MIMA, a new kosher restaurant in Raanana's industrial zone, is perfectly located opposite the entrance to the mall.
Opened only three weeks ago, MIMA is self-described as a grill bar. The interior, however, is reminiscent of a diner - with wooden tables, wide booths and no bar. On the other hand, the extensive eclectic menu, which for the moment is only in Hebrew, is more that of a better class restaurant than a grill bar. There are no cocktails but there's a reasonable wine list and of course beers.
Chef and owner Uri Wechsler learned his trade at the Tadmor school and later at the Cordon Bleu in London. Returning to Israel, Wechsler served as chef of the Soho restaurant in Rishon Lezion before deciding to open his own eatery.
Wechsler ages his meat on the premises, while he serves fresh and crusty bread from the bakery next door - alongside an excellent avocado dip, pesto and roasted garlic cloves.
MIMA is open for breakfast daily (except Friday) till noon serving either shakshouka (NIS 35) or a full Monty English breakfast (eggs, sausages, tomatoes, beans and salad at NIS 41). Business lunches from NIS 55 to NIS 95 consist of starters and main courses.
For hors d'oeuvres, MIMA offers soup, chicken wings, hot antipasti (sweet potato chunks, corn on the cob, eggplant, red and green peppers - all roasted with soy sauce); both tuna and beef carpaccio; chicken liver with toast and falafel with a tehina sauce. Prices range from NIS 21 to NIS 40.
Then comes a selection of salads, sanwiches, pasta and fish.
The meat menu consists of shnitzel, baby chicken filet, chicken breast, chorizzo sausages, lamb kebabs, a 250-gram hamburger, osso bucco, entrecote steak, sirloin, beef filet and lamb chops - all of which come with side dishes.
The entrecote and sirloin steaks were good but a little overcooked and needed salt. The kebabs were nicely spiced and the chimichurri sauce accompanying the meat was really good, not too garlicky or lemony.
The piece de resistance, however, was the dessert. A beautifully presented apple pie with crisp flaky pastry full of stewed apple, topped with parve vanilla ice cream. Wechsler's mastery finally became evident as it tasted as good as it looked. Other desserts include chocolate cake, a selection of sorbets, and creme brule. All the desserts are made on the premises and cost around NIS 24 each.
The restaurant has yet to find its niche as it is, for sure, neither a grill bar, a diner nor a fast-food place. It is, however, an eatery with potential which will sort itself out with time. The chef has plans for take away food in the future. In the meantime it is a good place to relax away from the crowded, noisy mall.
MIMA, 40 Hacharoshet St.; Ra'anana Industrial Zone; (09) 741-8766. Open daily, except Friday and Saturday, from 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.