It is no secret that the Tel Aviv restaurant scene is a hard one in which to survive. Restaurants open and close faster than you can digest the food. On the one hand this is bad, because when you finally do find a place you like, it is hard to tell if it will still be there come your birthday or anniversary. On the other hand, it also means that if you want to check the quality of a place, wait around a year or two. If it is still in business, then chances are you’re on to a winner. If they are still in business 23 years later, well, it is no longer a restaurant but an institution.
When Whitehall Steak House first opened its doors in 1984, the aim was to provide high-quality, fresh meat to the Israeli public. They specialize in aging and curing chosen cuts of beef, using only natural processes. This ensures that the taste and texture are preserved. Their Tel Aviv branch (there is also one in Herzeliya) is located in one of the busiest sections of the city, but stepping into the restaurant allows one to leave behind the noise and hustle of the street. The d?cor here is light and refreshing. White walls and elegant wooden tables provide a sense of space. When we arrived at 8:00 PM the place was packed, but it didn’t feel that way. Most of the tables were occupied the whole time we were there, and I can understand why.
Even before your appetizers arrive, each table is served up a plate of fresh bread, a large salad and a pan of chicken wings in BBQ sauce, free of charge. It is an unusual welcoming gesture for a restaurant and I liked the place already. I ordered the shrimps in butter and garlic, while my companion decided on the fried calamari in chili aioli. In her words, the crisp little sea creatures were “addictive”. The shrimp were big, juicy and tasty. Perfect! Our main courses arrived not long after and were served with a choice of french-fries, hash-browns, rice or steamed vegetables. My pepper steak (sirloin with colorful peppercorns and in a pepper sauce) was tender and bursting with great meaty flavor. My companion decided that although we were in a meat restaurant, she would try the salmon as recommended by our waiter. I have already mentioned the careful attention that meat is given here. The salmon is not frozen, but fresh. Personally, I know of very few places that serve fresh salmon, and a steakhouse was not where I was expecting to find it! In a word, it was superb.
Although we had absolutely no room left to eat anything else, we decided we had to try the desserts. We ordered a fruit salad with berries and whipped cream – a very refreshing treat after a wonderful meal - and what must have been one of the best desserts I remember being served in a restaurant – the “coconut and chocolate treat.” Three layers of delicious cocoa, cream and coconut flavors blend together for a perfect combo of flavors.
There is also an especially attractive business lunch special, ranging in price from 45 NIS to 75 NIS. Considering the quality and amount of food served here, it is worth checking out. Whitehall Steak House is a popular venue with locals, tourists and foreign staff. At any given moment one can hear a multitude of languages. This is a real melting pot of cultures and what a perfect location for it.
White Hall Steak House
6 Mendele St., Tel Aviv