Judith S. Goldstein is the Co-Founder of TasteTLV. TasteTLV is the ultimate
culinary guide for dining in Tel Aviv.
You know those
dishes you order at a restaurant and you simply never forget about? The
ones you talk about for days, months or years to come like it’s a
Some, you never forget because they’re so
creative, others because they’re made so perfectly and then there are
the ones with such distinct tastes and flavors, they leave an imprint on
your palette forever.
With a number of young and creative chefs
in the city, there's no shortage of menu items that keep us yearning
for more, so here are Taste TLV’s top 5 favorite dishes in the city.1. Sea Bass Baklava at Hadar Haohel
between the Tel Aviv Museum of Art and the Tel Aviv Opera House, Hadar
Ha’ochel imbues the artistic nature of the area while honoring Israeli
tradition and embracing urban modernity.
Chef Omer Miller has
come up with a variety of contemporary dishes that reinvent Middle
Eastern classics and he has designed a few treats of his own, the sea
bass baklava being one of them.
Although fish mixed with sweet
might not sound appetizing at first, it’s one of those dishes where you
discover that Chef Omer Miller can see the compatibility in flavors that
would seem discordant to the untrained cook.
The crunchy baked
filo dough of baklava comes bursting with soft white fish that releases a
salty garlic aroma. The entire delicacy is sprinkled with spiced honey
and thyme which brings sensations of sweet, earthy and crunchy texture
simultaneously. The sea bass baklava is an inventive and playful dish
that you’ll never forget.
Other recommendations: The chopped
liver at Hadar Haochel is soft, smooth, creamy and comes with strings of
fried onion and homemade pickle, a yummy classic.Address: Shaul Hamelech 23
Not kosher2. Steak Tartar Burger at Tapas B’Shuk
a bustling corner of the Farmers Market in the Namal (Port) sits a
buzzing tapas bar, flowing with champagne and tapas of all shapes and
sizes. One of these tapas is an absolute culinary gem called the Tartar
Burger - a beef tartar with a side of some great mustard that’s placed
on a perfectly toasted bun.
The bun has been immaculately
toasted to complement the fresh, high quality meat. The accompanying
hardly-a-garnish mustard, boasts a tremendous flavor, providing an ideal
partner for the raw, delicate beef. Altogether this dish offers a
juxtaposed mouthful of warm, cold, crispy and juicy making it one of
those dishes that you keep coming back for more.
recommendations: The calamari bruschetta; grilled pieces of calamari
served on a toasted home made bread, simple and delicious. Address: Hangar 12, Tel Aviv Port
Phone number: (03) 716-2757Not kosher3. 4 Funghi Pasta at Olivery
you’re a mushroom lover, like I am, you don’t want to miss the four
funghi pappardelle at Olivery. This is one of the few dishes I’ve tried
that truly glorifies the brawny, rugged flavors of mushroom.
champignon, porcini, and tartufo mushrooms are blended with slightly
sweet, slightly starchy homemade pappardelle and tossed with a luscious
This is one of those dishes that we recommend all
the time and hear nothing but raving reviews. The pungent flavors of
fresh mushroom is evident in the pasta and satisfies a craving for these
fleshy, earth-bound delights. Olivery could serve this dish alone and
be successful along with their romantic yet welcoming Italian
Other recommendation: After a delightful meal with
illustrious savory dishes, treat yourself to the banana pizza.
Caramelized bananas are placed upon stone baked pizza dough and topped
with a heavenly mascarpone vanilla sauce; everything you can possibly
want in one bite.Address: Ibn Gvirol 137
Phone number: (03) 544-6076
Not kosher4. Gondhi at Kaful
your nose to the front entrance of Nachalat Binyamin and you’ll be
pleasantly guided by the aromatic scents of exotic cardamom and dried
Persian lemon. When humous experts at Kaful extended their menu six
months ago to include Persian delights such as gormeh sabzi and
kubideh, they charmed diners with a medley of flawless Persian classics,
using old family recipes and commemorating Persian culinary tradition.
had my share of gondhi in my lifetime and the gondhi at Kaful easily
ranks as some of the best. Gondhi, a Persian version of meatballs, is a
traditional Jewish Persian dish made with chickpea flavor, ground
chicken and a variety of spices. The large balls of gondhi at Kaful are
light and airy but loaded with booming flavor, almost taking diners back
to the streets of Tehran.
With each bite of gondhi you get a
piece of the owner’s family history, to a place where rugs were weaved
on street corners and street vendors made lavash (Persian bread) in
stone ovens. This is the Iran that Persian Jews remember.
recommendations: Ground Persian beef kebab made on a grill, kubideh. The
flavors of sumac and turmeric are evident and the juicy meat is grilled
exquisitely.Address: Nachalat Binyamin 2
Phone number: (03) 510-8408
Not kosher5. Truffle Polenta at Yoetzer Wine Bar
it takes only a few bites from a small dish to rev up your taste buds
and get them excited for an entire meal, meet the polenta truffle from
Yoetzer wine bar.
Once the plate arrives to your table with
a little tasting spoon, you can smell the truffle whizzing
through the air. The buttery polenta with it’s natural corn flavor is
cooked ideally. The poached egg served on top provides an all
encompassing salty and savory essence that gently warms and tickles the
This small dish packs a big punch, an optimal way to
start a fine meal and a dish that you’re likely to be dreaming about
for days to come. The experience at Yoetzer cannot be matched, as you
sit in the quiet cave by candlelight and feast on the hearty and
boasting flavors of this classic restaurant.
recommendation: For a classic favorite done with precision, try the boeuf bourguignon. The succulent pieces of meat are so delicate, they fall off
the fork and the tender vegetables provide just the right amount of
sweetness for the tangy red wine sauce.Address: Yoezer Ish Habira 2
Phone number: (03) 683-9115
Not kosherKassandra Grunewald and Rachel Brender contributed to this articleJudith studied Middle Eastern Politics at the University of California in Santa
Barbara. She has worked in the hospitality and culinary industry for 10 years.
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