Brioche: Nostalgic French cuisine in the heart of Tel Aviv - review

Established two years ago by Talor Yifrach and his Ukrainian wife, Alina, the place has built up quite a following among the denizens of this trendy old/new part of Tel Aviv.

 FISH SHWARMA and lavrak fillets  and grilled vegetables.  (photo credit: ALEX DEUTSCH)
FISH SHWARMA and lavrak fillets and grilled vegetables.
(photo credit: ALEX DEUTSCH)

Feeling nostalgic for that little bistro in Montmartre that you discovered on your last visit to Paris? Then head over to Jaffa and locate the utterly charming little restaurant Brioche, which brings authentic French cuisine to the heart of Tel Aviv.

Established two years ago by Talor Yifrach and his Ukrainian wife, Alina, the place has built up quite a following among the denizens of this trendy old/new part of Tel Aviv. It’s just off the new–looking Sderot Yerushalayim, now all ready for the Light Rail, with shiny new tracks set into the pristine white stone paths along which it will travel.

We were there for an early dinner and really enjoyed sitting outside under a green awning and watching the dog walkers, joggers and strollers taking their evening constitutionals.

Enjoying authentic French cuisine in Israel

For our first course, Alina suggested we try the fish shawarma and the artichoke salad. The fish was about the only dish we had all evening that wasn’t French but very Mediterranean, with chunks of fresh lavrak fried with plenty of onions and highly seasoned with cumin and coriander. The yogurt sauce that came with the fish was flavored with chopped shallots. (NIS 79).

The other starter was a dish of freshly fried artichoke hearts and roasted new potatoes topped with thinly sliced parmesan – the real thing, not the stuff you get in the supermarket. (NIS 59). Both these starters were good and prepared our palates for what was to come.

 FISH SHWARMA and lavrak fillets and grilled vegetables.  (credit: ALEX DEUTSCH) FISH SHWARMA and lavrak fillets and grilled vegetables. (credit: ALEX DEUTSCH)

Of course, this being the nearest we would be getting to France in a while, we also tried the onion soup, very reminiscent of the original Les Halles product, with more parmesan to add to the already strong flavor. (NIS 39).

We had already consumed so much food that we suggested sharing a single main course and fortunately, Alina agreed.

Two very fresh white fillets of lavrak appeared, nicely decorated with black olive rings and tomato segments. They were perfectly cooked to the right degree and the side dish of roasted root vegetables added color and taste. (NIS 129).

Finally, there was a wonderful dessert made by Talor’s sister, who studied to be a patissiere (pastry cook) in Paris. The base was a very crispy and buttery shortcrust, the filling was a rich chocolate cream covered with a white cream topping and there even was some edible gold leaf for decoration.

The liquid part of the meal consisted of a beer for my companion (NIS 27) and a glass of red wine for me. (NIS 48). And one of us – not me – ended this superb meal with a very strong cappuccino.

As it was still quite early and a cool but not cold evening, we decided to stroll around Sderot Yerushalaim and noticed a wonderful empty Bauhaus structure that seemed to be crying out for renovation. I hope the municipality is planning to do something with it. There are several animal supply shops, not surprising as almost everyone outside had a canine companion. It’s a lovely area of Tel Aviv and well worth a visit.

BriocheShe’erit Haplita 4, JaffaTelephone: 052-577-7032Open: Sunday-Thursday 8 a.m.–midnight.Friday 8 a.m.–2 p.m.Kashrut: Tsohar

The writer was a guest of the restaurant.