Catch of the day

The new winter menu at Nammos has fresh fish and seafood to complement the restaurant’s established sushi fare.

Catch of the day (photo credit: Courtesy)
Catch of the day
(photo credit: Courtesy)
For someone who is used to frequenting restaurants in the center of Tel Aviv, it made for a pleasant getaway when I was recently invited to Herzilya Pituah to eat at Nammos Chef Restaurant and Sushi Bar. While it may be only a short 15-minute drive up the highway, the marina in Herzilya Pituah seemed like a different world when a friend and I visited recently on a mild winter evening.
After walking through the glitzy mall and passing by the rows of impressive luxury yachts anchored at the marina, we reached the restaurant, which is set apart from the other restaurants in the upscale complex and enjoys a prime location right next to the water.
Restaurateur Ilan Trieger recently appointed Aviv Levi as head chef. Levi launched a new winter menu that uses fresh fish and seafood, complementing the established sushi menu that has been available at the restaurant for years.
Trieger made us feel very welcome from the second we walked into the light and airy restaurant, which is complete with modern furnishings. In his own laid-back style, he made it his business to ensure that each of us ordered wine that we would be happy with. He took the time to explain what was on offer and proceeded to ask us about our specific tastes. In the end, I went for what he was drinking – the Pinot Grigio, while my friend had the Gertzweiner. Neither of us was disappointed.
When Trieger asked if we liked sushi and we nodded in the affirmative, his eyes lit up. Knowing that the restaurant is famous for its sushi, we knew we were in for a treat. But nothing could have prepared us for what was to come. He warned us that there would be a lot of sushi but said we would start with that and then move on to other parts of the menu. When the sushi platter (NIS 560) finally arrived, our jaws dropped. We were concerned that we wouldn’t be able to finish what was in front of us, never mind try other dishes from the menu.
Before we tasted the vast selection before our eyes, we took a good five minutes to admire the presentation of the platter that was so heavy, it was almost impossible to lift off the table. The centerpiece of the long red dish included a palm tree made of a single carrot, complete with a carrot-carved bird fixed to the top. A perfect 10 out of 10 for presentation.
Thankfully, the sushi tasted just as good as it looked, and we enjoyed the range of tuna, salmon and shrimp presented and arranged in every which way possible.
We tried our hardest to finish the sushi, which we estimated would have been enough to feed eight people, but we were defeated. The very kind waiter offered to wrap it up for us so it wouldn’t go to waste.
Despite being rather full, we stuck to our promise to try other dishes from the menu. In the end, we could only manage two appetizers. Trieger wanted us to try more, but it just wasn’t going to happen. We went for the pate de foie gras with port, Armagnac and blueberry confiture (NIS 79) and the fresh whole asparagus, grilled mushrooms, semolina puree and Parmesan cheese (NIS 48). The foie gras itself was extremely rich and tasty, but the blueberry confiture stole the show. Of the two dishes, the asparagus was the winner because of the way the various flavors worked together.
Even though we really didn’t have much room left at this stage, we tried a couple of the desserts – strawberries with vanilla ice cream and tarte tatin. While both desserts fulfilled our need for something a little sweet to end the meal with, neither had any kind of wow factor. Needless to say, we didn’t finish either of them.
Trieger and his team of professional and well-groomed waiters made sure we had a night to remember. This included making sure that our wine glasses were always full, so maybe that’s why some parts of the end of the evening are a little hazier than the beginning.
Even though we enjoyed the sushi platter – both to look at and to eat from – it’s a shame that we didn’t get to taste more from the extensive menu. But things aren’t all bad – it gives us an excuse to return to Nammos some time soon.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.
Nammos Not kosher
1 Hatzedef Yacht Club, Herzilya Pituah (09) 951-1555 Open daily from 12:30 p.m. until the last customer leaves