The intriguingly named The Blue Rooster is the restaurant, deli and bar of two of Tel Aviv’s most distinguished chefs: Shaul Ben Aderet and Charlie Fadida. Situated in the upscale Tzameret G shopping mall, the restaurant encompasses a handsome bar and interior, as well as an attractive al fresco area on the second floor rooftop, with stunning views of the residential towers of north Tel Aviv, and cooling evening breezes.
We were greeted with complimentary glasses of apple cider with strawberry syrup, a welcome and refreshing gesture. The alcohol and wine menus recently underwent changes, and the new English wine list -- rather extensive, featuring Israeli and imported wines -- should be unveiled soon.
Meanwhile, the food and dessert menus are in English, and the wait staff also speak the language well. They explained the specialty cocktails, from which I ordered the house caipirinha, made with cachaça, lime, ginger and honey and garnished with mint and purple flower. Quite simply, it is the best caipirinha I have had in Israel.
Non-alcoholic (“virgin”) versions are available for most of the cocktails; my companion enjoyed her blend of tropical fruit juices immensely.
The Blue Rooster offers a tasting menu, which takes the guesswork out of deciding among the many options on the menu. As we awaited our appetizers, we were served a loaf of braided hallah in honor of the Sabbath, together with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, as well as herbed green olives.
Our first starter was tuna ceviche on a bed of guacamole, with tomato salsa garnished with leafy herbs and topped with black “caviar” made from seaweed. The freshness of the fish was evident, and the unique vegetarian mock caviar a nice extra touch.
Our salad appetizer was a sweet and spicy cold pumpkin salad lightly dressed in a pomegranate vinaigrette, with Gorgonzola cheese, dried cranberries, mint and nuts. This was a delicious eye-opener -- a veritable symphony of flavors.
Next came white fish carpaccio on a bed of ikra -- white taramasalata -- with seasoned garden vegetables. The beautiful presentation made this dish a feast for the eyes as well as the palate, while the razor-thin slices of fish were enhanced nicely by the inspired combination of ingredients.
There are some excellent vegetarian options as well: the classic risotto in a porcini mushroom broth with a mix of mushrooms, Parmesan cheese, peas and truffles was one of the outstanding dishes of the evening, rich and hearty.
Similarly, the polenta with shimeji mushrooms, asparagus, truffle oil and caciocavallo cheese was a creamy delight, the al dente vegetable a brilliant counterpoint to the cornmeal delicacy.
Progressing to the main courses, we were treated to two meat dishes: sirloin steak creatively encrusted with sunflower seeds, and butcher’s cut with a smear of chimichurri. Both cuts of prime beef were grilled to perfection, tender and flavorful.
Our main course in the fish category was Asian-flavored cod in a coconut milk casserole with curry, chili, ginger and lemongrass. The generous chunks of flaky white fish were succulent, in a dish that would please any fan of Thai cuisine.
The dessert menu is varied and eclectic, with Western, Middle Eastern and Asian options.
The kanaffeh was a confection of soft, salty goat cheese wrapped in golden strands of crispy angel hair kadaif and then suffused in lemon, geranium and honey syrup. All in all, a wonderful interplay of flavors and textures.
The semifreddo pistachio creme brûlée was like a cross between pudding and ice cream: both cooling and intense, the creme brûlée burst into flavor with ever bite.
Finally, the shortest description on the dessert menu was “the perfect Malabi.” I confess that I am not generally a fan of this Levantine sweet, but this one was truly exceptional. I would order it again in a heartbeat.
The Blue Rooster is a popular place not only for romantic dates and families, but also for events, with an elegant room off the wine cellar for private functions. Private parties may also be held in the restaurant or the rooftop garden. For more information, contact the Events Manager, Michael, at (054) 222-1100.
The Blue Rooster: Restaurant/Deli/Bar
Tzameret G Mall, Nissim Aloni Street 10, Tel Aviv
Tel. (03) 544-3349
Photo Silvia Golan