This write up was submitted by Fredi Engelberg [email@example.com]
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How I wish I could report to you that I stumbled on this charming country restaurant on my own, on a stormy night..Alas… I didn’t. It came with great recommendations which did not at all diminish from its charm.
You won’t find Tanduka on your own unless you happen to live in Yokneam Hamoshava (Not Yokneam Elite) Yokneam has up till now had two claims to fame. One is that it is one of Israel’s hi-tech centers. The other is that, for the moment, it is the end of Highway 6, so anyone one heading North has to go past Yokneam. Now, there is a third claim to fame, the lovely Tanduka Meat Restaurant.
The restaurant is in the commercial center of Yokneam Hamoshava. Turn right after the roundabout on the main highway. It is about five minutes up the hill and well sign posted. Here, between the post office and the general store you will find a little piece of Eretz Yisrael Hayafa veHaketanah. As befitting this genre of country restaurants, the décor is exposed wood beams and lots of pine wood and a working fireplace. The design is clean and functional and contemporary as suits a hi-tech center. Our fellow diners looked to be businessmen, locals and people like us, in search of that illusive great meal.
The menu can be described as bistro-like –-lots of classic dishes done well with enough creativity and flair to give them a contemporary update. Indeed, the hand of a real chef can be felt from the kitchen, as the owners and chefs have apprenticed at some of the best restaurants in the country.
We started our meal with chicken liver tidbits deep-fried in Panko(32sh). Hats off to the mashgiach and chef for not killing this dish! Anyone who cooks can tell you how difficult it is to get the liver right without overcooking. It was surprisingly light dish and a nice starter. My partner had a lightly corned beef that was not your fathers’ N.Y. Deli! It was subtle and sophisticated and inviting savoring every morsel. Other offerings were chicken liver pate, a green salad and falafel made out of black beans28sh.
As befits any fine restaurant, we were offered a sorbet to cleanse our palates, at this stage.
Unless one is carnivore challenged, our rule of thumb is always go for the steak in a steak restaurant! I should forewarn you that the vegetarian offerings were meager. Besides, a trio of gnocchi, and the salad and falafel and seviches, vegetarians may feel compromised. We went straight for the entrecote which was done to our liking (medium-rare), marinated and melt-in-your mouth tender. The fillet steak (118sh) was a delicacy and not a trace of fat to be seen. I have to admit that I ordered the fillet because it came on a bed of rosti, which turned out to be a potato latke. Not real rosti but good to soak up the juices.
Desserts always seem superfluous after a meal like this, but I like my sweets as well as anyone else. The dessert menu had the standard hot chocolate soufflé and a choice of sorbets. We went for the Belgian waffle with sorbet and lots of whipped cream. Hot coffee gave us more time to linger and enjoy the country hospitality.
Tanduka is definitely the to-go-to place for meat in the foothills of the Galil. Highway Six has brought it within a half hour of the center of the country.