There are two kinds of vegan restaurants. One is the sort that presents all-vegetable dishes without trying to pretend they are something they are not, like meat, fish and eggs.
The other kind takes the all-vegetable content and turns it into burgers, schnitzels and eggs without breaking any vegan rules.
Goodness is the second kind, using creative talent to produce these ersatz meat products. Their fried egg has to be seen to be believed.
As usual, on these jaunts into the Israeli capital of veganism, Tel Aviv, my companion was my son, David, a vegan of many years. I was quite happy to let my usual companion, who has no interest in vegan food, stay home and try and finally finish his 2,500-piece jigsaw puzzle, which has taken over my dining table for far too long now.
Goodness is situated on King George Street, so it’s simple to park in Dizengoff Center and walk a short way to the restaurant where a warm welcome awaits.
The place is airy with white brick walls and an idyllic mural at one end depicting some vague vegan tropical paradise.
The first course was a crepe filled with roasted cauliflower, arugula leaves and cashew cream. How to make a crepe without eggs is quite an art which the chef has clearly mastered. This looked like pancake and tasted like one. (NIS 48)
The other starter consisted of deep-fried Portobello mushrooms served with small dips – tomato ketchup, mayonnaise and chipotle. The mushrooms were piping hot, fresh from the pan and a real delicacy. It’s a pity the chef didn’t prepare one good homemade sauce instead of three standard shop-bought kinds. (NIS 34)
Goodness is famous for its burgers, so of course we had to try them. They certainly tasted very meaty, which I suppose is the general idea. The fried egg gets full marks for creativity. It’s achieved by creating a yolk from chestnut squash and a white from tofu.
We also had a dish of vegan sausages in a good tomato sauce, very tasty and filling.
I drank a glass of Lambrusco, a dry sparkling white wine, super-cold and faintly alcoholic. David drank nature’s wine (tap water). The wine was the perfect choice for this meal. (NIS 26)
Finally, we shared a dessert: a rich chocolate cake with berry sauce and ice cream. The cake was like a block of chocolate and the berries brought a good tart contrast to the sweetness of the chocolate. (NIS 44)
If vegan appeals to you, Goodness offers some really creative options.
Goodness41 King George Street,Tel Aviv,055 973 5792.Open: Monday-Friday 11 a.m.–11 p.m.Saturday 12 p.m.–11 p.m.Sunday – 11 a.m.–11 p.m.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.