A good square meal

At Kubiyot, finding satisfying menu options is not a gamble

shrimp in dipping sauce from Kubiyot (photo credit: courtesy)
shrimp in dipping sauce from Kubiyot
(photo credit: courtesy)
With so many restaurants in Tel Aviv all trying their hardest to come up with a new theme, gimmick or concept to keep people interested, it is always interesting to see what the latest attempts will offer. The theme at Kubiyot (“cubes” in Hebrew) is very novel – everything comes in squares. From the square plates to the square menu, all the way through to the small cube of chocolate that they serve for dessert, this place takes its theme very seriously.
Walking past Kubiyot, you could be led to believe that it is just another fast food joint littered around the area of Rabin Square that serves the regular meats and humous. On closer inspection, however, it becomes clear that this place is a little different. Although the theme is all about straight lines and boxes, the atmosphere and staff are anything but square. The young and friendly waiters were happy to help and made us feel at ease.
I went with a friend of mine who had just gotten out from a hard week on the army base and wanted to wind down. We sat outside and soaked up the atmosphere of the busy street just next to Rabin Square. At Kubiyot they pride themselves on their selection of unique beers, so we obliged by ordering a glass each.
They also have a great selection of regular alcohol at very reasonable prices.
The starter menu is relatively new and offers very reasonably priced options. I went for the beef carpaccio (NIS 18), which I was surprised to find was not actually cut into squares but in fact the traditional circles. The portion was small but satisfactory. It was not the best carpaccio I ever tasted and there was a little too much black pepper for me, but overall it was tasty and the bread was delicious.
My friend went for shrimps (NIS 15), which came deep fried and served with salad and sauces. The shrimps were well cooked and had just the right amount of crunch.
The main course is where it gets interesting. The menu is divided into three sections, with dishes costing either NIS 30, NIS 40 or NIS 50. You choose your fish, meat or vegetarian option, and then you choose which side dish you want. The options include rice, cubed French fries or baked potatoes. Each dish also comes with a salad and a choice of dipping sauces.
Although dipping sauces usually take a back seat to the main dish, I feel they deserve their own mention here even before talking about the main dishes themselves.
We were lucky enough to sample all the different sauces. There are too many to list, but some of the highlights include blue cheese, spicy satay peanut, red wine, sundried tomato and teriyaki. Each sauce is served in its own miniature cubed dish.
I ordered seared tuna, which comes under the NIS 40 bracket, with rice. The cubes of tuna were perfectly cooked and delicately seasoned. The rice, which was a huge portion served in a cube placed next to the tuna, was very flavorful and had a sort of Indian taste to it. The blue cheese sauce went perfectly with the tuna, and I was almost licking it out of the dish.
My friend went for the filet steak, which came under the NIS 50 bracket, with baked potatoes. The steak – which will come as no surprise – was served in cubes. It was well cooked and very tender.
The baked potatoes were a little disappointing but were certainly not bad.
There is no dessert menu at Kubiyot. Instead, they serve a tiny cube of chocolate at the end of each meal, which provides that something sweet without being too heavy or sickly.
With a funky vibe and a very friendly staff, Kubiyot is great place to sit with friends and watch the world go by in a relaxed atmosphere. The inexpensive and varied alcohol menu, along with the reasonable and filling food options, mean that you will leave feeling satisfied. Although the idea behind the menu is relatively simple, the end results show that the people behind Kubiyot were certainly thinking outside the box.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant

Not kosher
8 Malahei Yisrael,
Tel Aviv Tel: (03) 609-2868
Open Sunday to Thursday 11:30 a.m.
to midnight. Friday 11:30 a.m.
to 4 p.m. Saturday 6:30 p.m. to midnight.