(photo credit: Courtesy)
I must admit I love seafood and had noticed the recently opened Kazanki shrimp and calamari bar a few times on weekend visits to Herzliya Pituah.
Earlier this month I got my chance to dine there. There are two entrances to the restaurant, although the address is the same - Shenkar 2. One entrance is through a very pleasant wine bar that stocks more than 300 different wines. The second entrance is at the rear of the building. You can buy your favorite bottle of wine in the wine shop and then enjoy it with your meal for a corkage fee of NIS 25. We only found out about this option at the end of our meal, but the restaurant wines are very reasonably priced in any case.
The dining area being full, we opted to sit at the bar. We were assured by the very friendly waitress busy squeezing fresh lemons for the establishment's homemade lemonade that all the seafood was fresh and flown in twice a week. Israeli owner Aharon Mor said he had noticed imported and local seafood in Israel selling at exorbitant prices in elite restaurants, and decided to open a reasonably priced venue with the same top-quality food.
We perused the menu and, despite assurances that none of the ingredients were frozen, I was hesitant to try any of the mussel-only dishes. I can't abide the rubbery taste of the frozen variety and am very fussy about the way fish is prepared. I opted for a seafood risotto comprised of calamari, shrimp and mussels. It was delicious, chock full of seafood. The mussels were indeed fresh and tender, as was the calamari, and the shrimps were cooked to perfection atop a rich rice, cream and garlic mixture. My companion had fried calamari with a Mexican dip, equally delicious. We had a bottle of perfectly chilled Binyamina ros to accompany the fish.
The menu, which is extensive, includes a pasta dish; drum fish with roasted garlic and caramelized orange (NIS 45); grouper (NIS 55); many different shrimp and calamari dishes (NIS 35 to 55); and oysters.
As mentioned, the prices are very reasonable: two main courses, a bottle of wine, one dessert and one coffee came to NIS 180. The service was impeccable, a wine bucket was provided to keep the wine chilled, the staff was knowledgeable and friendly, and the decor tranquil. There is a large aquarium in the dining area, and the overall impression is of a much fancier, pricy restaurant. I would strongly recommend this eating house for its good food, relaxed atmosphere, good service and value for money.
Kazanki, Rehov Shenkar 2, Herzliya Pituah; tel: (09) 958-6688. Kazanki also has a branch in Tel Aviv at Rehov Ha'arbaa 16, tel: (03) 561-0630. The chain has a meat restaurant, Porterhouse, in Tel Mond Industrial zone, tel: (04) 796-9666.
Although not kosher, the restaurant doesn't serve pork.