Tag Archives: meat restaurant

A Middle priced gem in Jerusalem: Medita

thumbs_meditaA lot of people ask me all the time, where can I go out to eat and not have to spend a fortune? Where can I go and take a family of 5 without spending 300 shekels a person?20161026_193217

So this is what I tell everyone who asks; you have 2 options: 1. Go to any shupudia (an Israeli Steakhouse) where you can order 2 skewers with perfectly grilled meat,  fresh salads and fresh bread. The ambiance leans toward the fast food and not fine dining but you get what you pay for. By the way, I highly recommend many of these shipudias, whether it’s Grill Bar or Tzidkiyahu, because you get your value for the money. But when a family is looking for a place with a nice ambience, great 20161026_193320food and restaurant service, I recommend Medita.

Medita is the brainchild of chef Motti Ochana owner and operator of the gourmet restaurant Hechatzer(one of my favorite kosher restaurants in Israel) Chef Motti decided to open up a second location a bigger location, but with more affordable prices without compromising the quality and level that the chef brings. Nothing on the menu looks 20161026_193326cheap and is definitely not fast food. We went two couples so we ordered 2 starters and the house bread. One of the starters was a sabich salad, and the other was the pate mix with the cherry tomato jam on toast.

In a very non Israeli manner, all of the apps came out at the same time! We started with the bread and the dips, the bread was super fresh and crunchy, and had no clue what some of the dips were but they were a delight. The sabich salad was very nice with little pieces 20161026_195545of toast to accompany the boiled egg and eggplant tehini sauce mixture. There was some chili in there as well and that gave the dish a nice kick and a great way to finish it off! The pate was out of bounds, I’ve had it before in Hechatzer and it was just as good; smooth texture, sweet and savory with a perfect crunch from the toast.

For the main course I ordered a medium rare steak with a baked potato and my wife ordered the “hechatzer “short ribs. Again, all the dishes came out 20161026_195433the same time and definitely a highlight of the night. My steak was cooked to a perfect medium rare with the right amount of seasoning to make it complete. I didn’t really care for the baked potato because there was nothing special about it, no toppings or a dipping sauce to accompany it (it had a roasted cherry tomato on top, whoo hoo). The asado (short ribs) had a nice topping by adding pomegranate with scallions, it was a very very filling dish. Perfectly sweet, it’s a very heavy dish to eat alone, but it is so good!

A great location, great service, delicious food, all in all, Medita is a great middle range meat restaurant that fills out all the criteria of fine dining without making a hole in your pocket.

 

Advertisements

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

20160731_123814

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.

 

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.


 

 

Tzidkiyahu’s Steakhouse, one of the oldest in Talpiyot

20150527_121328

Tzidkiyahu Steakhouse

The Israeli steak house definition is very different then a steak house that you would find in the USA. A steakhouse in20150527_121345 Israel specializes in grilled meats on skewers. Tzidkiyahu is one of those places that have perfected the formula to a successful stekiya(steakhouse). At Tzidkiyahu, they bake their own fresh pita bread and laffa’s on site, it doesn’t get any fresher than that. The same goes for all the salads, they are made in-house. This is why Tzidkiyahu has been around for so many years.

20150527_121844When you sit down the first thing they do after you order is bring you a massive amounts of fresh salads and the fresh bread I mentioned before. They where all scrupmtious. The fresh chummus, the coleslaw, the eggplant, tehini, the list goes on. They where all delicious. Then came the main,  pargiyot(spring chicken) skewers with a side of rice and beans and hand cut fries. The chicken was cooked perfectly and seasoned with the right amount of seasoning and not taking away from the grilled flavors as well. The side dishes were a great compliment as well. The fries where crispy, and the rice and beans were done middle eastern style that have a little flair to them. All in all Tzidkiyahu is a great place to go and enjoy a great simple meal, and also has the room to host parties as well. So if you find yourself in the Talpiyot area for lunch, you should walk in and give it a shot.

20150527_122459

Tzidkiyahu, Yad Charutzim 21 Talpiyot, Jerusalem, Kosher Rabbanute Yerushalayim

 

Olla from Eilat!

11206037_491851707629346_4112289870186593155_nOlla

When visiting the southern city of Eilat, I usually do my research before I head out to eat at nights with my family. 20151014_193616This specific trip I decided to look up a Hebrew website and find out in what their opinion is the best kosher restaurant in the city. So when I finally got to the top ten page I saw that Olla (kosher rabbanute Eilat) has been ranked number 1.

20151014_194211When arriving at Olla, we noticed that there were two sides to the restaurant, on was a sushi bar called Isabella and the other was Olla, both establishments are owned by the same owner and have become kosher about 7 months ago. The owner decided that going kosher was the right thing to do considering he became closer to god, long story. Anyway, he kept all the same staff, just kashered the kitchen and spruced up the place with a minor renovation and business has been booming ever since.

When walking into the establishment we were greeted by a very nice waiter named Chaim and he was amazing20151014_193949 literally until we walked out. The ambiance is very welcoming and the whole venue is very comfortable and child friendly. The moment we sat down chaim brought my daughter a coloring book with crayons and put in the order for the children’s meal(shnitzel and fries). While we had some peace and quiet, we ordered a couple of starters, beef carpacchio, a mushroom medley on a  bruschetta and the lamb kebab.  As you can see they looked super appetizing and tasted even better! The carpacchio was cured to perfection with a balsamic glaze was a great compliment. The kebabs were cooked to a perfect medium and with the tehini glaze again was a wonderful compliment to the dish. Lastly the mushrooms were sautéed to perfection and had a meaty flavor and was just delicious.

For the main I ordered a 500 gram prime rib steak cooked medium with a side of truffle mashed potatoes and a medley of grilled vegetables. I had no words to describe how amazing the steak was, one of the best I have ever eaten. The Au jus that accompanied it took it to the next level of awesomeness.  The steak, 20151013_185823cooked to a perfect medium rare with perfect grill marks, I mean it’s as good as it’s going to get. Oh, I can’t forget the grilled bone marrow that i smeared on the steak like a butter was just phenomenal!

My wife originally ordered a pasta dish that looked really nice but was to spicy for her. Without hesitation Chaim the waiter  replaced it with a salad that she wanted without extra charge. We haven’t ever had such a wonderful customer service experience in Israel in a long time.

Olla in my eyes is really one of Israels finest fine dining establishments that this country has to offer. There is a reason it’s rated Eilats number 1 kosher restaurant for a long time running. So if you ever find yourself in Eilat, you must try it.

Olla, Tershish 7 Eilat, Israel