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Almost a full 100
By GLORIA DEUTSCH
29/05/2014
The Hayarkon 99 Restaurant at the Tel Aviv Dan Hotel is both elegant and welcoming.
 
"Can you recommend a good, elegant restaurant in Tel Aviv, something not too large, where I can take some visitors from England?” asked a friend a few days ago.

I made a few suggestions that I hope were helpful. What a pity she didn’t call a day later, for that very evening we were invited to dine at Hayarkon 99, a small restaurant that would have fulfilled all my friend’s wishes.

It is attached to the refurbished Dan Hotel on Tel Aviv’s Hayarkon Street, and is not only elegant and very sophisticated, but also has many innovative items on the menu, firstclass service and a lovely warm and welcoming atmosphere.

With celebrity chef Oved Alafiya at the helm, solicitous waiters hovering around and luxurious fixtures and fittings, dining at the 99 is an experience one is likely to treasure.

The hotel itself, one of the oldest in the country, has been totally renovated and exudes an air of luxury and comfort. The restaurant carries on the theme with tables laid with crisp white linen tablecloths, linen napkins and fresh flowers.

As soon as we were seated, and well before placing our orders, food and wine began arriving at the table.

First up was a bottle of Teperberg Cabernet Sauvignon (NIS 200) that accompanied us throughout the meal. Although still relatively young (2012) it was very smooth and rich for its age and went well with all the disparate parts of the menu.

Apart from the de rigueur crispy brown bread and balsamic in olive oil that appears at every good restaurant these days, we were treated to an “amuse-bouche” – a small sample of the restaurant’s gazpacho. This was so good I could have eaten gallons of the stuff not just the thimbleful I actually got. It was quite thin and liquid with no garnish other than a celery stick, but the taste was sublime. It came with crisp bread and a slice of crispy ersatz bacon made from smoked duck breast that I felt was quite superfluous.

For my first course, I chose fresh asparagus on a remoulade base with a coddled egg on the side. (NIS 55).

This dish sounds simple, but there are several pitfalls if not made correctly – getting the egg and the sauce just right, which I’m happy to say they did. The vegetables were crunchy, but a little lacking in that characteristic asparagus flavor – more the fault of the farmer than the cook, I felt.

My companion enjoyed his starter of sweetbreads (NIS 65) that he said were crispy on the outside and soft within and had an excellent flavor enhanced by the savory sauce they came with.

For the main dish, I chose tataki salmon, cubes of fresh fish encased in a wasabi crumb mixture served with ginger foam and a salad full of my favorite leaf, cilantro. It was certainly a new approach to a familiar fish and the texture was just right, very slightly rare inside, which is definitely preferable to overcooked (NIS 109).

My companion chose the slowcooked lamb ossobuco (NIS 119), served with root vegetables, a real comfort food. He was quite nonplussed when the chef explained that he had tried to neutralize the strong lamb flavor, as this is what my dining companion was after, but apparently some people don’t like it.

My dessert of lemon pudding with mango sorbet was a revelation. It was garnished with basil and edible flowers making it not only delicious but beautiful (NIS 45). The second dessert, double chocolate crème caramel (NIS 45) was quite simply, superb.

We ended our meal with mint tea that rounded off the evening nicely. If I have one suggestion for future improvements, it would be that the menu be printed in English too as this would make the whole experience less parochial.

Open: Sunday to Thursday, 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Hayarkon 99, corner Frishman, Tel- Aviv.

(03) 520-2410.

Can you recommend a good, elegant restaurant in Tel Aviv, something not too large, where I can take some visitors from England?” asked a friend a few days ago.

I made a few suggestions that I hope were helpful. What a pity she didn’t call a day later, for that very evening we were invited to dine at Hayarkon 99, a small restaurant that would have fulfilled all my friend’s wishes.

It is attached to the refurbished Dan Hotel on Tel Aviv’s Hayarkon Street, and is not only elegant and very sophisticated, but also has many innovative items on the menu, firstclass service and a lovely warm and welcoming atmosphere.

With celebrity chef Oved Alafiya at the helm, solicitous waiters hovering around and luxurious fixtures and fittings, dining at the 99 is an experience one is likely to treasure.

The hotel itself, one of the oldest in the country, has been totally renovated and exudes an air of luxury and comfort. The restaurant carries on the theme with tables laid with crisp white linen tablecloths, linen napkins and fresh flowers.

As soon as we were seated, and well before placing our orders, food and wine began arriving at the table.

First up was a bottle of Teperberg Cabernet Sauvignon (NIS 200) that accompanied us throughout the meal. Although still relatively young (2012) it was very smooth and rich for its age and went well with all the disparate parts of the menu.

Apart from the de rigueur crispy brown bread and balsamic in olive oil that appears at every good restaurant these days, we were treated to an “amuse-bouche” – a small sample of the restaurant’s gazpacho. This was so good I could have eaten gallons of the stuff not just the thimbleful I actually got. It was quite thin and liquid with no garnish other than a celery stick, but the taste was sublime. It came with crisp bread and a slice of crispy ersatz bacon made from smoked duck breast that I felt was quite superfluous.

