Judith S. Goldstein is the Co-Founder of TasteTLV. TasteTLV is the ultimate
culinary guide for dining in Tel Aviv.
If you’re anything like me, a great meal doesn’t feel complete without dessert. Skipping dessert after an amazing meal, is like going on a perfect date and not getting a kiss at the end of the night to seal the deal.
Dessert is that mouthwatering few bites that ties each dish together and wraps your palette luxuriously encapsulating the mouth in a warm and loving way. A good friend of mine and one of the best pastry chefs I know, Naomi Gallego, once told me that the perfect dessert must be the perfect synergy of sweet, sour, salty and bitter. Although, we tend to think of desserts as being primarily sweet, dessert is best balanced without a rush of sugar that overpowers all our senses.
When searching for the best desserts in Tel Aviv, I looked for those that are unique and have the balance of flavors that ultimately lead to an ideal mouthful. Here is my personal list of the best desserts Tel Aviv has to offer:
1. Heineken Ginger Cake at Orna and Ella
When I first heard the strange combination of beer, ginger and cake - three things you don’t think of in one dish - I knew that I had to taste it for myself. This beautiful, fluffy and delicate cake comes to the table topped with fresh fruit, mixed berry sauce and cloud like puffs of homemade whipped cream.
The combination of ginger and beer is subtle, yet striking and the fresh fruit adds a dimension of texture that tickles the palate. The tart berry sauce and creamy whip cream complete this brilliant combination in a way that keeps you yearning for more.
2. Banana Mascarpone Pizza at Olivery
When the produce delivery man accidentally delivered three large boxes of fresh bananas to Olivery, chef Rami took it in his stride and decided to create something with the bananas so they wouldn’t go to waste. This proves that accidents can lend to the most remarkable outcomes.
What Rami came up with is one of the most ingenious and lustrous desserts in the city. The crunchy and slightly salty pizza crust is topped with a generous layer of caramelized banana and coated with layers of mascarpone cheese and a light vanilla sauce.
The crisp pizza is the ideal canvas for the tender, honeyed bananas, the mascarpone cheese delivers a creamy finish, and the vanilla sauce provides an aromatic and slightly bitter undertone. This delightful treat is certainly the bow that ties together a fantastic meal at Olivery.
Ibn Gvirol 137
3. Malabi at Gedera 26
Malabi is one of my favorite desserts to date and I’ve searched high and low for the perfect malabi, painstakingly making my way through my share of overly flowery rosewater sauces and dried coconut flakes. I could never find one that has a balance of being both firm and creamy and topped with just the right things, until I tried the malabi at Gedera 26.
At Gedera 26, the malabi is firm when you cut into it, yet instantly melts when it hits your mouth. It’s topped with toasted pistachios and fresh tiny cuts of diced apples and plums rounding out this crowd pleasing delight with waves of flavors and textures.
Gedera 26 (corner of Hillel, at the entrance to the Carmel Market)
4. Flourless Chocolate Cake at Tapas b’Shuk
The flourless chocolate cake is one of those desserts that stays in my dreams for days after every time I taste it. It’s always a wonder to me how something so rich and decadent can feel so light and airy in your mouth, leaving you feeling satiated but not overstuffed.
The dark chocolate cake is not overly sweet but perfectly luscious. This straightforward cake is light, yet creamy at first bite, leaving you with a blissful taste and a refreshing end to the meal.
Hangar 12, Tel Aviv Port
5. The Crack pipe at Cafe 48
If you’ve ever wondered why a restaurant would dare to call a dish the crack pipe, you must come to the conclusion that this self-proclaimed confection is truly addictive. The delectable sweet is made by creating a jelly, doughy mixture of butter and brown sugar, topped with an oatmeal crust and served with unsweetened whipped cream.
The first tastes of butter dance and sing in your mouth, providing a satisfying dose of rich brown butter like you’ve never dreamed of, while the crispy oatmeal balances the dessert with faint earthy flavors. My favorite part is that the whipped cream served on the side is unsweetened, providing the airy texture of cream the dish needs without overdosing it with sugar. This is one addiction you won’t regret having.
Nachalat Binyamin 48
Judith studied Middle Eastern Politics at the University of California in Santa
Barbara. She has worked in the hospitality and culinary industry for 10 years.