Sunday, May 23, 2010

my favourite places to eat in Tel Aviv - take 1

Food is a constant topic of conversation here. Everyone wants to know where you ate, what you ate, whether they should go. Most conversations go something like this:

"You ate at somewhere? Which restaurant? Was it good? Where is it? Give me the details immediately! (because I can't believe there is a good restaurant in Tel Aviv, or the whole if Israel, that I don't know about)".

So here are some of my favourites - they are mainly eateries rather than restaurants, which perhaps reflects our budget more than anything. I expect I'll have another list of favourite restaurants in Tel Aviv soon - there are some many tasty restaurants!

La Gaterie

184 Ben Yehuda St, Tel: 077 2180077 and 97 King George Street, Tel: 052 5035003
The story goes that the two owners of this place travelled to France and spent two years learning how to make the perfect croissant. The croissants are served with freshly sliced cheese and meat (salami or prosciutto), and a poached egg. I was skeptical at first, but it makes for the most delicious combination. I think I'm addicted... but I'm trying to limit myself to one per month. I celebrated my birthday breakfast here with a long black (americano).

Me eating the delicious croissant from La Gaterie. From Israel

The Pizza (הפיצה)
51 Bograshov, 03 5281077
The Bianca pizza here is incredible - wood-fired oven pizza with mozzarella, parmesan, feta, olive oil and parsley on top... the most authentic pizza in Tel Aviv in terms of the type of pizza base (not too thin or too thick), cooked in a proper wood-fired oven, with yummy fresh toppings.

Borgashov 58, 03 6291155
This place does amazing sushi. I really didn't expect there would be so many great sushi restaurants in Tel Aviv, but this city continues to surprise me, especially on the food front!

The sushi in Tel Aviv is different to what I've had in Australia (and Japan), nonetheless it is delicious in it's uniqueness. The fish is fresh and delicious, the styles are interesting and diverse... I want to eat more of it!

Amazing sushi at Moon. From Israel
Update: Amit and I ate at Moon tonight. The food was tasty and delicious, but the service was not up to scratch - we had to wait a long time for a table while there were free tables not cleared. Basically looked like they were understaffed, which is a shame. One of our friends worked there for many years and loves the place, so maybe we caught it on a bad night....

Tony Vespa
267 Dizengoff St, 140 Rothschild Blvd. Tel: 03 5460000
I had my doubts about this one, but after a fun night with dutch friends recently, Amit and I had some salami and cheese pizza and it went down very well... Perfect for a late night snack, it has a crispy thin base, fresh toppings, and is priced by its weight - you just tell them how big you want your slice to be!

WolfNights chef burger
40 Lilenblum Street, Rothschild Quarter. Tel:  03 517 7155I and 53 Yehuda Maccabi

I've never really been into gourmet burgers, but WolfNights may have changed me. Amit is obsessed with these burgers. Whenever we are thinking about where to eat Wolfnights is at the top of the list. Amit always goes for the Wolfnights special - a gourmet beef and lamb burger with emmental cheese and crispy bacon on a soft sesame seed bun. I quite like the beef burger with mushrooms. Addictive, not so good for the waistline, but super delicious!

La Brasserie
70 Ibn Gvirol, 03 6967111
This place has a great vibe, some delicious food (I love the bone marrow - I'd never had it before and it's so yummy!), and is open 24hours! With classy service, it's not exactly cheap, but it's a lovely night out. It is a little noisy inside, but you can sit on the street.

 La Brasserie's bone marrow, served with roasted garlic and toast. Yummm

For some reviews of good places to eat in Tel Aviv (including a few I've mentioned here), check out Taste TLV

Thursday, May 06, 2010

photo shoot on a roof

Today I spent half the day on a Tel Avivian rooftop helping with a fashion catalogue photo shoot for the local label ShuShine. Amit was the photographer - his first time shooting a catalogue, and I was giving him a hand.

There was clothes, shoes, accessories, a large cat, make up, hairstyles, schnitzel, hummus, tehina, and lots of large cameras, but what I enjoyed most was being on the roof top and peering over the white rooftops of Tel Aviv.

Fashion, models, and the gorgeous Tel Avivian rooftops

It is a strange landscape - most buildings are about five stories high, with a flat tops glittering with solar hot water heaters. Over 90% of Israeli homes have solar hot water heating on their roof tops (1). Australia, in contrast, has a measly 5% of homes using solar hot water systems, which seems fairly ridiculous considering it is the continent with the highest about of solar radiation(2)! And heating water accounts for about 30% of your home electricity bill, so Israeli electricity bills are tiny!

You can see the hot water heaters on the roof (and a beautiful dress!)

It is true that on occasion (rarely) the sun doesn't shine here, and then we have to remember to turn the boiler on so we will have hot water. I have been stuck without hot water in the morning a few times, and that is something I really don't like - no hot water in the morning makes for a grumpy me.

Another thing about the skyline of Tel Aviv is that it's so random. There are a few skyscrapers, but there is no order to them, they are dotted all around the city. They are not very interesting to look at. The real highlight of this city is the masses of white apartment buildings, mostly with Bauhaus and minimalist architecture, mostly dilapidated and covered in electrical wires, but there is so much charm in that.

one of the random skyscrapers in the background

Getting back to fashion and the photo shoot, it was Amit's first photo shoot, but he really enjoyed it and there are some amazing pictures, as you can see. The designer, Shira, is super lovely and great to work with. I am amazed by people who can turn their ideas and creativity into designs and fashion, who can see their vision being worn by people.

You can see some more photos from the photo shoot in this gallery.

Great t-shirts, complete with Radiohead reference
Amit with his new toy - Canon 5D

Me with Shira's business card, the ShuShine label

Update 8 May

You can buy the new ShuShine summer collection at the following locations:
רד מאונטיין - שבזי 31 ת"א
ענת מיקולינסקי -דיזינגוף 121 ת"א, קניון רמת אביב
מאיפה זה? - בוגרשוב 57, ת"א
ONE BEDROOM - מרגוזה 12 יפו
אמילקה -סוקולוב 63 רמה"ש
אמילקה - אחוזה, רעננה
ריפ - הרצל 142, רחובות

You can find ShuShine on ebay as well

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Tel Aviv, Eilat and beautiful Jerusalem

I stumbled across this article published in The Times about travelling to Israel. I think it captures the energy of this country, and the diversity.

Tel Aviv, Eilat and beautiful Jerusalem