Constant innovation

Meat Kitchen’s new winter menu is the latest quarterly update.

Food from Meat Kitchen  (photo credit: Courtesy)
Food from Meat Kitchen
(photo credit: Courtesy)
In the last two years, the upscale steakhouse with the modest name of Meat Kitchen has become a popular fixture in Tel Aviv’s kosher dining scene, thanks primarily to the quality aged beef the restaurant serves.
But another reason may well be that both the management and the talent in the kitchen never stop innovating. Meat Kitchen has occasionally introduced special menus, such as Big Sunday burgers and Steak and Wine Tuesdays, and has now taken to updating its regular menu four times a year.
The most recent iteration of the menu, which debuted for Winter 2018, represents a major overhaul.
Naturally, the classic cuts of steak remain unchanged; but most of the appetizers have been tweaked, while a number of creative main dishes are making an appearance for the first time.
Overwhelmingly, the bill of fare appeals to carnivores. Apart from two salads, there are no vegetarian options among the first courses, although when the weather is inclement there is a chance you will find a “soup of the day” written on the blackboard. There are two vegetarian pastas among the main courses, along with a few poultry and fish dishes.
New Hebrew menus are translated right away, so there are always English versions available. But they go through a long process of corrections; and in fact, our list of main courses in English was missing the last two dishes that were on the Hebrew menu.
The bar’s specialty cocktails (NIS 38 to NIS 42) have also been completely revamped as part of the new menu. The Spice Peach – vodka, lemon, peach and cranberry, garnished with lime and mint; and the Mango Dream – spiced rum and mango, with lemon and mint – were tart and refreshing, although the former was a bit sweet as well.
Our first starter was the foie gras, served on a churro surrounded by a salty caramel mousse with pecan crumble and cinnamon (NIS 79).
The sweetness of the Mexican cruller cut the richness of the goose liver, while the caramel mousse – actually, the consistency of a coulis – added a welcome layer of complexity.
Next was red drum fish tartare in a cannelloni of razor-thin pineapple, perched on pineapple carpaccio, with passion fruit and champagne sorbet (NIS 64). The freshness of the raw fish was evident, enhanced by the combination of tart fruit with sweet sorbet. The tartare was also accompanied by a pineapple and lemongrass sauce, which was very nice but had to be drizzled with care lest it overwhelm the delicate fish.
Our intermediate course was a colorful leaf and root salad comprising Romaine lettuce, salanova, purple endive, radish, shallots, pomelo, carrot and walnuts, dressed with a pineapple vinaigrette (NIS 54). The assorted fresh vegetables with juicy citrus and crunchy nuts yielded a pleasant interplay of flavors and textures.
Our first choice of main course was lamb chops, with cubed potatoes and onion stuffed with slow-cooked lamb (NIS 195). The three large chops were superb – grilled perfectly, topped with chopped pistachio nuts and served with a piquant vinaigrette of lamb broth and shipka peppers.
The special of the day was a Denver cut (price may vary), a positively succulent steak served sliced on a bed of cubed potatoes.
It came with a beef stock and mustard sauce, which did more for the bland potatoes than the meat, which absolutely needed no condiments.
Meat Kitchen boasts an excellent wine list, with a reasonable number of vintages available by the glass (NIS 32 to NIS 52). We enjoyed the Tulip white franc, a crisp and fruity pink wine, and the Vitkin Israeli Journey, a full-bodied red blend.
All the desserts are also new. Our waitress practically insisted we try the pistachio parfait, a soupy parfait with coffee cookies, caramelized pistachio nuts, cocoa crumble, cocoa tuile, fresh berries and halva sorbet (NIS 54). This was a delicious dessert that was not overly sweet.
Finally, we ordered the lone chocolate option, the semifreddo chocolate mousse: two bars of light mousse drenched in dark chocolate ganache, accompanied by nougat truffles, chocolate sponge, olive oil cream, cocoa crumble, gold powder, cocoa and raspberry tuile and chocolate sorbet (NIS 64). With two of everything scattered about the plate, it was easy to share and as decadently good as if it contained dairy.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.
Meat Kitchen Kosher 65 Yigal Alon St., Tel Aviv Tel: (03) 536-4755