Last stop at the First Train Station in Jerusalem: Station 9

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Station 9

IMG_20150701_205822For those of you who are not from the Jerusalem area, you should know that the days of Emek Refaiim are over and the day of the First Train Station has begun. The Station holds many restaurants and an open market every weekend. The Station has gained popularity with all crowds , because there’s plenty of parking, all the main bus lines pass by, and has a great atmosphere. My favorite restaurant that has been open from day one at the train station so far, is Station 9(Rabbanute Yerushalyim).

Station 9 is probably the best kosher Asian fusion restaurant in Israel. It’s a fusion restaurant like almost every other kosher type of Asian cuisine restaurant (River, Deck’s, Sushi Rechavia just to name some) because almost no one doing authentic Asian food by country except the Chinese Wall (Hachoma HaSinit) in Tel AvivIMG_20150701_204909(review to come) who make legit and authentic Chinese food. It’s all a mix of flavors that the Israeli’s like mainly stir fries. Very depressing, but it is what it is, thank goodness that Station 9 makes amazing food.

The menu has a wide variety of appetizers starting with soups, salads and small meat and chicken dishes. But two appetizers stand out on the menu that you almost can’t find anywhere: Bau Bau sliders and potstickers.  For those of you who don’t know what those are let me describe is to you. A Bau bun is a unique steamed bun that hails out of China. It has a very soft and chewy texture that you can only get out of a steamed bun. A potsticker is a fried dumpling made by hand that is usually filled with a protein. A non fried dumpling is galled a gioza and is customary steamed with the same type of filling as a potsticker.

IMG_20150701_210429Now that the cooking lesson is over, let’s get to what me and my friends ordered. We were 4 people so we ordered 3 appetizers, and 3 mains. We didn’t order a dessert because we were stuffed by then, and here’s why. For the appetizers we ordered 4 Bau Bau sliders, 2 filled with pulled short ribs(asado), 1 duck and 1 hamburger. For the 3rd appetizer we ordered potstickers(giozas) because, I had to try it!  The food came out pretty fast, and the presentation was very nice. The Bau Bau came with a chipotle, cilantro and chili oily inside, and the potstickers(giozas) were filled with chicken and came with a soy and sesame dipping sauce. The Bau Bau were extraordinarily  delicious, ranking the best was the duck then the short ribs and the burger last. They were all tasteful and well prepared, but the duck was definitely the best. Moving on to the giozas (potstickers) they were also surprisingly delightful. The filling was seasoned perfectly and the soy dipping sauce only elevated the dish.

IMG_20150701_210139Moving on to the main courses, we ordered a stir fry, the Pad Khing and 2 of the Japanese spare ribs. Again, we didn’t wait long for the mains to come, and wow was I surprised. The spare ribs were huge! They also came with a side of white rice and fresh broccoli, which added a nice touch. Luckily, all 4 of us ordered the spare ribs to share with their spouse because they were that big. The spare ribs are slow cooked and then finished in the deep fryer to give it a nice crunchy beefy exterior. The ribs were a bit tough, but the flavor was all there, and the sides were a very nice compliment. The Pad Khing was also superb, the flat rice noodles really sopped up the sauce, the beef was tender ad the sauce was really what brought the dish home.

The spare ribs were so big, it really filled us up and we couldn’t order a dessert, but next time we go we’ll see what happens.

Station 9 is a great culinary experience and definitely one of the best kosher restaurants in the city. Since they have become so popular the prices are a bit high, but if you go before 5, you will get a 20% discount off the entire menu. If you find yourself in Jerusalem and looking for a great Asian style restaurant, go and try Station 9.

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Healthy Quinoa and Beet salad with a Citrus Balsamic Vinaigrette

20160714_141628Everyone is into quinoa these days, so here is my special quinoa recipe I learnt at chef school

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of cooked quinoa
  • 3 cooked beets
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 tbls of balsamic vinegar
  • Fillet of 1 orange and the juice squeezed out of it
  • 1 bunch of fresh mint chopped
  • Salt and pepper

Recipe

  1. Cook the quinoa according to the instructions on the package.
  2. Saute the red onion until browned.
  3. Once everything is cooked, mix the rest of the ingredients together and serve cold.

 

A great Italian Dairy Restaurant in Eilat with ridiculous Bagels!

20151130_183447Il Pentolino

20151130_184138When you travel down south to the city of Eilat, there’s a chance that the hotel you go to offers half-board or full-board, so you won’t really go out for dinner or breakfast. If you happen NOT to be at one of these establishments, I would recommend you stop at Il Pentolino(kosher Rabbanute Eilat). Why do I say breakfast and dinner you ask? Here’s why: They make some of the most amazing bagels in Israel, in an Italian restaurant! Oh, 20151130_184145and the service was very good and the staff was very accommodating and polite.


