The Tel Aviv food scene has definitely changed for the better over the last several years, in fact there has been a real culinary boom. If you are looking for a truly out-of-the-ordinary meal, Abraxas Tzafon by celebrity Chef Eyal Shani is a special experience. The space is casual, with a nice variety of background music being played. If you want to experience the real theatre of the place then I suggest eating at the bar so you can see the action taking place in the kitchen. The food is brought out on pieces of cardboard or in paper bags. You are not given dishes, but instead eat on a paper tablecloth, unless you request to do otherwise. The chef doesn’t believe in dishes, I’d say he must be saving a ton by not needing a dishwasher. The menu changes daily depending on what is freshest in the market. We started the meal with one of the best breads I have ever had, served in a paper bag with a half an onion on top. You can rub the bread with the onion if you wish. This is also served with two dips. The menu offers many creative and organic offerings.
You choose your first dish from a list and then a main course. The first course is included in the price of your main dish. We came with another couple and were able to try many selections from the menu. The chef takes simple foods and brings them to another level. From a whole, golden and roasted baby cauliflower to an amazing burning potato served with a crème fraîche horseradish sauce, to a divine beet carpaccio, that melts in your mouth. We also tried the sweetest organic tomato salad which was another winner. Smokey creamy eggplant on a bed of tahini, and also, a bag of garden peas perfumed with lemon and olive oil. We tried a sardine pizza made in their wood burning oven, which had a perfectly cooked crust. The fresh crabs roasted in butter and tomatoes are literally finger licking good. Roasted fish in an iron pan with vegetables butter and white wine, comes with more of their fantastic homemade bread to lap up the sauce. The only disappointment was the steak which was too tough, but also came with a delicious marinade.
We washed this down with a grape juice, seltzer and mint concoction that was SO good. Our server Daniel couldn’t have been nicer. He offered us each a shot of whatever was on his shelf. I went for the Campari with a squeeze of freshly squeezed orange. For dessert, they made us a platter of dense chocolate mousse with whipped cream, sugar coated bananas wrapped in dolce de leche and accompanied with cookies.
Abraxas Tzafon is a unique, innovative and really fun spot. Everything we ate was absolutely given thought to in terms of flavour and presentation. Expect well-executed dishes, served in a relaxed atmosphere.