Dining: A little Night Kitchen

This place has an extensive menu and an intimate ambience.

Night Kitchen restaurant (photo credit: PR)
Night Kitchen restaurant
(photo credit: PR)
Located on Tel Aviv’s trendy and eclectic Lilienblum Street, Night Kitchen is an intimate place, and its unadorned charm makes you feel right at home. It’s only been around for two years or so, but it has the feel of being an oldtimer in the best sense of the word.
Created by chef Eyal Dayan, the menu is quite extensive, with a wide array of salads, pasta, fish and meat dishes. Diners can choose to order from the rich menu or have the tasting menu (NIS 150 per person) and surrender to the chef completely.
We had the pleasure of sitting near the bar, with a full view of the chef and his sous-chefs creating their gastronomy magic in an open kitchen.
Our waitress was friendly and made us feel at ease. She took her time explaining details of dishes and drinks and was there to meet and anticipate all our needs but wasn’t overbearing and let us enjoy our evening together.
She started by bringing us the fish tartare with root vegetables, caramel soy and crispy ginger. The fish was very fresh, and all the flavors in the dish blended well together. The ginger added a nice crunch to the dish.
This was followed by the tomato carpaccio (NIS 38) with croutons, za’atar leaves and labaneh cream.
It was fantastic. The dressing was perfect, the tomatoes were at just the right ripeness, and the flavors blended together like magic.
Next up was the half house gnocchi (NIS 42) with oyster mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, asparagus and Parmesan. It was as good as it sounds: rich mushroom flavor and soft, decadent gnocchi.
The mushrooms and asparagus really shone through, and we never felt as if the pasta was too doughy or plain, which is a common symptom of bad gnocchi. Additionally, the Parmesan wasn’t too strong – it was well balanced.
Along came the beef carpaccio with eggplant cream, rocket leaves and Parmesan shavings, which we enjoyed very much. All the flavors were pure and simple but excellent.
In between, we were treated to a bottle of Chanson Rouge (NIS 178; NIS 46 per glass) from the Clos de Gat Winery. It was the perfect accompaniment to our food.
We were then presented with the calamari a la plancha (NIS 59) with sweet fennel, red onion and spinach with labaneh cream. The calamari was delicious. Lots of flavor and cooked just right! This was followed by the fish shwarma (NIS 59). Served on mini laffas, the fish fillet was soft and juicy, complementing the sauces in the mixture.
Last, we tried the burger (NIS 59). The meat was done to perfection, medium-rare, tender and full of flavor, with the side dish of fries providing excellent accompaniment.
We ordered hot drinks and took another breather. Then came dessert, which consisted of crème brulée lollipops. They were sweet and delicious. The dipping sauces (vanilla bean and raspberry coulis) were also very well balanced and flavorful. And we tried the cup of malabi, which was light and very refreshing following such a heavy meal.
Night Kitchen is a great place for couples and small groups. It has a gentle sweetness to it, a romantic energy in the evening that is perfect for a quick getaway from the busy city just beyond the entrance. If you like well-made, beautiful dishes in a neighborhood spot ambience, this is the place for you.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.
Night Kitchen
Not kosher
43 Lilienblum, Tel Aviv
Tel: (03) 566-0481