The evening seemed to start just fine and we we're quickly seated at a table, rather small and decorated with plastic flowers, which I assume, were meant to give the place a certain Russian kitsch flair... until I realized half the tables had natural flowers. A waiter quickly approached us, removed the unsightly flowers and lovingly left them on the floor next to out table. We both smiled, relieved.
We ordered drinks, which came quickly. The vodka Rimonim ( pomegranate) was sadly very bland and watery. 3 lonely frost bitten berries laying at the bottom of the glass. This though, did not dampen our spirits and we were hungry.
Here are the starters we ordered:
Black Sea Egg roll - While the menu mentioned crab meat and shrimps, we could not find even a hint of it. Tasted all right, just as a regular egg roll. It was served over a mildly hot red pepper sauce, which didn't add anything to the dish. I'm still in denial about the price, but it's enough to say it was the most expensive egg roll I ever had.
Nanutchka Star- Squid stuffed with mushrooms, breaded and deep fried. Sounded good, but the filling was bland and just as the crab meat, the mushrooms were lost somewhere along the way. Again, a delicate walnut sauce didn't seem to go a long well with the dish. But deep frying can make anything taste yummy. 49 shekels. Outch.
Blinis with salmon caviar - Although very tasty, I don't know what possessed them to call these "blinis". These were bite size, thick doughy pancakes, packed with cream cheese and a couple of salmon eggs on top. Again, deceivingly tasty... but at 36 shekels, we felt someone was taking us for a ride.
Lavash - A Georgian flat bread. It was fresh, crispy and very much like a foccacia.
Served with a bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar on the side.
At this point, we nearly jumped out of our seats at the sound of Gansta's Paradise, full volume. Our waiter, looked around embarrassingly, as if trying to find a perfectly good explanation for this. This was so loud, we could not hear each other even though we were a mere 30cm away.
We had to endure this until the song was over and then it quieted down again. Whoever likes that song so much, to the point of having an entire restaurant suffer it, is a selfish idiot.
On with the food...
The Main Dishes (as recommended by our waiter):
Beef cooked in wine with root vegetables and pears - Not bad, but the wine was so incredibly overpowering that everything tasted the same and the sauce had no depth whatsoever. Without any side dish to offset it, I quickly went into overload and simply could not eat anymore. This tasted a lot like some persian/bukhar dishes I had before... just not as good and overpriced.
Lamb with coriander and green rice - Again, a very persian-ish dish, rather on the bland side. Luckily, it came with a small bowl of rice. Interesting first bite, but afterwards, all those herbs take over the entire dish.
Slightly relieved that this was a gift and that money didn't come out of our pockets, we went on to the desserts. Mostly french and nothing particularly striking. I asked the waiter about the only Georgian dessert on the menu (the last one) with consisted of dried fruits and candied grapes. He quickly told me it wasn't that good. Glad he was honest, but it just seemed lame that it should be on the menu.
This isn't going too well...
White chocolate parfait with berries - I wish this could have been the redeeming final dish, but it wasn't so. The parfait was simply a cut out cylinder of what tasted like cheese cake, topped with a berry sauce... those same berries that graced the bottom of our vodka drink.
400 shekels (tip not included)