To eat like the PM

Moshe Segev’s new kosher restaurant in Netanya serves creative and palate-pleasing food.

Moshe Segev's dish (photo credit: ANATOLY MICHAELO)
Moshe Segev's dish
(photo credit: ANATOLY MICHAELO)
Moshe Segev, one of Israel’s top celebrity chefs, has opened a kosher restaurant in Netanya, and the locals are flocking to see what all the fuss is about.
Segev, who was responsible for El Al food for many years – but don’t let that put you off – also cooks for the prime minister, and was in the news recently for serving chocolates to the visiting Japanese premier in a metal shoe. The event created a stir and accusations of insensitivity to Japanese sensibilities.
The restaurant, named Moshe Segev, is situated in the Cinema City complex and is a welcoming oasis in a bustling shopping mall, decorated with hanging plants up high enough that it’s almost impossible to detect that they are plastic imitations. The space age interior by Eyal Tzalel is very impressive.
The food is creative, original and, for the most part, pleasing to the palate. The place is unpretentious, and the word “diner” springs to mind. Cutlery (flatware) and paper napkins are in a container on the table.
The first course was a selection of five dishes with a little of something for everyone: wafer-thin ceviche of burri (sea-bass) in a lemony sauce; a sweet and peppery bean shoot salad; liver which had been pulverized to a cream; guacamole with salsa; and an orange soup in a tureen which we didn’t quite know how to eat, until we found some soup bowls and a ladle hidden behind the condiments.
The liver was definitely not your granny’s chopped liver, more of a pâté, but the flavor was authentic and the berry sauce was a perfect accompaniment. The orange soup was creamy and comforting, and the guacamole with salsa was spicy and had stayed green thanks to the lemon juice in abundance. Everything in the starters could be refilled as often as one liked (NIS 39). There is also the option of having just the starters as a main course for NIS 74.
While waiting for the main course, a mango cocktail appeared, a refreshing glass of barad (sweet crushed ice) with sliced apples and forest fruits.
For the main course I decided to try the Thai fish, which consisted of two very fresh crispy fillets of drum fish (perch) served nicely hot, with a puree of sweet potatoes and green beans. The puree, listed as orange cream, was a slightly thicker version of the soup we had just consumed, the beans were al dente and the whole dish was very satisfying (NIS 124).
My companion chose the Jerusalem beef fillet, a very tender half-raw steak served with Jerusalem artichoke cream, burned onions and sweet wine sauce (NIS 159). He seemed more than happy with the dish, wiping the plate clean.
Desserts were as good as one can expect from a kosher meat establishment. We chose a rich hot chocolate cake, which was almost a mousse, served with vanilla ice cream, and crème brulee made from some ersatz milk with a tangy orange sauce and a very good caramel topping.
We left the restaurant secure in the knowledge that Moshe Segev deserves his hard-won reputation as one of Israel’s top chefs.
Moshe Segev
3 Hamehkar Street, Netanya
Tel. 077-414-2025
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.