Hatarnegol hakahol 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Hatarnegol Hakahol (The Blue Rooster) is somewhat off the beaten track for
someone like me who tends to check out restaurants mainly in central Tel Aviv or
Jaffa. Granted, it’s located right next to the main Arlozorov/Savidor train
station, which many would still consider central, but this is not an area that I
would expect to find a good restaurant.
Housed in an upscale shopping
mall in the complex outside the YOO towers, Hatarnegol Hakahol seems from the
outside quite cold and uninviting; but once my friend and I stepped into the
restaurant, we entered a well-designed and classy yet comfortable
The menu is very eclectic, taking influences from all around the
world. Some dishes have a Thai twist, some are inspired by Japanese
cuisine, and many dishes have a predominantly Mediterranean flavor.
wine list is very impressive, and what makes it even more special is that it’s
made up entirely of Israeli wines. It is important to note, however, that not
all the wines are kosher, as some of them come from boutique wineries that do
not have a kashrut certificate. But then again, the restaurant is not kosher,
either. We were lucky enough to see the entire wine collection, which is kept in
an intimate cellar. We went for a bottle of Petit Castel, which comes from the
boutique Castel Winery in the Jerusalem hills.
The waiters at Hatarnegol
Hakahol were very conscientious, but we must have visited on an evening when
they were training new staff, and it showed. The more experienced waiters, who
were showing the newer ones what to do, seemed to know what they were talking
about and made sure that our evening ran smoothly and everything was taken care
Whenever I go out to a good restaurant, I always try to order things
I wouldn’t usually make at home or eat at a regular restaurant. So, true to
form, for the appetizer I went for veal brains on a bed of spicy tomato
marmalade and coriander pesto (NIS 63). When I saw it on the menu and realized I
had never actually tasted any kind of brain, I was very intrigued. For my first
time trying it, I was impressed with how soft the meat was and what a unique
taste it had. The coriander pesto gave the dish a bit of a kick, and the cherry
tomatoes made everything fresh.
Not wanting to feel left out on the veal
theme, my friend ordered an appetizer of veal sweetbreads and chicken hearts
served with tehina and nuts (NIS 63). This dish was slightly less enjoyable, as
the meats were overcooked in my opinion and the tehina and nuts didn’t really
add anything special.
When it came to the main course, we also went for
dishes that were slightly different. I opted for duck breast served with port
sauce, drunken pears and shimeji mushrooms (NIS 99). For the quality of the meat
and great flavors of the pears and mushrooms, this dish was very reasonably
priced. It was not such a large dish, but the quality outweighed the quantity,
and the duck itself was tender and flavorful.
When the enthusiastic
waitress read out the daily specials, my friend could not resist the Kobe steak
served with Asian-style fried vegetables (NIS 200). Although it was
relatively expensive, especially compared to the rest of the menu, it was worth
it. The tenderness of this special type of beef from Japan was noticeable even
before we tried it. The strong flavor and the marbled texture was enough to make
this dish special, as the steak came on a plate by itself with nothing else. The
vegetables on the side were also tasty, but the meat took center stage this
Although we were already rather full after our main courses, we
couldn’t resist ordering from the dessert menu. The creme brulee with a hint of
cardamom (NIS 38) was a great choice because the Mediterranean twist added a
certain savory element to offset the sweetness. The actual texture of the creme
brulee was just right, and the crispy sugar layer was perfect.
dessert, which consisted of a chocolate cookie sandwich (NIS 38) filled with ice
cream, was tasty but nothing special. It was the kind of dessert where the
chocolate did all the talking and innovation took a back seat.
we enjoyed our experience at Hatarnegol Hakahol. It was a refreshing change to
step slightly out of our comfort zone, even if it was only a 15-minute bicycle
ride away from our regular haunts. The food here is of a high standard, and many
of the dishes have a unique twist that separate them from ones found in other
similar restaurants. With great service and a well thought out wine list, a trip
to this north Tel Aviv establishment is well worth it.The writer was a
guest of the restaurant.Hatarnegol Hakahol Not kosher 10 Nissim Aloni,
Tel Aviv Open Sunday to Saturday from noon to midnight