Funky, eclectic and simply sweet, Fleamarket, which opened six months ago, embraces everything there is to love about Shuk Hapishpishim (the Jaffa Flea Market). Chef Shlomi Ben Shimol’s menu is homey, nourishing, healthy and wholesome, consisting of delicious dishes such as zucchini flower, Andalusian gazpacho, red tuna Nicoise – and a selection of Israeli boutique wines. Architect Gadi Tzahor, who is responsible for the restaurant’s design, has created an impressive space, integrating Eastern European flea market items and elements that correspond with the Jaffa market.
Once we sat down, our capable and casual server helped us find just the right wine to start with. We went with the Tulip Cabernet Franc and never looked back.
Being a chilly night, we happily began our meal with Jerusalem artichoke soup. Right in season, the pureed artichoke was velvety, flavorful and thick. We followed the soup with grilled burnt sweetbreads (NIS 69) and artichokes. Crisp on the outside but cooked to perfection on the inside, the veal was served with a cauliflower cream, which complemented the dish perfectly.
Pleased with our first round, we welcomed the second, which was corvina fish fillet (NIS 97) on a bed of ricotta gnocchi, burnt onion salad, bamiah and cuttlefish crème fraîche. The fish was seasoned beautifully and grilled to perfection, with crispy skin and delicate white flesh. This was a delicious dish with plenty of aromas and flavors that sat harmoniously on the palate.
This was followed by naked sausage (NIS 69), which consisted of lamb cuts in Romanian mititei roll spicing, served with green Swiss chard tehina and a salad of bamiah, onions and roasted cherry tomatoes. This chic and colorful dish is perfect for lamb aficionados, showcasing the juicy, succulent meats that Fleamarket has to offer.
For dessert, the tiramisu was a winner. This was quite simply divine – a heavenly mix of coffee-flavored cookies and sweet cream with a hint of mascarpone.
Fleamarket boasts a laid-back vibe, which is advantageous for patrons who want to stay and hang out but regrettable for those expecting swift service.
On your next visit to Jaffa, trade your view of the sea for the fleamarket scenery. A visit to Fleamarket is worth it. A short stroll in the lively area, now completely cleaned up and filled with many new hangouts, cleared our heads before we wended our way home.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.
Fleamarket Not kosher 8 Rabbi Yohanan St., Jaffa Tel: (03) 620-2262 .