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Friday, 8 April 2016

Going Local in Tel Aviv - A Breakfast Club with EatWith

As a Nikkei and Japanese Supper Club host in London (more details here), one of the most interesting events on the Vibe Israel Food Tour 2016 was EatWith’s Breakfast Club with local chef Royki and host partner Ofir.

EatWith's Breakfast Club in Tel Aviv - Meeting the Local Foodies

In London, many of us are familiar with the concept of supperclubs. But what about if you are travelling to Tel Aviv, Tokyo or São Paulo? How cool would it be to dine at someone’s home and meet some local foodies in one of these travel destinations?

Ofir and Royki

It is now possible to have a supper club experience in all these places thanks to EatWith.com. All you need to do is sign up to their website, choose a host and a menu in the city you are visiting, and book.

EatWith is an Israeli start-up that is bringing the concept of social dining to more than 100 locations worldwide, making it possible for travellers to dine at local chefs’ homes and meet other guests and foodies from the area for a more enriching experience that goes far beyond the restaurant.

The kitchen of Ofir's flat

For Israelis, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. An Israeli breakfast is not limited to bread and coffee – they eat a whole variety of foods including salads, cheese, yoghurt, and eggs, as in their much-loved shakshouka.

At the EatWith Breakfast Club with Ofir & Royki, we had a real feast of a meal. During my week in Israel, I had the opportunity to try a few shakshoukas, but the best version of it was here. Shakshoukas is a traditional breakfast dish of eggs cooked in a spiced tomato sauce with red peppers, onions, garlic, parsley and spices including cumin, black pepper and coriander. Here, it also had fresh artichoke hearts and slices of tender calamari, which made it even more delicious.

The homemade honey brioches were rich and buttery, and the perfect accompaniment to the mimosas made from blood orange, amaretto, sage and cava.

There were more than ten dishes in the breakfast spread, but other favourites included feta cheese and apricot tartare with thyme and saffron – I loved the combination of salty cheese and sweet fruit, herbs and spices.

Black-eyed peas salad with asparagus, tomatoes and capers was also good, as were the grilled courgettes with feta cheese, onions and cucumber.

The aubergine carpaccio was another excellent dish, with aubergine served four different ways – roast, pickled, puréed and steamed then thinly sliced.  This was a clever, modern reinterpretation of the babaghanoush.

The tangerine tart with a crust of poppy seeds and pine nuts was also delicious – it had a refreshing, aromatic citrus flavour with a nutty pastry base.

But the best dish for me was a stunning Jewish Babka cake with crème patissiere and guava – this was beautiful and had a lovely balance of sweetness and tartness from the guava.

Chef Royki has 13 years of experience in some of the best restaurants in Tel Aviv, including North Abraxas (reviewed here) where he worked as a restaurant manager and sous chef, and it was here that he met his business partner Ofir. They set up their own catering company 2 years ago and have been working flat out since then. In Tel Aviv, they are EatWith’s jewel in the crown, and I highly recommend a visit to one of their events if you are in town. 

For more information about EatWith and Ofir & Royki’s events, as well as others in Tel Aviv and elsewhere, visit their website here.    

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