These restaurants will feed you during the coronavirus crisis

We have managed to include a variety of cuisines, so experiment and have fun. What you will not find are pizzerias - this week (next week this may change).

Restaurant in Israel (photo credit: Courtesy)
Restaurant in Israel
(photo credit: Courtesy)
These are tough times, to be sure, but here’s an idea to break the monotony: discover a restaurant, or even a new cuisine you’d never tried before.
Of course, you can’t go and be waited on, but many restaurants are still open for business, packing meals for pick-up (often at a discount), and delivering within a nearby radius. There is no sector of the economy growing as quickly as delivery services. And even if you are outside the delivery zone, traffic is so light these days that you can easily venture out a bit further, as long as you obey the government’s ever-changing rules.
No one knows if we are heading for an even stricter lockdown, but It is really vital that the government made the welcome decision to declare restaurants essential services, both because the supermarkets are overcrowded as it is, and to keep at least some people working; there are literally hundreds of thousands lining up to collect unemployment.
What follows is a partial list of restaurants - from fancy to casual - that are operating even in these trying times. Every one of them was visited personally, and never was there a problem maintaining a social distance of two meters, whether from other customers or employees.
Still, given the fluid situation these days, it is important to call the restaurant before venturing out; individual closures may happen with hardly any notice. Or, take-away may be suspended in favor of delivery only.
We have managed to include a variety of cuisines, so experiment and have fun. What you will not find are pizzerias - this week (next week this may change).
It goes without saying that kosher eateries are represented, as well as options for vegans and vegetarians. For each place, websites are provided in addition to telephone numbers so that menus (most in Hebrew only) may be studied and orders placed online. Price ranges refer to the categories or dishes described.
Restaurants are listed in alphabetical order, not by rank.

In-d
This Indian kitchen is one of several located in Shuk Tzafon (shuktzafon.co.il) that is being (and will be) featured during the current crisis. Although it is possible to order delivery, it is great fun to go and get explanations of the many aromatic dishes simmering in huge pots.
In-d used to be vegan/vegetarian, but recently they introduced a few select chicken dishes. There are not that many spicy dishes, and this is a great opportunity to try Indian cuisine if you haven’t before. Moreover, you don’t have to worry about finishing everything right away; the flavor of some dishes even intensifies over the course of one or two days.
Dishes are hearty and satisfying, especially the (slightly) spicy dal (lentils), chicken tikka masala (mild), Andaman tofu curry (spicy) and Rajasthani chestnut curry (mild). Meals are reasonably priced, and include a choice of plain or biryani (recommended) rice, as well as condiments like pickles and chutneys.
In-d. Not kosher. Shuk Tzafon, Raoul Wallenberg St. 20, Ramat HaHayal. Tel: 054-622-2344/03-779-2456. Website: in-d.co.il. Price range: NIS 36-67.

Japanika
This recent visit to Japanika was a real eye-opener. The menu I recalled from previous visits consisted largely of sushi rolls and variations thereof, whereas I was greeted this time by an extensive and varied menu of Asian dishes. Eschewing the familiar sushi, we tried dishes from other categories: Starters, Wok (rice and noodle) Dishes and Mains/Grill. The menu includes plenty of vegetarian/vegan options.
Recommended dishes are the chicken gyoza dumplings (there is also sweet potato version); nam tok salad - strips of beef with rice pasta, onion, cherry tomato, and fresh cilantro and mint in a tangy sauce of tamarind, chili, lime and sweet soy; Macau tofu (slightly spicy) - Udon noodles and cubes of tofu stir-fried with broccoli, green onion and mushrooms in a coconut milk curry sauce; and chicken cashew - chicken tempura stir-fried in a zesty tamarind-chili sauce with smoked sweet pepper, carrot, red/yellow capsicum, onion and cashew nuts, served with steamed rice.
Japanika has 25 branches throughout the country, five of which are kosher.
Japanika. Kosher and non-kosher. Sample location: G Mall, Weizmann St. 207, Kfar Saba. Tel: (all branches) 03-723-6100. Website: japanika.net. Price range: NIS 16-29/41-58

L’Entrecôte
Even fine dining restaurants are getting into the act. And this particular one is not merely kosher, it is mehadrin (glatt). It was also reviewed in depth previously in this paper (February 8, 2019).
The meals listed on the website’s mishlohim (deliveries) page itemizes eight all-day iskiyot (business deals). Recommended main courses are the eponymous entrecôte, the hamburger, and the (unlisted) chicken breast in peanut sauce.
Starters include a choice of four salads, liver pâté, grilled eggplant, assorted mushrooms, gnocchi, or mini kebabs, while side dishes the usual suspects: rice, mashed potatoes, French fries or a green salad. The restaurant is generous with condiments (mayonnaise, ketchup) and bread rolls.
L’Entrecôte. Kosher (mehadrin). Ahad Ha’am Street 28, Tel Aviv. Tel: 03-633-7733. Website: lentrecote.co.il. Price range: NIS 72-128.

Rotisserie Chicken Club
By virtue of its finger-licking good chicken, this booth in Shuk Tzafon has grown into a mini-empire of three branches, all owned and managed by the energetic Ayelet. The Sarona Market and Drorim branches are both kosher, and all three are closed on shabbat. (Shuk Tzafon lacks certification, because the rabbinic supervisor refused to grant it to a business that also owns a non-kosher pizzeria.)
The menu is built entirely around chicken, in various creative ways: hot off the rotating grill, in sandwiches or wraps with homemade aioli, and in different salad combinations, including a unique dish of morsels of chicken tossed with spaetzle and two kinds of onion. Chicken wings are available in a choice of three sauces: diablo (spicy), BBQ, and sweet chili.
Notable among the nine side dishes are the crispy mashed potato balls, sweet potato sticks with a crunchy exterior, and American-styte coleslaw. If someone in the family does not eat chicken, there are roast beef options. Plus a kids’ meal featuring, what else, chicken schnitzel.
Rotisserie Chicken Club. Kosher and non-kosher. (Shuk Tzafon, Raoul Wallenberg 20, Tel Aviv.) Tel: 1-700-551-900. Website: rotisserie.co.il. Price range: NIS 52-84.
The writer was a guest of the restaurants.