Not your average café

Located on Moshav Beit Yitzhak, Café Turkiz has an exotic air and flavorful food at reasonable prices.

Cafe Turkiz 370 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Cafe Turkiz 370
(photo credit: Courtesy)
When childhood friends Uri Shani and Eyal Segev decided 18 years ago to combine their two favorite pleasures of shopping and food, the Turkiz complex was founded. Located on Beit Yitzhak, the moshav where they were born and raised, this awardwinning cafe/restaurant complete with gallery and gift shop offers something a little different.
The Café Turkiz menu includes breakfasts, salads, pastas and sandwiches with some exotic twists, as well as a selection of special dishes for lunch or dinner. The eclectic menu is mirrored by the unique design of the space, which is inspired by elements gathered from around the world. Segev and Shani travel around the globe, bringing back charming items to furnish the restaurant.
From the moment we walked in, we were made to feel very much at home, and the ambiance was very relaxing. The staff were all very helpful and, most importantly, knowledgeable about the menu and the place. There was a different atmosphere to the usual trendy restaurant in Tel Aviv. On the moshav, everything was a little more slow paced, and the staff seemed genuinely interested in making sure we had a great experience.
We started by sharing a couple of the specials that were available that day: grilled sweet potato topped with goat’s cheese; and eggplant felafel served with yogurt sauce. The sweet potato had a certain smoky taste, and while it was quite a simple dish, the goat’s cheese added something a little extra special.
I had never had eggplant felafel before. In fact, I was a bit confused as to what it would be exactly, but the friendly waitress was very insistent on our ordering it. I’m glad that she persuaded us because the large units of deep-fried grilled eggplant were delicious, and the dipping sauce was a real treat.
When it came to main course, I could not resist ordering one of the restaurant’s signature dishes – the chicken tagine (NIS 60). It is held in such high regard that it actually has a whole page dedicated to it on the menu (it is also available as a vegetarian option for NIS 48). We were told that the dish is seasoned with 16 different spices, and although I couldn’t distinguish that many different flavors, it was certainly tasty.
It was a perfect choice for a cold winter’s evening, as it was steaming hot and full of rich flavors. The large side salad served with the tagine was also very tasty and was a welcome change from the standard chopped cucumber and tomato variety.
The other main course we went for was the salmon fillet in an olive oil, parsley and mint sauce served with a small side salad and roasted sweet and regular potatoes (NIS 68). The huge portion was full of flavor and beautifully presented on a large plate.
The dessert menu was quite varied, so it was difficult to make a decision, but in the end we went for the baked cheesecake with a chocolate base and the vanilla crembo, which consisted of sweet vanilla mousse covered by white chocolate on a cookie base. The cheesecake had a perfect texture – just the right mix of crumbly and smooth – while the chocolate base was on the right side of richness.
The crembo, which is not made on the premises as opposed to the cheesecake, offered something a little different. I really enjoyed it because I have a very sweet tooth, but it may be too much for some.
Café Turkiz is not your average cafe.
Although at first glance I thought the menu looked like any other coffee shop menu, on closer inspection I found a host of special dishes with influences from around the world.
The main advantage is the prices, as the place offers very good value for money, with the most expensive dish not exceeding NIS 70. And as an added bonus, when you have finished your meal you can soak up the unique atmosphere for a little longer by visiting the furniture gallery and home ware store.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.
Café Turkiz Not kosher Moshav Beit Yitzhak (09) 884-5560; (09) 861-2128 Sunday – Thursday 9 a.m. to midnight
Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m. to midnight (special Shabbat menu)