Abraxas North is a trendy restaurant in Tel Aviv with a surprise up its sleeve. Akin to a theatre, a new performance is staged there every day by the Israeli star chef Eyal Shani. He is a true genius - enthusiastic and eccentric. Shani can chat literally nonstop and conjure up a divine meal in a half an hour.
Early in the morning, before a working day in the kitchen starts, he has been to Jerusalem and picked the very best products to prepare for his guests. Selecting the foodstuffs, he already visualizes dishes that he would make, which you won't be able to find in any cookbook. They are fruit of his own fervent imagination.
Abraxas features an open type kitchen, and you can freely observe its friendly team of cooks hustling around in easy, relaxed atmosphere. There is a psychedelic touch about it, with bubbling and steaming pots and saucepans, and delicious aromas floating in the air. Fresh out of the oven cauliflower, baked with olive oil, and succulent, parchment-paper roasted eggplant, so popular in Israel. It looks like a piece of ancient Latvian footwear made of a piece of leather, but tastes like ambrosia. A load of fresh zucchini are delivered into the kitchen and right away it is planned how to prepare them...Yes, bingo! They'll be rubbed with lemon and pepper! Meanwhile, sea bass is brought in and instantly appears on the menu. Orders flow in, and lightly fried, grilled or stewed fish in fresh tomato sauce becomes the most desired dish of the night. A sizzling piece of lamb leg is brought to the table, sending off aromas of herbs, perhaps the same ones that have grown in the pastures. Savor it alone or share with someone!
Moreover, at Abraxas you can taste almost every type of tomatoes imaginable, which is thanks to its good cooperation with a farm growing up to 120 different sorts of tomatoes. Aside from the traditional red ones, you will see tomatoes of different shape and shades, all used as ingredients for multitude of dishes.
Although Abraxas menu boasts unique, never before tasted dishes and is constantly varying, it's always unfailingly rich in tomatoes. The chef never stops praising them: "If there are tomatoes, there is the sun," he says adding tomatoes to Israel symbols, and, moments later, to some dish of freshly caught crabs. He deftly peels the juicy fruit, squeezes out seeds and makes fabulous tomato carpaccio - like Picasso painting in typical hues of Van Gogh.
You can see the chef Eyal Shani and hear his philosophy of making heavenly food with earthy taste on YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19q_758F528.
40 Lilenblum, Tel Aviv
Posted 07/2010Share it:
Keywords: restaurant, Tel Aviv