Like many Israelis, we love to go out for Friday breakfast. Soon after we made aliyah in 1973, we decided that Friday morning would have to substitute for Sunday, which was and still is a working day.
Enjoying a Friday breakfast at Biga in the Netanya Soho complex, we were delighted to be asked if we would care to sample the dinner menu the following week. We arrived to be warmly greeted by the manager Eliad, who immediately made us feel wanted and at home.
The menus are in Hebrew, but if you really need English it can be found on the electronic menus.
As it was a cold winter evening, my companion chose to begin with a plate of hot vegetable soup (NIS 36), while I chose melanzane, stone-oven roasted layers of eggplant and tomato sauce with Parmesan, mozzarella and basil (NIS 39). To go with the soup was warm focaccia with a dip of oil, balsamic and grated tomato.
At least I had something to eat while I watched him enjoying his soup, which I was also allowed to taste and which proved to be very good with a healthy mix of diced carrot, potato, zucchini, and celery in a garlic-flavored broth.
By the time my dish arrived, the soup was long gone. This is an easily avoidable mistake – just don’t bring the soup until the other starter is ready.
Once it arrived it proved to be delicious – eggplant slices nestling in a rich herby tomato sauce with lashings of Parmesan, surrounded by cold mozzarella, a really great combination of hot and cold.
For our main courses we chose fish. My companion plumped for the lavrak which is a solid sea fish also called sea bass or burri in Hebrew. The dish consisted of three medium fillets garnished with almonds, with sides of chick peas, spinach and tomato, the whole doused in cumin and garlic (NIS 89).
I chose Asian salmon with mushrooms, a large fresh fillet, flavored with soy and orange juice, which managed to be sweet and savory at the same time. The side dish of sautéed chopped mushrooms went very well with the salmon. (NIS 89) and had the advantage of being almost calorie-free.
We drank a glass each of ice-cold Chardonnay, which just satisfied the urge for something alcoholic without going over the top (NIS 15).
There are many dessert choices, all sounding very attractive, but we had to choose, so my partner picked pecan profiteroles, crispy cream puffs with rich chocolate ice cream, pecan filling and whipped cream (NIS 42). Sneaking a taste, I found it awesome.
I chose salty caramel cheesecake cream with Lotus crumble (NIS 42), supposedly the cheese part, without the cake. Three large balls of what tasted like more fresh cream than cheese arrived, topped with the caramel sauce that was not at all salty, but the dish was simply a taste of heaven.
We were offered our post-prandial coffee in either a glass or a cup, and ended our meal with one of each. Altogether it was an evening to remember.
Soho Area, 5 Mapi, Netanya.
Contact: 09-769-1252 or biga-bakery.co.il
Sun-Thu: 7 a.m.-8 p.m.
Fri: 6 p.m.-one hour before Shabbat
Sat: From one hour after Shabbat.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.