Big screen, delectable bites, brews and breeze

Football and food served throughout July

 (photo credit: HILTON HOTELS ISRAEL)
(photo credit: HILTON HOTELS ISRAEL)
During the whole month of July, football fans can enjoy watching their favorite World Cup game on the terrace of the Hilton hotel in TelAviv – and at the same time snack on tasty tapas tidbits prepared in the hotel kitchen.
Although I was born and grew up in Liverpool where football is not just a passion but a political and religious choice, I have only a residual interest in the game. But I can see the attraction of watching it on a 5x3-meter screen while the sun sets over the ocean and cool breezes blow away the sultry heat of the day.
There are several options for people wanting to sample the game and the food together. The ‘Single’ means you can choose one course plus half a liter of beer and a chaser.(NIS 64); the ‘Double’ means two courses and 1 liter of beer and two chasers (NIS 123); and ‘Double +’ means you can choose three courses, a liter of beer and 2 chasers (NIS 166).
We sampled the World Cup Special Menu recently and discovered an assortment of dishes, some original, some old favorites and all very interesting.
Their ethnic origins had a tendency to come from very diverse parts of the globe – as befits a world cup celebration.
Although one can choose a package, we were treated to the whole menu – an exhilarating gastronomic experience. The first course to arrive was cured sardine served on tomato-brushed focaccia (NIS 25), a quick fishy bite which left one hungering for more. Next up was Asian ceviche served on a slice of fresh pineapple. (NIS 29). This was a real delicacy if you like raw fish: diced very fresh fish mixed with lemon, herbs, red onion and livened up even more with chili pepper.
Next we were transported back to our English roots with a serving of fish and chips which was perfect; fingers of ultra-fresh cod in a delicious crisp batter, with chunky potato chips (fries) on the side. The nostalgia, as well as the taste, was divine. (NIS 30).
I was less impressed with the cauliflower latkes served with lemon-flavored yogurt which I found stodgy although they had a strong flavor( NIS 25) but really liked the next offering –a sushishaped tortilla filled with grilled fish, harissa and tehina (NIS 34.50).
There were still three courses to wade through and it was getting harder. Of course the portions were very small but for guests who choose one or two courses, the amount would be larger than what we consumed.
Nachos were next to arrive, crispy tortilla chips with several dips – guacamole, jalapeno and sour cream. We empathized with the Mexicans sitting nearby who were celebrating their team’s unexpected win that evening over Germany.
Finally three more tasty tidbits – crispy fried potato croquettes with mustard aioli (NIS 29) and small round yeast dough bellini topped with red caviar and served with a blob of fresh cream (NIS 25). And, to round off the meal, taaamia – Egyptian falafel made with fava beans and chick peas served with crispy pita and tehina – a vegetarian delight.
We drank a delicious cocktail made from gin, cranberry juice, strawberry juice and egg yolk, an Israeli version of a Pink Lady, and beer which reached the table with football-related images in the foam.
For good food and great football, you can’t beat the Hilton.
Hilton Hotel
205 Hayarkon St.
Tel Aviv
03 5202255
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.