TYO, the new Japanese lounge-bar in Tel Aviv, has a cosmopolitan atmosphere, a superb bar and a meticulous menu.
Located in a restored building from the city’s early years, the design is nothing like what you’d imagine a sushi bar to look like.
Restaurant designer Yaron Tal’s interior evokes a vibrant international urban feel with its minimalist design, huge curvilinear central bar and smart partitions which, when dropped, transform it from a restaurant into a chic bar.
The seating zones are separated by areas and levels – some raised, others lowered, adding to the visual interest. There are intimate corners, a large sharing table, a porch and, of course, the bar, which turns into a dimly lit lounge after 11 p.m.
Coming here from Japan by way of New York, TYO’s master sushi chef Yama Sun earned his knives working at New York’s celebrity-studded Moto restaurant and won three Michelin stars for his 10-place sushi bar in Tokyo. He came here following his Israeli wife and two children.
“TYO” is the airport code for Tokyo. By choosing to name their restaurant after the airport, the owners want to say that much like the airport in Tokyo, the menu originates in Japan but looks to the world for inspiration.
At TYO, Yama Sun has created a menu that is very much influenced by traditional Japanese cuisine, as well as the new food experienced in the large cosmopolitan cities of the world.
Many of the dishes were modernized and Westernized to suit local palates.
His creations include delectable options such as seared salmon sashimi on ice; and foie gras and caviar atop prime cuts of bright red, raw tuna and plump yellowtail and jellyfish Nigiri.
Sushi rolls arrive beautifully arranged, and many of the main dishes are simply divine, such as the black cod and filet mignon – each offering rich, mouthwatering flavors.
The owners have managed to create a different kind of Asianinfluenced restaurant that combines high standards, gourmet food and an inviting late-night option for Tel Aviv’s party crowd.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.
7 Montefiore Street, Tel Aviv
VONG has launched a new menu, bringing to Tel Aviv the intricate and delicate cuisine of Vietnam with all its facets – street food, authentic traditional cuisine and the more modern, gourmet Vietnamese cooking.
Influenced by neighboring cuisines, as well as French cuisine, the Vietnamese menu offers unique delicacies such as baguettes and airy buns with a variety of fillings.
The beef and bean stew and the dien dien – exotic chicken served on noodles – are made on the premises. They also make deliveries.
VONG, Not kosher, 15 Rothschild Blvd., Tel Aviv, Tel: (03) 633-7171