Herbert Samuel, Tel Aviv
At Herbert Samuel last night they were serving the Autumn 2010 Daily Menu. I gather that the menu changes with each season. I like that. A very chic restaurant with just the right vibe. You know the minute that you walk in that this is a top restaurant and they take the food, the service and the entire vibe seriously. Although the menu is completely different to one of Danny Meyer's restaurants such as The Modern there is something that reminds me of it. High end chic.
When you walk up to the second floor the kitchen is completely enclosed in glass so you can watch everything that is happening. On the other side of the kitchen there were chefs preparing open apple tarts.
Our waitress spoke such perfect English that I couldn't help but ask if she was American. She wasn't but had spent 11 years in the states in and around Stanford University where I believe she said her father taught.
"Silk Road" salmon tartar. Chopped pieces of raw salmon paired with very thin noodles served over a light broth with chopped peanuts and cilantro. This was interesting although the noodles were totally tasteless.
Rock shrimp tempura is always a crowd pleaser. This was a different twist on what we expected. Six separate rock shrimp tempuras sitting on top of sliced hearts of palm in a creamy sauce that had a kick. Different.
"Sing sing" yellowtail sashimi. Sliced pieces of yellowtail folded order with a mixture of thinly sliced radishes (another thing they love here and I love too) with cilantro and red onions. Jessica called it…it was kind of tasteless.
For our main courses we were all over the place and obviously so is the menu. Josh went with the beef fillet. A large fillet with some bone marrow on the side is something hard to go wrong with. The other item on the plate is a scoop of mashed potatoes.
Fred had the whole fish. Lots of herbs and a nice spicy sauce. The picture was so blurry that I am not going to post it. Em and I had a hankering for hanger steak. Cut into a few pieces, pan fried and served with some roasted small potatoes with an artichoke sauce over the top. Strange flavor but I really have been hankering for meat.
We did dessert finally. Had to have the apple tart we saw them preparing when we walked in. I really liked how it came out. Layered tart apples on top of a pastry sitting in a caramel sauce with loads of butter and a dollop of vanilla gelato on top. Yum.
This was a mixture of cinnamon churros stuffed with oozing chocolate and whipped cream on the side to dip into. The other thing that came with this dish was a glass of cold chocolate almost like a pudding but harder and a thick cream on top. I didn't love that as much.
Bumped into some people that Jessica knew on the way out and met the parents. Small world, truly.