Herbert Samuel is a 'chef' restaurant in Tel Aviv and can be found in the Dan Panorama complex of buildings opposite the sea.
This restaurant is basically a gourmet style establishment and the menu did look enticing with lots of interestingly detailed courses a mixture of seafood and meat. Service was attentive if somewhat lacking in information. Every dish I questioned was amazing and recommended (sort of seems pointless to ask) and worse was when I asked where the beef was sourced was answered I don’t know but it is amazing (only the tap water wasn’t quoted as ‘amazing’ here). Meat as you all know is a personal peeve of mine as I maintain it is not of good quality in Israel. Regardless the brunette and I ordered the Butchers cut (I have really come to hate this so Israeli term for meat) and fillet mignon.
A variety was ordered and included beef carpaccio (tasty), different types of cherry tomato salad with sheep cheese and oregano (very tasty), tuna belly (very tasty) and shrimps (very tasty).
The starters were all very good, almost excellent; each course was vibrant, well balanced and brimming with flavours. To accompany the starters we had ordered bread which was also fresh and tasty. So far this is one of tastiest Israeli restaurants for international starters yet still pales into comparison (in my opinion) to an equivalent well regarded gourmet restaurant in London or Paris.
Unfortunately out of the four main courses ordered only one was very good. I had ordered the butchers cut and received several ‘bits’ of steak. The sear had a nice flavour but couldn’t mask the only ok piece of meat. The brunette’s fillet did not have much flavour, if tender, and arrived with bone marrow (I suspect to add the fatty flavour needed to accompany this dish). One other guest ordered spare ribs which was fine if nothing exciting.
The dish which was very tasty was the young grouper (which was costed per weight and was very expensive or at least that is what the person who was paying said afterwards). I think it may have been one of the best whole fishes I have ever tasted and luckily it was the ‘guest’ who had ordered it (‘face’ of the host was saved!).
Two desserts were ordered – the apple pie and cheesecake. The apple pie looked the part but the butter flavour was slightly overpowering to my taste. The cheese cake was fine with some of the guests saying it was excellent.
Overall, the restaurant offers great starters which are let down by only average main courses (bar the fish) all of this priced at 1,500nis for 5 including Yarden Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 or 2007 I believe – not cheap.
3.5 stars out of 5
Interested in reading more reviews in Tel Aviv? google The Disgruntled Diner and check out the Tel Aviv restaurant blog