When going out to a fish restaurant, we all like to imagine that the fish on our plate was pulled straight out of the nearest body of water before being tossed on the grill or skillet – however unrealistic this may be.
Since I too prefer to eat my fish and seafood by the water, I recently visited Tel Aviv’s Hasukah Halevana. Previously located in Jaffa, the restaurant relocated to the Tel Aviv port some 4 years ago and offers a wide variety of fish dishes, seafood, imported lobsters from Canada and a few meat dishes as well.
Every meal at HaSukah Halevana begins an assortment of colorful home made Mediterranean mezes - humus, cauliflower and tahina, olives, turshi- Tunisian squash salad, fennel salad, a couple of types of eggplant and many more. Isaac, our friendly waiter, suggested we order a glass of wine, however with all of these different flavors and spices; I was having trouble finding a suitable wine and decided to stick with a small bottle of San Pellegrino.
For starters, we sampled vine leaves filled with sweet crab meat, fried halumi cheese and the special of the day - fish egg-roll with sweet and piquant onion marmalade. The vine leaves and "egg-roll" were both quite tasty.
The seafood platter brought to the table was more than generous and included deep fried shrimp and calamari, mussels and shrimp in butter and white wine sauce and baked crab with olive oil and fresh herbs.
Three minutes later, a second entree was brought to the table featuring two seasoned grilled fillets of sea bass (lavrek) and a baked potato. While the fish was cooked to perfection and literally fell apart at the touch of a fork, I would have preferred a different seasoning. I found that the mixture of paprika, cumin and other Middle Eastern spices was a bit overpowering for the delicate fish.
As we were getting ready for dessert (crème brulee and apple cake), owner Ovadia Saba, joined us at the table. Saba comes from a long line of fisherman and grew up eating fish practically on a daily basis. “My parents would sell fish all week and save up some money so we could have meat on the weekend. Some of the dishes prepared at the restaurant are similar to the ones my mother prepared 50 years ago”.
If you are looking for a place to enjoy generous portions of fish or seafood with a beautiful view of the Tel Aviv port, Hasukah Halevana is the place for you.
1 Yordei Hasira St, Hangar 4, Tel Aviv Port, Tel Aviv