Tel Aviv – Lev Ha’ir – a top feed at Port Said

Lev Ha’ir (meaning ‘heart of the city’ in Hebrew) is the central neighbourhood (map here) that contains Carmel Market and most of the White City (see previous posts). Har Sinai is a small side street just off Allenby Street, one of the most important streets in the centre. The square it forms contains the Great Synagogue of Tel Aviv (photos below) and a plethora of excellent bars and restaurants including the famous Catit before it closed. You’ll find everywhere mentioned on my Google map.

After HaBasta (see my Carmel market post) this place was our favourite eating experience in Tel Aviv…

Port Sa’id (Intermediate A), 5 Har Sinai Street,

This is a very popular hipster joint so you’ll most likely have to wait a while for a table. Virtually all the seating is outdoors, mostly under cover under the arches, so you’ll quite probably get a good few lungful’s of marijuana smoke courtesy of your young trendy tattooed neighbours (it’s legal here).

The Middle Eastern influenced food is fantastic uses the freshest of ingredients. We loved everything we had (all As, which is very rare).

We kicked off with Roasted Arab Cabbage which came in a very dark, earthy sauce (made with butter and root veg), served with crème fraiche.

We also had the Butcher’s Cut, hunks of beef slow cooked for seven hours with root veg and served with tahini.

Everyone’s favourite (A+) was the smoky Aubergine swimming in a sauce of tomato seeds (the most flavoursome part of the fruit), hot peppers and tahini.

I also pinched some of Kate’s Roast Beef Carpaccio which was doused in more tomato seeds, hot peppers and olive oil. Wonderful again.

Finally the four of us shared the only two desserts; the Chocolate Mousse with whipped cream…

…and the city’s finest French Toast again with crème fraiche and a seasonal marmalade.

To drink I tried Gazoz, a popular local gaseated drink that has hints of Irn Bru (a famous Scottish fizzy pop). It’s homemade here so probably better than the variety in the shops. The Ginger Beer is good too but after a while I moved on to the draught Goldstar (the local beer).

A great restaurant! Wish I’d had time for a couple more visits…

The front entrance of the Great Synagogue is just opposite Port Said.

The original building (Yehuda Magidovitch 1926) has Eclectic and Art Deco features. The concrete arches were added in 1970.

Heading west to the neighbourhood of Neve Tzedek next!

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