The old joke goes that for blasé Tel Avivians, anything north of the Yarkon River is uninteresting; the good restaurants, culture, arts, nightlife; all are in Tel Aviv. Only the “plebs” go north.
We’re here to discount that myth. Firstly, ex-pat Southern Africans have taken root all over the country (Ranana, anyone?) and they are certainly not “plebs”. Secondly, good things do happen across the Yarkon River.
There is a worldwide trend, including in Israel, for restaurants to go back to nature, to use home-grown or local products as far as possible, to keep everything natural. “Market restaurants”. We love that style; relaxing, healthy, laid back, not stuffy and formal. The food is usually excellent and the prices down-to-earth too.
Here is a case in point. A successful restaurateur and her farmer-partner have opened a market restaurant in Ramat Hasharon (easily accessible from everywhere) that has the locals buzzing. Limor Oren and Oded Sharabani have invested 1 million shekels in their newest venture “Reichot Ve’Ta’amim” (which translates as “Aromas and Flavors”). This unusual restaurant is actually a market as well.
Ramat Hasharon is surrounded by agricultural lands, so naturally-fresh produce is easily available. But “Aromas & Flavors” is not only for fresh fruit and vegetables: shop for fine wines, olive oils, spices & herbs, nuts & legumes, cakes & cookies, preserves and pickles (many home-made by Oded’s mother) and much more. There is also a “shakes bar” and freshly squeezed juices. (Don’t miss out on the pomegranate juice). On Thursdays and Fridays the market is open for take-aways too: a huge range of truly Israeli-ethnic cooked and fresh dishes. Taste Thai, Iraqi, Ashkenazi, Tunisian and Moroccan specialties, amongst others, all sensibly priced and guaranteed fresh. Do words like kubbeh, couscous, cholent and amba translate into tastes you already know? Stuffed vegetables, Romanian stew, aubergine, hummus, tahini, soups and of course a range of fresh salads to tempt the eye and the taste buds. Let your imagination fly.
Every day from Sunday to Friday there is a giant breakfast buffet (49 shekels, all included, all the unique Israeli breakfast dishes), then an amazing lunch buffet (same price!) that goes on till about 15:00 or until the food runs out. Prepared fresh daily and never the same, because the dishes offered depend on what’s good in the markets that morning. Only kosher products are used, but there is no kashrut certification. Many dishes are vegetarian.
Reichot Ve’Ta’amim, 8 Ha’cheresh Street, Ramat Hasharon.
ריחות וטעמים, רח' החרש 8, רמת השרון
If you want to experience back-to-basics ethnic Israeli hospitality at its best ….