Ronen is a friend who is always fun to meet up with, and it doesn't matter how long it's been since we last saw each other. When he called me up to see if I'd like to go check out a place he'd heard about at airport city, I didn't hesitate.
Starting from the entrance to airport city, on the way to kosher Air Café, we were already loving it. The place is designed like a city of the future, and makes you feel like you just arrived on the set of Back to the Future II. If that is where our future is really headed, I can allow myself to relax. The entrance to Air Café comprised a further improved sense of this, with a pool, a few fountains, and a huge open space all around us – or at least that's how it felt, even though the restaurant is actually located in the centre of airport city. We felt that when it comes to time travel it's not worth trying to change the past, but instead try to steal a glance at tomorrow.
Smadar our waitress gave us two different menus – the regular Air Café menu, alongside a sushi menu. The sushi, Air café owner Omer explained to us afterwards, is available as of a month ago. In order to examine the quality and taste of the sushi, we ordered a combination including red tuna maki, salmon maki and an inside out grilled salmon maki. Air Café's sushi is amongst the most enjoyable I've tried, and the combination, which is not small at all, disappeared from the plate in record time.
At this point our appetites were just starting to warm up, so we immediately ordered the grilled eggplant which, for a change, wasn't served with usual tehina. Instead, here an eggplant done on the grill arrived in sweet chili vinaigrette, alongside herb focaccia. This excellent flavour combination, along with a perfectly grilled eggplant, gave birth to a unique dish, which quickly followed in the sushi's path, leaving a spotlessly clean plate.
We also tasted the salmon carpaccio, served with crostini, olive oil and garlic. Ronen dominated this dish entirely, until the pate was also left empty.
We'd got to this point, and still not had a beer? Impossible, we said to ourselves. We immediately ordered a couple of Carlsbergs (on tap), which arrived with another tasty and light dish – crispy fried fingers of halumi cheese, served with teriyaki sauce, making for an unconventional snack.
It was time for the mains. Ronen got a whole trout, served with potato salad - a large, inviting and exceedingly tasty dish. I ordered mixed ravioli – mushroom, sweet potato and cheese – and I got the dish with 2 sauces, mushroom cream and Sicilian (fresh tomatoes with olive oil and basil), on 2 separate plates. Even though this was one of the largest dishes I've ever encountered, it was also so good that the pleasurable act of finishing it was no hardship.
It was Ronen who still had the nerve to ask: What's the broccoli soufflé? You've got to taste it to understand, I quipped back, which is how an additional dish ended up on our table. The soufflé was essentially tortilla dough stuffed with broccoli, a delicacy for anyone who loves this vegetable, which both of us do. To the best of my knowledge, we are talking about a 100% unique dish, a dish that, in my opinion, is one that you come back for again and again.
And so, with the first beer long gone, a second round of drinks arrived at the table and before we knew it, it was time for dessert. A simply excellent chocolate soufflé for me, and crumble for Ronen. Crumble is a dish that you can eat for an entire evening. Cider, apples, pineapple, cookies, and ice cream all come together to create a dessert that wows you from the first bite. So good, and so addictive, that as soon as we finished the first one, we ordered another. Why not live well, if we can?
After a killer meal like that, we stayed a little longer to sit and digest all we had eaten. The lovely air, the sound of water droplets from the pool, and the surrounding atmosphere kept us there a while longer. At the end we recalled that despite this Back to the Future feeling, our immediate futures involved a day at work, so it really was time to get going. But anytime that we want to disconnect from the everyday hustle and bustle, we'll know just where to go – Air Café, the only place that where the future looks better than ever.
2 HaArba, Airport City, Ben Gurion International Airport.