Just getting to Doha is an adventure in itself: negotiating the narrow winding alleys of Jaffa wearing your best high heels and trying to avoid the puddles left by departing store owners washing down the ground in front of their shops after they close up for the night.
But it’s worth it if you are heading to Doha, a meat restaurant under the direction of famed chef Shaked Pahima and his business partner Maor Revah, who was there to greet us one evening when we visited recently.
Where meat reigns supreme in Tel Aviv
Doha is the meat equivalent of Ola Ola, which we reviewed a few weeks ago. Here one could say that meat reigns supreme. There were several different steak dishes, hamburgers, goose liver, kebab – no chicken but, luckily for me, one very good fish dish.
For a starter I chose ceviche, which is listed on the menu as ‘Tropical Raw Fish.’ It consisted of tiny cubed pieces of musar-yam mixed with fresh pineapple and salad vegetables. The very lemony dressing turned this starter into a wake-up call for what was to come. (NIS 56).
My companion chose cigars, seeing the magic L-word (lamb) as a filling. They were hot and crispy, and filled with meat, certainly, but of lamb we could not detect even a smidgeon. The meat was slightly peppery and on the plate were two dips – an excellent Har Bracha tehina and tomato salsa. (NIS 69).
Maor insisted we also try the house salad, which consisted of purple endive, cherry tomatoes, sliced radish and pistachio nuts with a very interesting creamy dressing and plenty of mustard and cress that made me feel nostalgic for England.
Liquid refreshment consisted of a very large beer for my companion and a diet Sprite for me – until I realized that all this sophisticated food required at least a glass of wine. Maor brought me a glass of Recanati Cabernet Sauvignon which did the job admirably.
For mains I chose lavrak (NIS 139) and my husband went for a filet mignon steak. (NIS 172). The two fillets of fish were lightly fried but not oily and perfectly seasoned. They came with a creamy potato puree and very underdone broccoli, which I suppose is better than overdone.
The steak came medium as requested and seemed to be very tender – and the sweet Merlot sauce was a welcome addition. Growing up in post-war Britain, filet mignon was unheard of and is still quite rare in kosher cuisine due to the difficulty in getting to that particular cut of meat.
We decided to share the dessert and asked for the crack pie and two spoons. We had to Google the name to discover exactly what we were eating. It has an oatmeal crust, egg yolks, sugar and some sort of pareve cream. It had an excellent caramel sauce and a topping of pistachio nuts. Very good if you have a sweet tooth. (NIS 45).
After all this great food and the very welcoming atmosphere of the place, we decided to have our mint teas at home and left, with full stomachs and warm hearts for the half-hour drive home.
DohaTarmav 37, Carmel Market, Tel-Aviv.077-230-8237Hours: Monday-Thursday, 19.00 – late.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.