Kosher restaurant food for extended lockdown


Ewa Safi

This high end restaurant-lounge, an offshoot of its much simpler parent restaurant in the central bus station, has long been popular in Tel Aviv among aficionados of Moroccan cuisine (it was reviewed in these pages years ago). I have come to think of it as comforting Moroccan cuisine presented as fine cuisine – or, as the restaurant itself calls it – cuisine of the Moroccan soul.

Now that it has been closed during the pandemic, Ewa Safi has jumped into action with a comprehensive delivery menu, comprising no less than six sections: Entrees / Mezze (9-12 NIS, or an assortment of eight for 49 NIS ); Intermediate dishes (NIS 39-89); Main courses (NIS 69-148); Du Grill (single entry: 49 NIS); Specialty (one more: 89 NIS); and Desserts (NIS 38-42). Each category has vegan options (rather limited), but gluten-free options abound.

I had no problem finding at least one dish from each of the above categories that I really enjoyed. There were a number of notable entrees / salads from the platter called Salada (marked “popular” – in English – on the Hebrew delivery menu), in particular, the traditional beet salad, carrot salad (houja, cooked pieces) and Mama Sulica’s ruby ​​red matbouha, with just the right amount of heat.

My favorite dish from the second section – lyrically titled in the Hebrew menu ‘there is no second (chance) for a first impression’ – is without a doubt the lamb pastilla, considered by the owners to be the ‘queen. from the kitchen “. This lightly sweet little gem contains the thinnest crispy phyllo dough imaginable filled with juicy, slow-cooked lamb. (Unfortunately, the delivery version came without the candied pumpkin, flaked almonds, and candied chili.) A recommended vegetarian mid-dish, meanwhile, is the veggie fritters.

The strengths of the main courses (which the poetic license calls in Hebrew “Let’s move on to serious matters”) are, of course, the classic Moroccan tagines, such as the lamb chops glazed with plum and caramelized onion, and the [beef] Simmered shoulder roast with onion, turmeric and saffron. The two succulent tavshilim were accompanied by a couscous with delicate grains.

The grilled specialty was the boneless chicken finely pounded and seasoned with what one might describe as a Moroccan “dry rub” – a unique blend of hot spices. I liked it both hot and cold.

In the midst of this plethora of mouthwatering dishes, I simply forgot to order one of the (only) two desserts, the sphinx or the atayef (the first is like Moroccan donuts, the second is Moroccan pancakes) . My loss, but it should be a warning to others.

Finally, I must point out that the packaging was the most professional I have ever encountered in my history of receiving orders. The hermetically sealed dishes were not easy to unpack, but they were absolutely airtight; and the dishes were still hot in their plastic containers for hours after arrival.

Ewa Safi

Kosher

HaShahar Street 8, Tel Aviv. Telephone: (053) 611-2129

English menu: ewasafi.co.il/en

American Broaster Chicken

I only recently discovered this kosher chain, but was delighted to find it, as I have fond memories of chicken made this way in the ‘old country’. This unique cooking method is a kind of “steam frying,” a process that prevents poultry from absorbing too much oil and results in a crispy batter that coats moist, juicy meat.

The menu only in Hebrew is very limited: its three courses are the wings, the “broaster” and the nuggets. The price is according to the size of the meal: Individual (NIS 45-49), Couple (NIS 85-95) and Family (NIS 125-145). There is also a children’s meal, which includes a “surprise” (NIS 39).

As I was (and remain) a little confused by the chain terminology, I ordered over the phone, as that seems to be the only option, using my own words: wings and white meat chicken. I was told I had a chicken breast and had hoped it would be a quarter full chicken. Instead, I received what I considered to be big nuggets.

Still, I have to say I was pretty happy with the taste, which is a cut above what’s typically available at big, fast food chains. The outside is neither greasy nor soggy and the meat itself quite tasty.

There were additional pleasant surprises when it came to the sides. The “potatoes” – written and pronounced in Hebrew transliteration, as opposed to the ubiquitous fries, or “crisps” – were delicious pieces of what appeared to be a twice-baked potato, in their skins (NIS 10).

The menu lists a few salads and sandwiches, but I was most interested in the coleslaw (5 NIS, when ordering a meal), which turned out to be very good: coarsely chopped cabbage (but no carrot) dipped in a creamy dressing. The portion was woefully tiny, so I increased it at home with diced carrots, green onions, and radishes.

The menu says there are three desserts (10 NIS each), but the person on the other end of the line only mentioned Malabi, which I declined.

American Broaster Chicken.

Kosher.

Eleven branches nationwide (representative outlet: Azrieli Mall, Tel Aviv).

Phone. 1-700-700-307 (call center). Online menu: broasterchicken.co.il/menu

The writer was the guest of the restaurants.

About Vivian J. Smith

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