The outlet on the corner where Sirkin and Frishman streets meet is known in Tel Aviv as a place where restaurants and coffee shops don’t last very long. Cafe Sirkin and Betty White are just a couple of the ventures that have recently tried and failed to make a go of it in the famed location, which is just minutes from busy Dizengoff and very close to the beach.
Undeterred by past failures, Bayern Bavarian Brasserie is the latest eatery attempting to make a success of it at the notoriously unlucky and unforgiving junction. The modern restaurant focuses on Austro-German cuisine and claims to be the first traditional authentic Bavarian brasserie in Israel.
It was recently opened by three childhood friends, with young chef Ofer Ben-Or assuming the position of head chef. Ben-Or, who is the son of the Dan Hotel chain’s head chef Sagi Ben-Or, worked and trained in Michelin star restaurants in France.
Ben-Or and his team are aware of the challenges the location brings but are confident they will succeed. During a recent visit with a friend, a staff member said the place was “cursed” because none of the previous restaurants have lasted for longer than a year. “Our aim is to not close within a year,” he joked.
As would be expected from a Bavarian brasserie, Bayern stocks a range of unique beers from Germany, as well as other places in Europe. For those not so into beer, such as myself, there is also a good selection of cider. My friend and I decided to go for an ice cold Irish cider for a change, and it hit the spot.
We started our meal by sharing a traditional portion of Käsespatzle (NIS 32), which consisted of wild mushrooms, spätzle and cheeses. While tasty and rich in flavor, we found the dish to be rather heavy and struggled to finish it.
The Bayern style salad (NIS 28) was much more our kind of thing. It consisted of mixed lettuce with slices of apples and pears cooked in white wine, topped with walnuts, croutons and blue cheese. All the components worked well together, and the blue cheese finished it all off perfectly.
With more than 10 different types of schnitzels on offer and the restaurant priding itself on everyone’s favorite breadcrumb covered dish, we just had to see what all the fuss was about. Of all the options available, there was one that stood out to me as being the most unique, and that was the Holstein schnitzel (NIS 81). It is a regular chicken schnitzel with a fried egg on top served with three canapes – anchovy and cucumber, red caviar and smoked salmon. At first I thought I was never going to finish the huge portion, but it was all so good that there was barely a breadcrumb left on the plate. The schnitzel itself and the three delicious canapes all added something very unique.
My friend went for the Alpine (NIS 66), a veal schnitzel served with roasted peppers, tomatoes, feta and goat’s cheese on top. The veal was of good quality, and the extra vegetables and cheese on the top made a change from a regular schnitzel. Both main dishes were served with a small side salad and very creamy mashed potatoes.
There’s no denying that this style of food is very heavy and fills you up quickly. In light of this, we decided to share just one dessert instead of going for one each. While there were other options on the menu that looked tempting, we agreed that we just had to try the traditional Kaiserschmarrn (NIS 28). lt is a pancake split into pieces while frying, sprinkled with powdered sugar, nuts and raisins with fruit compote. Despite its being very heavy and rich, we managed to finish the whole portion, a testament to how tasty it was.
The wait staff at Bayern was attentive throughout the evening and very knowledgeable about all the food on offer, as well as the alcohol.
Despite opening at a “cursed” location, Bayern has a lot going for it. With its friendly and knowledgeable waiters, modern interior and strong menu, it looks as though it may well pass the one year mark, a feat that so many of its predecessors failed to do.The writer was a guest of the restaurant.
Bayern Bavarian Brasserie Not kosher 22 Frishman, corner Sirkin, Tel Aviv Open every day from noon to 11 p.m.
Tel: 077-556-5753 http://www.bayern.org.il
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