Saturday, March 22, 2014

Som-ting Yum-mee

Last night I was adopted into my friend's family for dinner-time. They were here visiting her in Israel and I was just lucky enough to join the family for a night out on the town at this asian inspired restaurant called Zepra, on Igal Alon 96 (everyone plug this restaurant into your might be a far walk, or drive, or flight, but it's worth it). And yes, in Israel, the numbers come after the street names. Anyhoo, back to the food, because that's why you guys read my blog posts...for the food, am I right? At first glance, the menu was overwhelming - filled with different course sections, different asian-fusion categories. The waitress wanted to make it easy for us, so instead of us ordering, we were presented with different options for appetizers, main courses, and of course (because we're legal in Israel, even though I'm legal back home) drizzyyyy Drinnkzzzzz! My friend and I decided to be adventurous and order some cocktails, I chose a rum inspired ginger, lime, mint drink that was filled to the brim with little ice cubes.
The ginger was spicy, the lime tangy and the mint refreshing. It was such a good little cocktail that I didn't feel like I was drinking alcohol and as an alcohol connoisseur I believe that's the way it should be. As we casually sipped on our drinks, the appetizers came out - we didn't know what was coming, which was part of the fun experience, each dish was a surprise. For appetizers we had Sashimi, the Healthy Buddha salad and a Tapioca dumpling filled with chicken and various vegetables. The fish was fresh and the pieces melted in my mouth, the sauces on top were a little spicy, it was a perfect mixture of fiery spice with the delicate taste of the fish. The Healthy Buddha salad was a top fave - a combination of one of my favorite foods and one of my favorite cuisines: salads and Asian. The thinly julienned pieces of daikon, carrots, and cabbage were crunchy and then there was the crispy bean sprouts and the sharp pungent mint to cleanse the palette. For the Tapioca dumpling was a bright what?!? It was a soft outer layer that encompassed a tasty chicken/asian vegetable mixture in the center, with each bite, more gooey goodness came.

Within 10 minutes, out came the main courses. Although our stomachs were saying "no more food", our mouths had different ideas, and our eyes were in constant shock by the beautiful colors of the food. Out came a full white fish covered in a redish brown chili sauce covered in mint leaves...bear in mind that I'm not a huge fish fan, but when it's disguised with other flavors, I enjoy it. And this piece, I thoroughly enjoyed.
For the meat lovers out there, the next dish was a veal chop dish with sautéed spinach and red lettuce.
I was blown away by this meal. Every single bite was filled with delicious flavors and it was nice to dine with a family, even if it wasn't mine. It reminded me of the comfort of home and the food I love, which I can safely say, I can definitely find in Israel. Catch ya on the flip side. Nomz out.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Full Moon

Last night I finally got my sushi fix, and it was completely worth the wait. So far, being in Israel I've had sushi two other times, neither to my liking, but last night - the restaurant Moon, on Bograshav Street hit the jackpot. The restaurant was small, but packed with both Americans, Brits and Israelis - plus it's gotten great recommendations, so I was very excited to try it. The menu was filled with different appetizers, colorful rolls, sushi sandwiches, pouches of rice/tofu filled with fish and vegetables, sashimi - the list could go on. The menu was overwhelming, but everything looked sooooo good. Plus, they had the option of brown rice, it was 2GOOD2BTRUE!!!!! I decided on two rolls - the spicy tuna; a mixture of tuna and avocado rolled in rice, wrapped in a slice of cucumber, with a spicy radish mixture drizzled over the top. For my second roll, I chose a Japanese tofu pouch stuffed with Yellowtail, avocado and sesame seeds sprinkled on top, with a side of a thinly julienned daikon and carrot salad. I picked up a piece, slathered on wasabi, dipped in gooey Eel sauce, Spicy orange mayo and a final splash in the dark brown Soy Sauce. This piece was legend, wait for it, wait for it...dary. Probably the best meal I've eaten out so far in Tel Aviv, and that's saying a lot because I'm a picky eater, especially when it comes to Sushi. I really don't like fish, but I really enjoy it in Sushi. The fish was fresh, the avocado melted in my mouth, the spicy radish pieces, along with the spicy mayo/wasabi mixture, left me with a fiery incense in my mouth - my eyes were watering...this is a great way to clear out your sinuses (in case anyone was wondering). The tofu pouch was sweet, it provided a tasty contrast with the salty fish and pungent taste of the avocado. I just couldn't get enough of that yummy in my tummy sush, and we washed it down with some warm Sake.
I drank the Sake in honor of my mother, her favorite type of was the first time I've ever had it before, the rice based alcohol is not my drink of choice, but it was the perfect pair with the meal. Because my schedule has been different, somewhat off, I'm usually snacking throughout the day, and starving at meals. Yesterday though, I was able to really appreciate my food, I had the opportunity to eat slowly and really take in all the flavors. I can't explain how good this meal was, my only recommendation is if you're abroad in Israel, to try it, if you're sitting on your couch back in the states, get on a plane to Israel and head to Moon...but make sure you make a reservation first, they get crowded.