|Revised: October 2014
Etnika is an Israeli grill restaurant on Shenkar Street, in the Herzlia high tech park. The restaurant has been around since at least 2011, but the concept and menu have been updated, so eLuna visited there again recently.
The ambience is one of light colors in a modern design with Middle Eastern elements such as colorful decorative Armenian porcelain plates and a wall of copper and silver trays. More intimate eating areas are created by subdividing the cavernous room with raised platforms, low dividers and raised serving areas. There is a bar along the right side of the room.
The restaurant’s name suggests ethnic food, but it does not stick to any particular ethnic group. The dishes we tried had influences from the Far East, modern Western Europe, heimische Eastern Europe and the universal grilled meat. The owners, we were told, are Belgian, and bring a European slant to the menu masterfully created by Chef Yoram Edelson.
We sampled four starters. The mushroom salad is a large, vegetarian friendly dish with hot mushrooms on a bed of the freshest vegetables in teriyaki sauce. My companion loved it. The other starters were more off the beaten track, but we were there to experience new things. The ceviche is somewhat misleadingly listed on the menu as “fish balls” in Hebrew. This is a delicious dish for the adventurous, consisting of clusters of lemony fish nibbles coated with diced herbs. The beef Carpaccio is a layer of paper thin beef sprinkled with a marinade and topped with baby leaves and sweet potato crisps. I liked both of these, even though I am usually very hesitant about raw meats and fish. I told myself that both of these dishes tasted like they were thoroughly marinated.
The fourth starter was the chopped liver like I wished my mother had made. There were three balls of chopped liver with eggs and onions, on a bed of lightly fried onions. If I had a favorite among the starters, this was it. The bread that accompanied our starters was the Italian Freno, thinly sliced and chewy. Each dish was plated differently to set an attractive table.
Update May 2016:
Etnika changes its menu every few months. The new Etnika menu includes several ethnic dishes, such as Moroccan cigars (see photo).
The restaurant offers quality meats from the Golan Heights:
Enjoy the new Mix Grill dish with a tasting of everything.
The restaurant has cleverly included enough non meat and vegetarians dishes to satisfy everyone. Etnika offers fresh Sea Bream, Bass and Salmon. And vegetarian dishes like Eggplant Baladi, various Humus dishes,and other.
The menu offers three types of fish for a main course. My companion had the salmon filet, which was baked and served on a bed of tomato sauce with vegetables and olives. I didn’t get a taste; it was all gone. The sides of the day were squash in tomato sauce and white rice with herbs. They went perfectly with the salmon, and with my steak.
I had possibly the best steak that I have ever had. It was the 300 gram Entrecote steak, from Golan Heights feedlot beef aged in the restaurant. It was cooked to perfection, perfectly medium from end to end and top to bottom – no part was underdone or overdone. The outside was crispy and mildly flavored with seasonings. The cut had almost no fat to cut away. This was an experience that I will treasure. The Har Bracha Cabernet Sauvignon wine that the waiter chose set it off perfectly.
It always amazes me how they manage to make these rich chocolate desserts parve. Our desert (we shared one for the two of us) was a play of temperatures: a warm chocolate brownie was topped with cold chocolate mousse and decorated with a warm chocolate ganache.
The restaurant is on street level with indoor and outdoor seating. There is street parking in the evenings and pay parking lots during the day.
Eggplant Baladi NIS 36.,Beef Carpaccio NIS 44., Fish Ceviche (Fish Balls) NIS 45, Hot Mushroom Salad NIS 69, Chopped Liver NIS 42, Fish Filets 95, Italian Frene bread NIS 23, Golan Heights Feedlot Entrecote NIS 148