Beit Melchett: Returning for lunch, leaving with good memories - review

It was a cold blustery day when we arrived at the restaurant which is situated in a glass-sided extension near the historic home of the noble British family which settled there in the thirties.

 Beit Melchett (photo credit: ALEX DEUTSCH)
Beit Melchett
(photo credit: ALEX DEUTSCH)

Having enjoyed the breakfast offered at Beit Melchett in Tel Mond a few weeks ago, we decided it would be a great idea to check out the lunch there too.

It was a cold blustery day when we arrived at the restaurant which is situated in a glass-sided extension near the historic home of the noble British family which settled there in the thirties.

Suspended electric heaters did a fine job of warming us up and we settled down to enjoy the 360 degree bucolic view, while waiting for our lunch.

Our waitress Meshi recommended the pea soup for a starter and this seemed just the thing for thawing us out. Two large ceramic bowls filled with a thick green soup arrived at our table.

It was flavored with coriander and cumin, the former a strong herb, the latter a pungent Middle East spice. It was piping hot and did its job, helping us warm up very nicely.

 Beit Melchett (credit: ALEX DEUTSCH) Beit Melchett (credit: ALEX DEUTSCH)

We looked around at the other diners who had ventured out on this miserable rainy day. There was the usual motley crew – ladies who lunch, teenagers, grandparents with children and two old codgers, who talked non-stop about the political situation in between bites.

To accompany the soup course, Meshi brought a basket of super-fresh whole wheat bread, encrusted with nuts and seeds, and a small square of butter wrapped in paper, like a toffee. It was hard not to overindulge in this treat.

For his main course, my dining companion chose the fish dish, a fillet of sea bass with rice and fresh asparagus. (NIS 79, which included the soup). My choice was tuna pizza. (NIS 65, with soup).

Sea bass is eaten in the Deutsch household at least once a week. It is a solid tasty fish, which needs no more than a few minutes under the grill and we love it.

This version had been fried and was crispy but not overdone. The accompanying rice had an excellent spicy flavor, which we discovered was produced by the addition of red curry. And the asparagus were suitably al dente, very green and fresh.

The pizza, which came served on a wooden plate, had a very thin crust, loads of cheese and was garnished with red chili pepper - but was a little short on the tomato sauce. Still, as I rarely indulge in this dish, it made a pleasant change and there was so much that half was transported home to be enjoyed in the not-too-distant future.

We shared a lemon meringue tart for dessert and enjoyed the combination of tart lemon curd and thick buttery cream.

Two great cappuccinos later and we were on our way back home, with full stomachs and good gastronomic memories.

Beit MelchettDerech HaLord,Tel Mond.09 773 3663Open: Sunday–Thursday 8 a.m.–4 p.m.Friday: 8 a.m.–2:30 p.m.

The writer was a guest of the restaurant.