Lulu Kitchen & Bar.
(photo credit: PR)
The combination of Neveh Tzedek and the location of Lulu Kitchen & Bar creates a magical atmosphere that takes the guest back in time to when Neveh Tzedek was one of the first neighborhoods in Tel Aviv. Lulu is an intimate place, and its unadorned charm makes you feel right at home.
Comfortable seating is available inside, with a full view of the open kitchen. The tables on the narrow patio outside are great perches for people-watching.
Lulu is a laid-back place, and our waiter for the evening fitted in perfectly with the vibe, as he was attentive but not intrusive.
We started our meal with the homemade pretzel with tomatoes with olive oil and Kalamata olives (NIS 16). The pretzel came out super fresh and warm, with just the right amount of salt. This was followed by the goat cheese tortellini with sage butter, wild mushrooms, sage and Parmesan (NIS 52). I could tell that the pasta was freshly made, and the cream sauce was rich and delicious. It felt too rich for a starter, but I really enjoyed it anyhow.
In between, we were treated to two glasses of a wonderful Blanc De Noir from Amphorae Winery, which is located at the base of the Carmel mountain range. The wine, which had a delicate copper color, was full-bodied and had a very fruit-driven flavor.
Next up was the Caesar salad (NIS 42/NIS 52 with chicken), which was delicious, crunchy and perfectly dressed. The romaine had a surprising sweetness that paired well with the not too creamy nor salty dressing. The croutons were crusty but saturated with dressing flavor. The roasted chicken strips were moist and juicy and well marinated. Fresh anchovies and shaved Parmesan were a nice touch. I savored every last bite of it.
For mains we were presented with the fish fillet a la plancha (NIS 96). The combination of fish (corvina), black lentil stew, leek, pickled lemon and coriander formed a delicious, perfectly balanced combo. The fish was crisp on the outside, but the inside was absolutely perfect: not a drop overdone but not underdone, either. The corvina was so fresh that there was no hint of that fishy taste fish can have.
Last we were served the chestnut gnocchi (NIS 66). It was wonderful. The pasta had a nice sweetness to it from the chestnuts (I’m a big fan of sweet tones in savory dishes). Amazingly light yet filling, the gnocchi was melt-inyour- mouth perfect, even on a warm summer evening Even though we were stuffed, we couldn’t resist sharing a dessert and ordered the creme brulee. The burned sugar topping cracked just right! There’s nothing more disappointing than getting this dessert at a restaurant, going to crack the surface and... the spoon goes in as it would into a bowl of overpriced pudding.
This was followed by an apple crumble served with a dollop of whipped cream. It was sweet, tart, soft and crumbly. The crumble had a great crunchy topping that added a nice texture to the fruit filling. The apples inside were soft but tender.
All the staff were extremely friendly and welcoming, giving this place a neighborhood “Come back and see us again” vibe that I love. Service was perfect from start to finish. I would definitely go back to Lulu with a small group of friends because it was a great dining experience in a small, cozy environment.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.
Lulu Kitchen & Bar Not kosher 55 Shabazi St., Tel Aviv Tel: (03) 516-8793