Asian fusion at its best

A meal comprised of small appetizers is the best way to enjoy ‘Station 9’

By LINDA GRADSTEIN
November 7, 2019 12:42
3 minute read.
Asian fusion at its best: Station 9

Asian fusion at its best: Station 9. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Station 9 at the First Station has long been one of our family favorites. We always order the same dishes: popcorn chicken (NIS 55), warm green salad with beef (NIS 70) duck bao buns (NIS 50) and sometimes duck ramen (NIS 55).

But on a recent visit, my foodie son and I put ourselves in manager Ziv Krief’s hands, with the proviso that I don’t like raw onions, and the level of spice should be appropriate for an Ashkenazi palate.

I started with a cocktail called the Rimon Star, which was a delicious combination of Van Gogh pomegranate vodka, fresh pomegranate juice, triple sec, lemon grass, and lime. It was served with a large piece of bluish ice, and made a refreshing and not too sweet start to the meal.

What followed was a meal that was mostly a series of new appetizers, all of which were unique.

First was a piece of toro salmon (NIS 56) just lightly seared with a small blowtorch, alongside bean noodles. The toro is the fattiest part of the salmon next to the esophagus and is rarely served in Israeli restaurants, although it is a delicacy in Europe. The fish was quite fatty, but melted in my mouth, and the bean noodles in a soy, sake and ginger sauce were also delicious.

Next came a dish that brought together ingredients I would never have imagined would go well together. Called a masala ball (NIS 59), it was three kinds of raw fish – in this case, salmon, tuna, and sea bass – wrapped around thinly sliced carrots and beets in a masala curry sauce. I know it doesn’t sound like it would be good, but trust me on this one.

My carnivore dining partner was happy to see the next dish, thin slices of pickled sirloin over a raw root vegetable salad (NIS 55). The meat was salty and chewy, and the salad provided a great contrast in texture. My son and I fought over the last slice of sirloin (as a good mother, I let him win).

Next were Vietnamese pancakes with a dried duck salad (NIS 55). They were sweet and salty at the same time.

Krief also brought a pair of bao buns (NIS 55 for two). These are steamed buns and came topped with asado and a chipotle sauce. Bao buns are a Vietnamese dish and can also come topped with fish, dusk or a burger. I highly recommend these as part of any meal.

Our last appetizer was the Mosaic (NIS 60), a nicely spiced ceviche of salmon, red tuna, mango and spicy chili pepper. If you’re sensitive to spice, don’t eat the pieces of chili peppers.

I would have been happy to stop here, but my 18-year-old son has quite an appetite, so the kitchen brought us one main dish to share. Called pad kaprao (NIS 80), it is a Korean dish of fried rice topped with ground beef spiced with five-spice powder and with a fried egg on top. You are supposed to break the egg and mix it into the meat. The dish was good but not as special as the appetizers.

While prices for the appetizers and the stir-fry dishes are reasonable, main dish prices can climb to NIS 140 for an asado spare rib reminiscent of Fred Flintstone, NIS 130 for a grilled freshwater fish, and NIS 110 for a duck schnitzel.

Overall, we had a great meal, and I look forward to returning.

On Thursday nights, there is a DJ from 10 p.m. on, and the place becomes more of a club-type venue. There is also a business lunch every day with 20% off the entire menu.

Station 9
Kashrut: Jerusalem Rabbinate (all of the fish and meat is mehadrin)
First Station, Jerusalem. Phone: 072-212-5152
Sunday-Wednesday, 12 p.m.-11:30 p.m.; Thursday, until 1 a.m.; Saturday night, Friday, until an hour before Shabbat; Saturday night, one hour after Shabbat.

The writer was a guest of the restaurant.


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