A dish at Kazan in Ra’anana.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Kazan is something of a paradox – on the one hand a very sophisticated gourmet restaurant, and on the other a popular rendezvous for families, even with small children.
Liron Tizabi, the owner, is almost always on hand to make guests welcome and ensure that everything goes off without a hitch. The family of Persian origin has been in the catering business for years, and Kazan was opened nearly three years ago, in a prime location on Ra’anana’s main drag, Ahuza, where the competition is fierce, as there are so many kosher eateries around.
No sooner had we sat down than glasses of iced water appeared, followed quickly by a menu written in perfect English.
The tables had no tablecloths, but there were huge cloth napkins rather than the paper variety – which seems to be a trend. While we nibbled on crusty country bread slices with the inevitable oil and balsamic dips and olives, our efficient waitress took our orders.
My partner began his meal with goose liver pâté served with stewed figs, while I chose the tuna tartare (NIS 58). This was a very interesting choice, as the fresh fish had been finely chopped with even smaller pieces of cucumber, onion, red pepper and avocado. Shaped into a perfect ring, and with just the right amount of vinaigrette, it was a very pleasing mix of flavors and textures. On the other side of the table, the pâté was being demolished with fervor, and when I tasted it I could understand why – rich and creamy liver flavors contrasting with the sweet fig compote – truly a superb dish.
For my main course I chose grilled sea bream with a colorful garnish of thinly sliced radish, cherry tomatoes and plenty of lemon (NIS 126). It was so perfectly cooked – not a minute too long or too short – that I needed to find out more about the chef who got it just right.
It turns out he is English, he came here as a child, and his name is Daniel Hartuv. Well that’s something to make us Brits proud.
Across the table my partner was dissecting his three very meaty lamb chops with surgical precision. There was not a soupcon of meat left on the bones by the time he’d finished, and it was all done with a knife and fork – no hands (NIS 198). I suppose it helps if you are a surgeon anyway.
As a side dish we shared a bowl of nicely al dente green beans jazzed up with whole roasted garlic cloves and shredded zucchini.
To accompany this feast we each had a glass of wine, a Yarden Chardonnay for me (NIS 46) and a Cabernet Sauvignon from Ella Valley Vineyards (NIS 58) for the chops. Both wines are complex, rich with tastes and overtones and perfectly complemented the food.
We agreed to share a dessert and chose a decadent chocolate dream consisting of rich chocolate ice cream served on a crunchy caramel base with bitter chocolate ganache poured over the whole edifice (NIS 48). Needless to say, quite divine.
Throughout the evening the young staff were very attentive, checking that all was well and constantly refilling the iced water. By the time we left, after drinking glasses of hot mint water, the restaurant was filled and one could detect the pleasant buzz of satisfied customers enjoying a fun night out with top-notch food and a warm and welcoming atmosphere. What more could anyone ask for?
71 Ahuza, Ra’anana.
Tel: (09) 779-7300
Sun-Thursday, 12 p.m.-midnight.
Saturday, 1 hour after Shabbat.The writer was a guest of the restaurant.
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