Top marks for Japan, Japan

The first was for food critics, bloggers, friends of the owner and general hangers-on, and the place was so crowded one could barely wield a set of chopsticks without taking someone’s eye out.

Japan Japan food (photo credit: Courtesy)
Japan Japan food
(photo credit: Courtesy)
We received two invitations to check out Japan, Japan in Tel Aviv, one of a chain of 15 Asian restaurants founded in 2004.
The first was for food critics, bloggers, friends of the owner and general hangers-on, and the place was so crowded one could barely wield a set of chopsticks without taking someone’s eye out.
So we were pleasantly surprised to be re-invited a few weeks later for a proper meal.
It was certainly a great improvement. For one thing, one could appreciate the decor, which was sleek, contemporary and very attractive – maroon and silver-gray mosaic walls, shiny black marble floor, black wood furniture with leather banquettes lining the walls and lighting consisting of hollow tubes casting a friendly glow.
Ehud Ohayon, the proprietor, came over to say hello as we settled down and studied the menu. He opened the place in September 2019, his first venture into the restaurant business after many years working in insurance.
“I decided to look for new horizons, and as I love being with people, this seemed to be the answer,” he says.
From the electronic menu we picked our first course, a soup for me and Entrecote Nishnosh for my companion. A huge bowl of carrot-colored soup arrived at the table and was filled with good things – a mix of vegetables including mushrooms, bean sprouts and peas with pieces of chicken floating around in it.
It was hot in both senses of the word, i.e., temperature and level of spiciness. So I was very happy with it (NIS 21/29).
My companion’s dish was very thin slivers of beef, stir-fried with mushrooms, bok choy, spring onions, peppers and cherry tomatoes in a slightly sweet thick brown sauce (NIS 52).
His main course was Qiezi beef (NIS 78), which looked exactly like the starter – more slivers of tender beef, but this time with eggplant and peanut garnish. He is usually good at ordering – an art in itself – but seems to have failed miserably this time. However, he enjoyed both and maintained there was a subtle difference between them.
I chose the fresh salmon teriyaki (NIS 97), which was served with green beans. The “sprouts” also listed on the menu proved to be bean sprouts, not the Brussels variety. Both dishes came with perfect basmati rice, and both were very good.
The liquid refreshment was Singha Thai beer, which is refreshing and has a gentle kick to it.
We shared a dessert, a perfectly spherical crispy meringue filled with cream, which purported to be made from mangoes, although I could not taste the magical fruit. However, it was both sweet and tart, always a good combination, and made an appropriate ending to what had been an enjoyable gastronomic experience.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.

Japan, Japan
28 Ha’arba’a Street, Tel Aviv
(03) 559-2922
Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
Friday – closed; Saturday: One hour after Shabbat ends until 11 p.m.