Finally, Israeli cuisine has made its way to Singapore. First with the casual diner Miznon and then the pop-up BBQ place Jaffa, and now the latest addition North Miznon.
Located right along Amoy Street where some of the best restaurants are located, North is just a stone-throw away from their sister restaurant, Miznon. Miznon – meaning “kiosk” in Hebrew – is casual dining and has picked up quite a lunchtime following among the metropolitan crowd of Shenton Way in the pre-Covid days. The owner-chefs felt that it’s time for Singaporean to try the full Israeli cuisine like the ones that they opened in New York and Tel Aviv.
North is Chef Eyal Shani‘s newest full service restaurant, specializing in highlighting the flavours of Israeli cuisine in its simplest form. I had the privilege to work in Israel and sampled the wonderful mix of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. And some of the newer restaurants were helmed by very creative chefs that have stuck to Kosher traditions in preparing their meals.
The open kitchen prepares everything in-house and the menu changes daily to reflect what’s fresh and new each day. The menu features fresh, seasonal vegetable small plates paired with larger fish and meat dishes designed to share. While the style is Chef Shani, it’s Chef Or Hakmimi‘s work that’s on display here.
Seated at the bar counter gave us first person’s perspective of open kitchen and bustling activities that were going on – cold dishes on one side and the sous chef working on the line for the hot dishes on the other side.
But since we were seated at the bar, we ordered tech customary cocktails while we waited for dinner to be served. As Princess was not legally allowed to be drinking alcoholic beverages, the bartender made a non-alcoholic version of my drink.
My cocktail was aptly called Sun, Sea and Salt. It had all the components of the sunny fruity drinks like pineapple and citrusy fruits, with a dash of a strong alcohol and a buzz after taking a few sips.
Once you settled down, the fresh focaccia bread was presented. The bread, of course, was not just simple bread. It’s more like a pizza with fresh tomatoes, shallots, green chilli on open faced focaccia drizzled with olive oil and baked in the oven.
The delicious bread was served with dip of creme fraiche and olive oil with chopped sage and spices.
The first course was sabich, slow oven roasted heart of eggplant over tomato foam and tahini, topped with sliced hard boiled egg. I find the tomato foam very bland. Sitting at bar counter meant that we could see how it was prepared – fresh heirloom tomatoes were blended in the industrial blender that you see in Starbucks for the frappaccinos, nothing much was added.
No Israeli dinner can be complete without the quintessential hummus. The hummus here had been upgraded with prawns cooked in buerre noisette. Browned unsalted butter in which the prawns were cooked in was then poured on top of a familiar swirl of humus. Everything here was flavourful, only thing the prawns were overcooked.
4/5 Lamb Shawarma
Shawarma is a popular Levantine Arab dish consisting of meat cut into thin slices, stacked in a cone-like shape, and roasted on a slowly-turning vertical rotisserie or spit. And that was what I was expecting. Then this came along. The lamb was really tender, served on a bed of tahini and drizzled with what had now become the familiar taste of the spice pesto. The lamb was not marinated, just grilled as is.
5/5 Roast Beef Carpaccio
We were wondering what the large boulders on the bar counter were for until we saw another couple ordered this dish. A generous serving of roast beef ribeye was shaved on the mechanised cutter and placed meticulously on the rock.
Then the meat was drizzled with mustard mayo, olive oil, sea salt, fresh horseradish shavings and freshly hand squeezed tomatoes. Yes, that’s right – the tomatoes were squeezed on top the meat by hand like lemon. But we were not impressed by the end result.
One, the meat was cold. We were not prepared to end with cold cuts of meat. Then, the seasoning was lacking except for the large crystals of salt and horseradish shavings. And finally, the monotonous flavours from beginning to end of the meal – olive oil, salt and tomato with same spice pesto.
We did not even order dessert. Not that we cannot eat anymore, but we were quite disappointed after their homerun with Jaffa and Miznon. While it was not an expensive dinner, and the portions were all great for sharing like a Middle Eastern or Israeli meal, I was not ready to be back anytime soon.
110 Amoy Street #01-01
Tel : +65 62230716
Date Visited : Mov 2021
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