Restaurants: Upstairs and upscale at Kitchen Market

Kitchen Market in the Tel Aviv Port offers a wide variety of culinary styles.

'Kitchen Market' restaurant  (photo credit: PR)
'Kitchen Market' restaurant
(photo credit: PR)
Twenty years ago, had you walked around the grounds of the old Tel Aviv Port, you would have found rundown ceramic shops, garages, hangars and storerooms on small dirty roads. Not anymore. These days, especially in the summer and fall, the place is bustling with people from all over Israel who want to look at the ocean and have a bite to eat. And Kitchen Market is the perfect place to venture to for some very tasty food.
Located on the first floor above the Farmer’s Market, Kitchen Market has a pleasant ambience from the moment you walk in. A relatively small but well-lit space, the restaurant has large windows that face the sea, providing a beautiful view of the Mediterranean. We had the pleasure of sitting at a large bar-like wooden table, with a full view of the sous-chefs creating their magic in an open kitchen.
The menu offers a wide variety of culinary styles, taken from Israeli, French, Asian and Middle Eastern cuisines. The tasty dishes are complemented by the finest selection of Israeli wines, both local and international. Chef Yossi Shitrit’s food is creative, with fresh, crisp flavors and magnificent presentation that makes each dish as much a delight to the eye as to the palate.
It’s easy to understand why the locals have taken to the place, given the variety and excellence of its offerings.
Before the appetizers appeared, we cleansed our palates with a couple of refreshing cocktails, which displayed the same nuanced flavors that make the dishes so impressive.
To try to absorb the alcohol, we then dug into some hearty appetizers. First up was the cauliflower soup (NIS 46). It was creamy, delicate and delicious.
The savory explosion of champignon mushrooms, truffle oil and cauliflower couscous made my mouth and stomach very happy.
Next up was the yellow tail sashimi (NIS 58). This is where chef Shitrit’s exquisite presentation becomes evident. I was so mesmerized by the colors and the beauty of the dish that I almost didn’t want to spoil it by digging in. Very simple in execution and bold in complementary flavors, this is a must-order. The yellowtail was melt-in-your-mouth goodness.
This was followed by the egg (NIS 37) – the restaurant’s signature dish. It consisted of seared mushrooms, a soft-boiled egg, a brioche and white truffle oil. This stunning dish was just as beautiful on the palate as it was on the plate. The rich cream sauce paired with the earthy mushroom flavors was simply divine. I was delighted with this dish and would certainly order it again.
The lamb tortellini (4/8 – NIS 44/88) was probably the least fancy of the things we ordered, but it was still very good. Aside from being tasty, the most important thing for me was that the meat to pasta ratio was perfect.
After we took a bit of a breather, a series of main dishes was served. First up was the musar fish fillet a la plancha (NIS 106).
Accompanied by white butter sauce, Kalamata olives and mustard mashed potatoes, the fish was not overcooked and seasoned just right. It was one of the most tender pieces of fish I’ve ever had, and the flavor of the entire dish was delicious.
Last, we were presented with the veal fillet in red wine sauce (200 gr./300 gr. – NIS 134/188). The veal was so tender, so juicy and just so good.
We ordered hot drinks and took another breather. Then came dessert. We were pleasantly surprised by the (molecular gastronomy-inspired) olive and grape cheesecake with black olive crumb topping (tasted like Oreos) and olive oil ices enclosed in meringue-like petals forming a flower in the center of the dessert.
This was divine. It was one of the most interesting and varied desserts I have ever tasted and was even more impressive for its artistic presentation.
I went to Kitchen Market with pretty high expectations and, much to my surprise, they were met, perhaps even exceeded. New recipes are frequently born in Shitrit’s kitchen. He has a way of mixing strong flavors and soft textures so that no one ingredient overpowers another. So when you’re looking to combine an elegant, gourmet atmosphere with nearly faultless service, you’ll find that Kitchen Market has it covered.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.
Kitchen Market
Not kosher
Hangar 12, Tel Aviv Port (above the Farmer’s Market)
Tel: 057-942-6881