
a menu that should have people lining up around the block