The Chinese Wall (Hachoma Hasinit)
Lots and lots of people on social media have asked me and many of the foodies in my group, where does one get authentic Chinese food? As a kosher food eater, the options are quite limited. When I was growing up in Jerusalem, there was an amazing Chinese restaurant called Yosi Peking(for those of you who remember), and they were as close to authentic kosher Chinese food could find in Israel. Sadly, they shut down (please come back one day!) and my life went on without knowing that there was a hidden gem in Tel Aviv that serves authentic Chinese food! Once I heard about it, I had to go!
Welcome Hasinit (Kosher Rabbanute Tel Aviv) opened up in 1996 and has been run by the same Chinese family that immigrated to Tel Aviv ever since. The restaurant is located on a side street in the heart of Tel Aviv not far from the Central bus station, the restaurant doesn’t have a sign outside. Although, you can tell it’s a Chinese restaurant from a mile away!
I went there with my good friend Andrew, who is a foodie at heart and we both had no idea what to expect. We were greeted very
politely by the owner who was super nice, and brought us a hot-pot of Chinese tea. I’m not a big fan of tea, or a hot drink on a hot day, but the owner told us it was good for us so we had some of the tea and it was quite delightful. Then we looked at the menu and I have been craving wonton soup ever since Yosi Pekin had shut down, and there it was, the first thing on the menu! I was already so excited, but then it got better, the owner said that the wontons’ and the egg noodles in the soup were hand-made! Now I was ecstatic!
After a few minutes they served up two types of piping hot dumplings with a soy dipping sauce. One was a potsticker filled with chicken and fries the dough until it was crispy, and the other dim sum filled with chicken and was steamed. Both of them made by hand and not bought made all the difference. The crispy dim sum (potsticker) was crunchy and filled with chopped chicken, not mushed chicken. That’s where you can tell the difference. The steamed dim sum melted in our mouths it was so good. The soy and chili dipping sauce was a nice addition but the dim sum had enough flavor it didn’t need it.
Then we were served the soup. Let me tell you, the soup is definitely worth the trip, it’s massive, full of fresh ingredients and steaming hot! The broth is made in-house from chicken bones the wontons are full of fresh chicken and melt in your mouth. The homemade noodles have great texture and add a ton to the soup. Then to top it off they put in glass noodle, fresh coriander, carrots and sprouts for a nice crunchy texture. The perfect bite for a wonton soup. It brought back great childhood memories, let me tell you.
At this point we were practically full, but we had already ordered the main course with business lunch. The main course of the business lunch was ok, but there wasn’t anything special about it. The sweet and sour chicken was nice, as the stir fried vegetables and the rice, but it felt like cafeteria food. Next time I go, I order only off the menu.
I felt that everything that they make in-house is really delicious and worth trying, unlike the disappointing business lunch. If you find yourself in Tel Aviv and looking for a great kosher authentic Chinese restaurant, there is only one place to go and that’s the Choma Hasinit.