During the last couple of months my friend started collecting Ottolenghi’s cookbooks. Each time I visited her we dogeared dishes from them and prepared meals based completely on their content. The recipes aren’t simple in most cases and contain many techniques and components. It was worth it though – almost every dish we tasted from these books blew our minds. So when I had plans to visit London, I just knew I must visit one of Ottolenghi’s restaurants.
Friday morning, Shuk Tzafon is packed with people grabbing food and loading their baskets for the weekend. Entirely unbeknownst to many of them, a huge, spacious deli had opened just a minute’s walk from their very location. Agatha is more than a deli, though, as it offers a casual dining experience where you can get a taste of the great quality ingredients it has to offer. If you always envied the Europeans for their ostentatious delis, you’ll just love Agatha. Visiting there will make you forget you’re in Tel Aviv, if just for a few blissful moments.
Located In the lobby of the boutique Mendeli Hotel, Mashya offers modern interpretation of local cuisine and serves Moroccan and mediterranean dishes with a fine, modern touch. The kitchen is headed by Yossi Shitrit, which is also the chef of two other great restaurants in town – Onza and Kitchen Market. Mashya prides itself on using local ingredients, produce and spices with advanced cooking techniques.
Rak Hayom (“Only Today” in Hebrew) is a phrase that is commonly heard at Israeli food markets by the loud, local vendors. Rak Hayom’s menu is based on fresh market ingredients which definitely echoes its name, only without the noisy, messy atmosphere of an Israeli market.
If you’re looking for a restaurant with a great view in Tel Aviv, Raphael is probably one of the best. The chef behind the name is Rafi Cohen, which defines the restaurant as Resto-Bistro. Raphael is well known and a stable establishment in the Israeli culinary scene, existing since 2001 which is quite an impressive feat.
Han Manoli is an oriental restaurant situated at Jaffa’s flea market, inside an interesting historical building bearing the same name. While they don’t take reservation on Fridays, we had no problem finding a table for two at around 12:00. When we left, almost 2 hours later, a large group of tourists were turned away at the door because almost all tables were occupied.