If your fancy is to eat fish in Tel Aviv, then the best fish restaurant for a fast fulfilling and tasty munch is Barbounia. I rarely cook fish at home as the place whiffs for days afterward. So, if I have the desire to eat fish in the city, this is ideal and satisfying compromise between me and mine…
Barbounia is a well-known landmark on Ben Yehuda Street as it has been established for many years. It is well frequented by locals and tourists alike and busy, especially at lunchtime. The atmosphere is very casual and almost canteen like!
On a bright day, I prefer to sit outside to breath Tel Aviv air and people watch. As you have already guessed, I have a slight aversion to the drifting scent of fishiness that emulates from the kitchen to the inside seating.
The restaurant is basic. Frills are sparse and table tops are covered with white paper each time new diners sit down to tuck into their grub.(Ironically the paper is somewhat reminiscent of the wrapping of good ole English fish & chips). But paper is a good thing, as it ensures that no evidence of debris from that crispy fish previously devoured is still around. There is a real
no-nonsense feel to the place, including the portions.
The daily menu is a list of fresh fish available or seafood. The price is according to the fish you select and includes a spread of small salad dishes. Finger licking dips, such as potato salad, fried cauliflower, eggplant puree, hot marinated peppers, pickled veggies, celery in yogurt and more. These are served as soon as your order is taken, along with crusty rolls and a carafe of soda water. A word of warning, once you get noshing on these dishes, it’s pretty difficult to stop! These are replenished at your request, so watch out that you keep room enough for the main course. Fish and seafood are prepared to your taste, although the waitress will suggest the recommended and most delicious method for the fish you have chosen. Personally, I enjoy fried fish as old habits die hard. I love that crispy but lightly battered coating that hides the soft succulent fluffy flesh on the inside. However, if you prefer a healthier option, then opt for grilled. All main courses are served with a regular green salad, which is a bit redundant after the splendor of the small dishes.
Barbounia, for those of you with limited fish knowledge, are red mullet, a small breed with not a lot of flesh on the bone. Lesson aside, these feature as one of the prominent dishes at this eatery (dah really) and are truly delicious when fried! There are messy with the bones but worth the effort if you are going to eat fish in Tel Aviv!
If you are ravenous order a meal for yourself, but if you are feeling generous or moderately hungry take a friend along to share. Good value.
192 Ben Yehuda Street
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