(photo credit: PR)
Goocha is very popular fish and seafood chain in the Tel Aviv area. I’ve eaten at the Dizengoff branch often and although it’s a bit crowded at times and at certain hours you may have to wait in a queue before you’re seated, the service is great and the food is of the best quality. I had the pleasure of dining at Goocha’s recently-opened sister restaurant on the corner of Ehad Ha’am and Nachmani streets.
While seafood dominates the menu, many meat dishes are also available, as are specials for kids. The branch also offers the special “Goocha Picnic” – a picnic area where visitors may order a variety of items from fish and chips to hamburgers, to be eaten on wooden picnic tables in the restaurant’s courtyard.
The dining area being full, we opted to sit at the bar. We started off with some intriguing cocktails. I tried the Bitter Truth (NIS 43), which consisted of scotch whiskey, gin, green chartreuse and orange lemon. What a great drink! It really sent my taste buds on a trip from sweet to spicy, with a nice whisky finish. My dining partner ordered the Northern Light (NIS 39), which was comprised of gin, midori and celery bitter. She was very pleased with it.
We began our meal with the tuna tartare (NIS 51). Very simple in execution and bold in complementary flavors, this is a must-order. The tuna was melt-in-your-mouth goodness, while the overall saltiness of the dish was counterbalanced by the sweetness of the citrus vinaigrette.
This was followed by the grilled octopus (NIS 47) with potato, labaneh and roasted pepper. I was most afraid of this dish becoming rubbery or chewy. It was not at all like that. The slight crunch from the grill and softness of the octopus was a great texture combination.
We then tried the crispy fish tacos (NIS 42). The white fish was breaded and fried beautifully. Not too heavy or oily – just right. This, coupled with the creamy chipotle, salsa and pickled onion was heavenly. I would come back just for this taco.
For mains, we started with the beef filet (NIS 87). Being a fish restaurant, I had my reservations about this dish, however we were pleasantly surprised by the filet, which was a great piece of meat, generous in proportion, and the seasoning was just right and did not overpower the meat. Cutting into the steak was like slicing through a stick of butter. Needless to say, I ate my plate clean.
Next up was the drum fish filet on roasted vegetables (NIS 89). The fish was seared perfectly, holding its natural moisture, lightly seasoned and had a nice buttery, flaky consistency.
The dish was accompanied by a chimichurri red sauce that complemented the fish well, and the roasted carrots and zucchini added a heartiness to the otherwise light dish.
I didn’t even look for a piece of lemon, as I often do to enhance the taste.
For dessert, it was recommended that we try the apple crumble (NIS 39). I was expecting your basic apple pie, but what we got was a piece of pie with caramelized apples on top and a soft delicious apple filling all congealing nicely and warmly, with some vanilla ice cream.
All in all, Goocha went above and beyond my expectations and I would definitely come here again for a special occasion! The writer was a guest of the restaurant.
26 Nahmani, Tel Aviv
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