Before we get into bagels, lets talk about my family’s experience there. I was the only one to order an appetizer and since it was December, I went with French onion soup, with a melted cheese crostini. The soup was superb. There was so much depth from the caramelized onions and the cheese melt, crostini was a great addition. My wife shared it with me and agreed that this was a legit French onion soup, my 20151130_185548daughter didn’t understand why my soup was brown, but let’s move on.

For the main course we all ordered different things to share, I ordered the lasagna (because I’m a lasagna freak) my wife ordered the oven baked whole trout with baked potato wedges and my daughter ordered the pizza.

20151130_184946I have to make a comment about the menu, it’s huge! There are over 15 types of pastas and sauces, 10 types of pizza and the variety of spreads to put on a bagel is huge. I want to mention the bagels because they themselves are worthy of a post on its own. What I loved that they do is instead of offering guests bread at the table, they toast the old bagels and serve them hot, so good!

20151130_190936When they brought out the mains we were all salivating, it looked so good, and guess what, it tasted even better. The pizza crust was super crunchy from the fresh dough, the sauce was spot on and the cheese was a great blend of mozzarella and yellow cheese. My daughter loved it and so did we. The lasagna was amazingly cheesy and piping hot. I couldn’t wait until it cooled down to taste it and it was so worth burning my mouth for! Fresh pasta, cooked eggplant and so much cheese and sauce! It’s a good thing I had the bagels to mop up all that sauce and cheese. It was like having 2 dishes in one! The fish came out on a platter that could feed five people (The portions were pretty hefty, the way I like it!) and was cooked to perfection. Full of herbs, garlic and the right amount of seasoning to take the fish over the top. It was flaky, juicy and delicious.

For an Italian restaurant\ bagel restaurant with good service and that delivers to the hotels, I would highly recommend you try IL Pentolino at least once while you are visiting the city of Eilat.

Turning 30 at Skyline Restaurant

 

לוגו-מסעדת-סקייליין-טלחופש-360x700Skyline

20160623_194119June is a month of birthday’s in my family. All three of us have birthday’s in the same week! So we decided to dress up, go to Jerusalem and check out the well talked about restaurant, Skyline. Skyline, is one of the only gourmet chef’s restaurants that is mehadrin, in Jerusalem. Located on the top floor of the Jerusalem Gardens Hotel, you can enjoy a view of most of the city. Before I get to the food, I have to tell you about the ambiance, the restaurant is super clean, the waiters wear white gloves, and uniforms and the entire staff what delightful.

20160623_194945So lets move on the food. We started off with homemade bread and 3 dips,and boy I could eat that bread all day long! Glancing at the menu everything looked so good! From the salad, to the pâté, we had no clue what to order. So we asked the waiter what was good, and said that the pasta was hand made so we went with the pappardelle and the tortellini. The pappardelle comes with rib eye strips, garlic confit, roasted cherry tomatoes and chili, and the tortellini are filled with ground steak and is  accompanied with chicken broth and root vegetables. The results were
20160623_195749very good, and the portions were huge for an appetizer. Two heaping portions of food came to us and the presentation was awesome. The tortellini comes dry and the waitress pours hot chicken broth on the tortellini and really makes the dish impressive (I have the video on my instagram feed here). Both dishes were very good and pretty filling. Then the chef sent out a plate of pate on a bruschetta with a balsamic reduction and a fig. The pate was so smooth and delicious, and the figs only complimented the delicious pate.

20160623_202544Moving on to the main course, for those who know me know I love steak! So I ordered myself the 400g rib eye medium rare, with mashed potatoes and grilled vegetables and my wife ordered the duck leg confit, with bok choy, apricots in a duck stock. So the waitress made a mistake and brought me a steak that was medium well and not what i ordered so she took it back without hesitation and brought me a new one. It came in two steaks, but it was cooked to a perfect medium rare. Tender and juicy, the way I like my steak.

T20160623_201015he duck legs were a huge portion, it came with two duck legs that were just sweet enough and with all the sides it was a perfect dish. On a side note, the mashed potatoes were some of the best I ever had! My wife really doesn’t like mashed potatoes, but these she liked.

At this stage we were already stuffed, but because it was, my wife’s birthday they offered us dessert on the house which was super nice. So we ordered the cookie ice cream sandwich and my wife ordered the mango sorbet. When they brought out the desserts they all sang happy 20160623_205334birthday, which was super nice and the dessert was really nice too! The ice cream came with 3 chocolate sauces, but weren’t needed because the ice cream sandwich was really good. The cookie melted in my mouth and the vanilla ice cream was super smooth. The mango sorbet was missing a bit of acidity and sweetness, but was very refreshing.

All in all it was a great experience, the service, ambiance, the food, even when I met the chef who was a mensch, it was a great dining experience. I think I’m going to head back and try some of the other great looking dishes on the menu.