"It was definitely good," my partner concludes our meal at Derby fish bar on Herzliya's marina. Considering the fact that the only fish he ever eats is Gefilte-fish, this is a true certificate of honor. If you are a meat lover who decides to break an old habit, do it in a restaurant where the fish is really good.
But not only the fish. Our waitress makes the restaurant's menu almost redundant, as she enthusiastically tells us about everything that is offered in it. Her expertise is not really surprising, considering the fact that Derby had been her favorite restaurant for many years, until she decided to start working here.
Starters pile up on our table. Forget the usual selection that this restaurant genre is characterized by. These are fresh, tasty salads, which get refilled continuously, served with a basket filled with your choice of white bread, leavened bread or whole grain bread. We have fried and crispy coated cauliflowers, baked sweet potatoes, fried eggplant in tempura, grilled eggplant in mayonnaise, cured herring, tabouleh, finely chopped vegetable salad, tomato salsa with hot peppers, black and green olives, beet salad and one perfect Ikra salad. Actually, all of these could make for an entire meal, and some customers go for this offer, which only costs NIS 40. But if, like us, you order a main course too, you get all of these for free. The only challenge is to stop eating them. It is time for the main event.
Mains are a sea celebration. The fish section of the menu includes many options, where diners have to make three choices: the kind of fish; how it is served – whole, open or fillet; and the form of preparation: frying, baking or grilling. Each of these combinations is slightly different, and so, although we both get the sea bream fish, our dishes are different.
The waitress recommends that my partner has the fillet – two juicy cuts served with mashed potatoes. But I prefer my fish natural, so I enjoy a whole one which is first oven baked with spice herbs, and then quickly grilled, which keeps it crispy yet juicy. This one is served with a plate of spiced and grilled potatoes. We also have some of what is left of our starters and enjoy the house wine.
Now that the meal is considered successful, we only have to try Derby's desserts. My sweets loving partner has the Little Switzerland cake which is made of chocolate meringue layers, mascarpone cream and white chocolate. And if that is not enough, he tries to convince me to take the Kadaif. But I prefer the cheese and cranberries cake and mint tea. Even this slight difference of opinions cannot change the fact that he finally had fish and loved it very much.