Are you ready for RYU?

Enjoy the fusion of food, decorative interior and even the intriguing name, which means ‘dragon’ in Japanese characters.

sushi 311 (photo credit: E. Wanetik)
sushi 311
(photo credit: E. Wanetik)
Israel’s East Asian dishes by way of the North American palate are finally retaining color and texture – and just in time. The wok stir fry technique is supposed to deliver crispy, flavorful and freshly hued vegetables. Now you can appreciate each of those qualities at RYU, an Asian fusion restaurant on Emek Refaim.
Even Nir Portal’s décor is a pleasant mix of styles, with large peach-colored mushroom lamps, an insulated atrium with diagonal supports, a stone patio for warmer weather seating and a fun black-and-white design on the booths that tempted me to take out some markers and start coloring – but I didn’t.
There is a long bar where diners can sit and eat or order drinks, and an Ally McBeal bathroom of sorts down two flights. But don’t worry; there is also a ground-level restroom.
Annette Bamberger, the marketing director, is helping to make RYU even more of a hotspot with Saturday jazz nights, supper/pub quizzes and Happy Hour (6-9pm) at the active bar. By joining the (free) membership list, one will be in the know as to what events are happening when.
Culinary adviser Elran Goldstein, along with chef Eran Geffen, helped the menu evolve to match the mehadrin kashrut standards with what the people want. For starters, my personal recommendations are the wonton soup, the hot and sour soup and the beef and plum dim sum served with a lemon fonzu dipping sauce (NIS 31 for each appetizer). My favorite lunch special, also available at other times of the day, is the chicken tempura (NIS 64). It is served on a banana leaf, and the taste is on par with the primo presentation.
Other dishes of note are the vegetable Pad Thai (NIS 54) and the sweet organic eggplant (NIS 64). The Szechuan noodles with veal (NIS 68) is spiced to perfection.
And, of course, there is a menu full of sushi. The exquisitely presented Dragon’s Fire (NIS 52/34) is decidedly for those who want an intense multi-fish experience, as it prominently features tuna, yellow snapper and salmon (pictured).
Another great feature is the children’s menu (options at NIS 39/42).
Even though the purists out there wouldn’t give up their regular soysauce, I prefer the low sodium variety, which thankfully is availableat RYU.
If sushi and/or stir fry is not your thing, you can try one of theAsian alternative dishes such as the zingy tomato and wheat saladflavored with tomchili sauce at NIS 31.
Daily business lunches range from NIS 42 to NIS 55. The lower price isa vegetarian sushi lunch; the higher price meal includes an appetizerand main dish. Everyone gets the house special: a glass of fruit icedtea.

RYU, Emek Refaim 25,(02) 561-1344.Sun.-Thurs., noon to midnight. Open Sat. from one hour after Shabbatuntil 1 a.m. Summer hours may change. Kosher. Tav chevrati pending.  Delivery option (+NIS 5) 1-800-304-344.

The writer was a guest of the restaurant.