Tag Archives: kosher tel aviv

Enjoying a wonderful lunch at Rendezvous in Neve Tzedek

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Rendezvous

The trend of kosher restaurants opening up in Tel Aviv is a marvelous thing. 10 years ago you were maybe able to find a kosher falafel stand or a very fancy gourmet restaurant. That isn’t the case today. Everywhere you turn, you can find somewhere kosher to eat, milk or meat.

captureThe trend has now hit the art-deco neighborhood of Neve Tzedek, in the city center, by the Shalom tower. The restaurant I visited (I was a guest) is called Rendezvous (Kosher Rabbanut Tel Aviv), an Italian restaurant, run by French chefs. The restaurant took over for the Italian House restaurant that has been there for a very long time and was not kosher.

img_20161222_134014When walking into the restaurant, you feel like you are taken back to your grandparents house; beige wallpapers, big mirror with big frames, old-fashioned couches a very comfortable environment. The wait staff was super nice and polite, and made me feel even more comfortable.

Onto the food. Since I was a guest(I wasn’t alone, I was with 3 other guests), I asked the host to bring out some really unique dishes that I won’t find in every dairy\Italian restaurant. For the appetizers, the chef sent out an endive salad, with a crostini with melted Camembert cheese, An eggplant cream dish topped with a tomato salsa and cornishons, and for something hot,  mushrooms sautéed in a cream sauce on a piece of toasted brioche. Let’s go one by one. The mushrooms blew me away! The cream sauce had a hint of truffle
img_20161222_141212oil in it and it just blew my mind and the brioche was perfect for mopping up the sauce. The eggplant cream dish was a nice dip, smoky and salty, the way a dish should be. The salad was very refreshing and very french with blue cheese hidden in the endive leaves, although the salad was nice, the crostini with the img_20161222_141332melted Camembert was my favorite part of the salad. Who doesn’t love  grilled cheese?

Then I brought a dish that was on the specials menu, a salmon sashimi with a side salad. It was a very delicate dish, very light and very good.

Then for the main course, the chef sent out, a truffle and img_20161222_141429porcini mushroom parpadelle, pizza tortofu, a red drum fish with mashed potatoes and a tomato salsa and one last dish of salmon fillet also served on a bed of mashed potatoes.

I’ll start with the pizza since it was very interesting. I wouldn’t have called it a pizza, it was more like a quesadilla because the dough was super thin and soft. The toppings were interesting too; asparagus, arugula, truffle oil, béchamel, Parmesan, and a runny egg. It wasn’t my favorite and could have used more cheese. Then I tried the parpadelle which was sadly missing seasoning and a img_20161222_141556-1mushroom flavor. The handmade pasta was very nice and al dente but the flavors in the sauce weren’t there. The fish dishes were on point. The red drum fish was cooked perfectly, flaky seasoned well and melted in my mouth. The same for the salmon, cooked to perfection, full of flavor, and a crispy skin for texture. The mashed potatoes were super creamy and full of flavor and weren’t runny at all.  We didn’t have dessert because we were already busting at the seams, but they looked delicious!

For a new restaurant, the food was very good, great service and a very nice ambiance. Rendezvous is a great addition to the beautiful Neve Tzedek neighborhood and to the kosher food world.

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Visiting the Chinese Wall in Tel Aviv

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The Chinese Wall (Hachoma Hasinit)

20160110_133308Lots 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!

20160110_135041Welcome 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
20160110_133839politely 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!

20160110_135746With the soup we ordered the business menu that comes with 2 types of dumplings and a main course, but the soup is all we really wanted.

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 20160110_135343can 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 20160110_140709top 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.

 

 

Eating legit Turkish Shwarma in Tel Aviv: Turk Lachmaj’un

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Turk Lachmaj’un

20160731_123658WOW, when I left, Turk Lachmaj’un I was impressed. I mean it’s known that the two most common street foods in Israel are falafel and shwarma, but the way they do things at Turk Lachmaj’un really take it to the next level. I want to thank my friend Mitch Schnieder for introducing me to this place because I KNOW I’m going to head back there.

Turk Lachmaj’un (Kosher Rabbanute Tel Aviv) has been around for a while, and their standards have stayed the same since day 1. For those 20160731_121912of you who don’t know what a lachmaj’un is, (here comes the culinary tidbit) it’s a loaf of bread baked with any type of meat inside. The dish hails from Turkey, and has become a very popular dish in restaurants around Israel. Traditionally it’s baked with lamb, but those who can’t afford it will use beef or any other meat they fancy. Traditionally it’s served with techina, but you can enjoy it with any dip you like.

Now to the restaurant. I call it a restaurant because it really  is. You have an option to either eat a shwarma to go and have them wrap up 20160731_115844your meal in a laffa or lachmaj’un or to sit down and enjoy the full experience where they bring you salads to your table and you eat with a fork and knife. I chose the first option, and it was perfect! A little more about the restaurant, show up early or you will be waiting a long time to enjoy an amazing meal because the place is packed during the lunch rush. Most of the food is made in-house from the salads to the fries, I don’t know if the meat is prepared there but I know that each lachmaj’un is made in the stone oven that they hide in the corner. Now I need to break down the lacmaj’un process for you: They bake each lachmaj’un fresh to order. the lachmaj’un is prepared like this: they bake the meat and spices into and open-faced type of laffa bread and then when it comes out of the oven, they fill it with more meat!If you aren’t already drooling, here comes the fun part, I chose lamb all the way through, then he put in the fillings that were so fresh, from the techina dripping through, pickled onions, and I don’t even remember what else the guy put in, but it made it a perfect bite! The lamb was super moist and full of flavor and you can taste the lamb all the way through because it’s baked into the bread! The fries were a bit soggy because sadly Israelis don’t believe in a double fry french fry (pomme frites) but everything else was just perfect.

Turk Lachmaj’un is one of the best shwarmas I have had in Israel, definitely in my top 5 in Israel. So if you find yourself in the Nachalat Binyamin area of central Tel Aviv, come by foot, because there’s almost no parking and get on line for some of the best shwarma, Tel Aviv has to offer.