For my first course, I chose fresh asparagus on a remoulade base with a coddled egg on the side. (NIS 55).

This dish sounds simple, but there are several pitfalls if not made correctly – getting the egg and the sauce just right, which I’m happy to say they did. The vegetables were crunchy, but a little lacking in that characteristic asparagus flavor – more the fault of the farmer than the cook, I felt.

My companion enjoyed his starter of sweetbreads (NIS 65) that he said were crispy on the outside and soft within and had an excellent flavor enhanced by the savory sauce they came with.

For the main dish, I chose tataki salmon, cubes of fresh fish encased in a wasabi crumb mixture served with ginger foam and a salad full of my favorite leaf, cilantro. It was certainly a new approach to a familiar fish and the texture was just right, very slightly rare inside, which is definitely preferable to overcooked (NIS 109).

My companion chose the slowcooked lamb ossobuco (NIS 119), served with root vegetables, a real comfort food. He was quite nonplussed when the chef explained that he had tried to neutralize the strong lamb flavor, as this is what my dining companion was after, but apparently some people don’t like it.

My dessert of lemon pudding with mango sorbet was a revelation. It was garnished with basil and edible flowers making it not only delicious but beautiful (NIS 45). The second dessert, double chocolate crème caramel (NIS 45) was quite simply, superb.

We ended our meal with mint tea that rounded off the evening nicely. If I have one suggestion for future improvements, it would be that the menu be printed in English too as this would make the whole experience less parochial.

Open: Sunday to Thursday, 7 p.m.

to 11.

Hayarkon 99, corner Frishman, Tel- Aviv.

(03) 520-2410.

The writer was a gCan you recommend a good, elegant restaurant in Tel Aviv, something not too large, where I can take some visitors from England?” asked a friend a few days ago.

I made a few suggestions that I hope were helpful. What a pity she didn’t call a day later, for that very evening we were invited to dine at Hayarkon 99, a small restaurant that would have fulfilled all my friend’s wishes.

It is attached to the refurbished Dan Hotel on Tel Aviv’s Hayarkon Street, and is not only elegant and very sophisticated, but also has many innovative items on the menu, firstclass service and a lovely warm and welcoming atmosphere.

With celebrity chef Oved Alafiya at the helm, solicitous waiters hovering around and luxurious fixtures and fittings, dining at the 99 is an experience one is likely to treasure.

The hotel itself, one of the oldest in the country, has been totally renovated and exudes an air of luxury and comfort. The restaurant carries on the theme with tables laid with crisp white linen tablecloths, linen napkins and fresh flowers.

As soon as we were seated, and well before placing our orders, food and wine began arriving at the table.

First up was a bottle of Teperberg Cabernet Sauvignon (NIS 200) that accompanied us throughout the meal. Although still relatively young (2012) it was very smooth and rich for its age and went well with all the disparate parts of the menu.

Apart from the de rigueur crispy brown bread and balsamic in olive oil that appears at every good restaurant these days, we were treated to an “amuse-bouche” – a small sample of the restaurant’s gazpacho. This was so good I could have eaten gallons of the stuff not just the thimbleful I actually got. It was quite thin and liquid with no garnish other than a celery stick, but the taste was sublime. It came with crisp bread and a slice of crispy ersatz bacon made from smoked duck breast that I felt was quite superfluous.

For my first course, I chose fresh asparagus on a remoulade base with a coddled egg on the side. (NIS 55).

This dish sounds simple, but there are several pitfalls if not made correctly – getting the egg and the sauce just right, which I’m happy to say they did. The vegetables were crunchy, but a little lacking in that characteristic asparagus flavor – more the fault of the farmer than the cook, I felt.

My companion enjoyed his starter of sweetbreads (NIS 65) that he said were crispy on the outside and soft within and had an excellent flavor enhanced by the savory sauce they came with.

For the main dish, I chose tataki salmon, cubes of fresh fish encased in a wasabi crumb mixture served with ginger foam and a salad full of my favorite leaf, cilantro. It was certainly a new approach to a familiar fish and the texture was just right, very slightly rare inside, which is definitely preferable to overcooked (NIS 109).

My companion chose the slowcooked lamb ossobuco (NIS 119), served with root vegetables, a real comfort food. He was quite nonplussed when the chef explained that he had tried to neutralize the strong lamb flavor, as this is what my dining companion was after, but apparently some people don’t like it.

My dessert of lemon pudding with mango sorbet was a revelation. It was garnished with basil and edible flowers making it not only delicious but beautiful (NIS 45). The second dessert, double chocolate crème caramel (NIS 45) was quite simply, superb.

We ended our meal with mint tea that rounded off the evening nicely. If I have one suggestion for future improvements, it would be that the menu be printed in English too as this would make the whole experience less parochial.

Open: Sunday to Thursday, 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Hayarkon 99, corner Frishman, Tel- Aviv. (03) 520-2410.

The writer was a guest of the restaurant.
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