Tag Archives: noah’s bistro

Israel in 20 meals -part 6

Saturday is of course a day off in Israel. So much so, that my friends actually had time to go out. We had plans to go to the desert (Negev) on saturday, and I was looking forward to that very very much. I had been there once and was very impressed, by the colours, and especially so by the silence. The last two times I visited Israel it was either to warm, or there was a sand storm. Both not good times for visiting the desert. This time, we were lucky! A bright sunny day, and not too warm. (Actually, at some point, it was really really cold!)

We started with a breakfast in the north of the desert, a small restaurant and goat farm, Kornmehl’s goatfarm (it’s in the middle of nowhere!), with a variety of very tasty goat cheeses, that you can also buy there to take home. We had goat cheese for breakfast, surprise! Cheese, with some bread, and lemonade. Simple, tasty, and sitting outside on huge pillows, with a view…amazing.

After that we drove further southwards, to Ein Avdat, a national park, which is very popular, both with Israelis and tourists. Still, since it is big, it wasn’t very crowded. Its  huge canyon, with white walls (well other colours as well, but the white impressed me most), and very interesting plants (weird flowers, see below).

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We ended in Mitze Rapon, near the Rapon crater, a very very impressive huge crater, with a beautiful view, after that we drove into the crater (well, I think we were more or less in the crater.). It was just plain beautiful. the colours! Oh and cold as well, windy, and apart from the wind, complete silence.

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We thought we deserved a good meal after walking and driving around the whole day. Which was not too easy, because, once back in Tel Aviv, it turned out everyone thought they’d deserved a good dinner. It was crowded in many places. But luckily, we were almost locals by then, so I suggested Noah’s bistro, where my girl and I had just had dinner a couple of days before. Noah’s is always a good idea, although the quality of the service depends a little bit on who is serving (we missed Amy Whinehouse this time). Anyway, we started with a mixture of vegetarian starters (Lebaneh, fried eggplant, sweet potatoes, good bread), and these were fresh, tasty, delicious as ever. We ended with different main courses, and I had Shakshuka. This one was very different from the one I had made with Ottlolenghi’s recipe. Much less sweet, much more spicy, more cumin. Mine was vegetarian, but the restaurant also offered a version with shrimps and one with sausages (that should be interesting too!) It was, again and of course, very tasty, but also a little exhausting to eat. Since it was so spicy and the taste was so strong, I could eat only a little, and hence the dish would have been more than enough for two persons (luckily I got help from my friends). I think I shouldn’t have eaten the starters may be.

IMG_2604_for blogIMG_2606_forblog8 more meals to go!

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Israel in 20 meals -part 3

Wednesday was a long day of working at the university, and therefore we did not have lunch ‘downtown’ but at the university. This may sound like a terrible thing, but honestly? I wish I had a cafetaria like that at my university. They serve great coffee, several different kinds of fresh juices, made while you are waiting and according to your taste. Other than that, cakes, sandwiches, some warm dishes and they have a great salad bar. Everything is vegetarian, everything is fresh. I don’t understand why we can’t have that at our place. Sure there must be a market for something like that?

Anyway, in the morning I had great juice, for lunch I had a stuffed pepper on lentils and well, basically ‘other grains’. Of course this was no ‘haute cuisine’, that was not the purpose. It was however, well made, fresh, tasty, and one could really notice that the owners like their jobs. On top of that, service was very nice too. Funny, friendly, with a little chat for everyone. I want a place like that too, here, every day. Please.

At night after a long, intense and productive day of work, we decided to take a relatively early dinner (early for Israeli time) and we went to noah’s bistro, a restaurant that I visited once before, quite some time ago, and that is recommended by my good friends. Relatively early, cause the day after we planned to visit Jerusalem, and for this, we were gonna be picked up at 7 or so. Way to early in any case. So to Noah’s in Jaffa. I guess you kind of have to like this kind of restaurant. I do, but I can also see why people don’t. It’s decoration is very alternative. Some would say, the place looks run down. The restaurant is owned by someone who also owns Cordelia, which is just around the corner, and decorated more classically, so if you are not into funky decoration, go to Cordelia, where the food is great too.

This being said, we had a very nice dinner here. We were served by Amy Whinehouse, who was new to the place, which was no problem at all. She took her time, was friendly, and very helpful. We had a nice bottle of Israeli red wine, and again, I forgot where from and what name. Sorry. We started with sharing some small starters: burned eggplant with lebaneh. Good combination I have to say. But, I still like eggplant better unburned (difficult in Israel), I am not such a big fan of the burned taste.  Then, fried sweet potatoe with coarse sea salt. Very colourful, very tasty. My girl then made the excellent choice of the tortelini filled with tahini with hyssop (za’atar) and tahine sauce. Obviously absolutely not italian, but really an extremely good dish. And again, so beautiful! (see below) And again: a vegetarian’s heaven, really. I instead choose a non-vegetarian dish for once. Meatballs, filled with cheese. I was a little disappointed. Not that it didn’t taste well, it did. But, to my taste, it was a little too heavy, which was a pity after all the fresh and light food I ate here. The meatballs were very well done, the combination with cheese worked well, but what was this huge pile of mashed potatoes doing on my plate? (nice mashed potatoes, true, but hey, we’re not in Northern Germany here).

After this my girl made sure we also got some desert, a creamy chocolate thingy, sweet, nice, but too much for me unfortunately.

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All in all, a nice place to go for dinner, but I would stick to the fish and/or the vegetarian dishes here. Or simply order meat(balls) with vegetables only, I am sure they will not be offended. Not necessarily on the absolute top of my list for Tel Aviv, but I sure wouldn’t complain if someone invites me to go there again.