Lunch at Ya Pan
Nachmani St 26, Tel Aviv-Yafo
Located in the heart of the city, right in the gorgeous King Albert Square, is a high-end Japanese street food restaurant called Ya Pan. Opened by Chef Yuval Ben Neriah, the chef behind Taizu and Miyazaki, with the aim of being the first to bring Japanese street food to Tel Aviv.
My recommendation: come on a Saturday to enjoy the “Sabbath Menu”. It gives you a 3-course meal starting at 139 NIS.
To start, we chose the fresh fish sushi cone (on the day we went, it was red tuna) and the grilled baby gem salad. The sushi cone was pretty straightforward, just well seasoned fish and rice. The salad (Ya Pan’s version of a caesar salad) was a good combination of Japanese mayo, curry oil, caramelized pecans, parmesan and buttery greens.
For the next course, we ordered the grilled fish salad (above) and a pork belly robatayaki (not pictured). The fish salad was a delicious mix of kombu noodles, roasted sesame cucumbers and kanpyo.
For mains, we ordered the chirashi and the braised beef cheek. The chirashi is the best I’ve had in Tel Aviv - when we went, the seasonal fish was tuna and salmon so the chirashi came with both, along with salmon roe, black tobiko, smooth cubes of tomago. This was served on a bed of sushi rice, and topped with shiso leaves.
The braised beef cheek was served with ramen noodles, shiitake mushrooms, nori and miso butter topped with a poached egg.