Good and elegant kosher restaurants in the Ramat Gan area will always have a ready-made clientele in the form of the many observant people who work in and around the Diamond Exchange on the outskirts of Tel Aviv.Sumesa, which opened only a few months ago, is a welcome addition to the available eateries in the area. With a Canadian-trained chef and an interesting Spanish- Mediterranean influence in its extensive menu, the restaurant offers excellent food in an attractive environment. During the day business lunches are available, but in the evening one has more leisure time to notice the polished wood tables and luxuriant brown leather chairs, the flower arrangements and the impressive chandeliers.When my dining companion and I visited recently, the staff gave us a warm welcome and the chef, Avi Yonatan, came over several times to check that all was well.So that you will be left with no doubt that the Spanish influence is pre-eminent, a large bull painted on the wall is visible throughout the spacious eating area. And the tapas starters that began to arrive at the table with alarming speed only confirmed that impression. They included a helping of gravlax on a thin slice of beetroot, a slice of zucchini topped with duck breast, fish and meat balls, home-made tehina and eggplant. Everything was very good and small enough that one was able to sample everything before the official starters.The ceviche, which has become very popular recently, can be a minefield if not perfectly made.Raw fish, in this case, musar, is diced and served with chopped fruit and vegetables, depending on the season, in a citric sauce.This dish was lovely, refreshing and yet spicy (NIS 46). The very fresh fish had absorbed just enough of the lemony flavor to be tasty but not overdone, and the cut-up apples and red peppers were a perfect accompaniment.My companion’s chopped liver, served with caramelized onions and served on a toasted baguette, was pronounced delicious (NIS 39). There are also several vegetarian options that sounded good, such as eggplant and tomato tart (NIS 56) and pecan and vinaigrette salad (NIS 39).For the main course, I liked the sound of the duet of chicken and duck breast, which was described as pan-seared spring chicken wrapped with smoked duck breast served on green mush with spring vegetables (NIS 72). This was excellent, soft and not dry, with an original combination of flavors. The green mush, which I believe was a puree of peas and potato, was especially good.
My companion’s steak was succulent, without any surplus fat, and crispy yet tender (NIS 120).The roasted sweet and regular potato on the side complemented the meat, and the crispy onion cake was an added bonus. I liked the fact that the zucchini chunks accompanying the dishes were cooked al dente and not overdone.The desserts are all priced at NIS 35. We sampled the chocolate volcano served with vanilla ice cream and raspberry glaze; and the apple strudel, which came with berry sauce and coconut sorbet. All were sinfully delicious.I’d like to add a word about the menu, which I think is rather important in an upmarket restaurant. In the olden days, one saw many examples of “Pinglish” – ludicrous mistakes in English on menus, billboards and the like.The term was coined by Viscount Samuel during the Mandate period and entered the vocabulary, where it stayed for many years.Today with spell check, there are no spelling mistakes as such. But having items like “liver moss” and “wiled salmon” on the menu can be considered Pinglish in its newest form; and for English speakers, these things jar, to say the least.Apart from that small complaint, this was an excellent and memorable meal.During Succot and until the end of September, Sumesa will celebrate the Tomatina Festival with many tomato-based specials.There will be a kosher succa built on the premises.The writer was a guest of the restaurant.SumesaKosher1 Jabotinsky Street, Ramat Gan Tel: (03) 752-6222 Sunday to Thursday noon to midnight. Friday closed.Saturday from half an hour after Shabbat until late.