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Baba Yaga
Baba Yaga Ellen Hockley
Named after a fanciful Slavic folktale, the Baba Yaga Restaurant offers a delightful jazz-flled corner of Tel Aviv for enjoying delicious cuisine. Ellen Hockley and her sister go for a visit to sample both the unique food and atmosphere!
With the sound of light jazz wafting through the room like a welcome scent, we sat and reveled in warmth of a spring night in Tel Aviv. Secluded in a beautiful garden just off the boardwalk we were nestled among the homes and hotels that dot the sea. Tonight we were going to Baba Yaga, the name of a wonderful restaurant in Tel Aviv and the witch of a colorful Slavic folktale. Clearly the restaurant takes its name from folktale, as the interior was lovingly decorated with images of the witch.

My sister joined me tonight for yet another amazing dining experience. We were welcomed like family and treated like royalty. Our evening began with a combination of starters, a delicious plate of various sautéed mushrooms in a wonderful cream sauce, followed by the Solianka soup, a hearty meat soup with a light broth. Both dishes were wonderful and a pleasure to eat.

Before moving on to our main dishes we sat and relaxed to the timeless-jazz serenade. As a huge fan of jazz, I was ecstatic. In speaking with the owner, we learned that his love of jazz was passed on from his father. As it turns out many years ago, he visited his father in The United States and his father threw a party featuring a jazz trio. This experience was quite moving for the owner and inspired him to share his love of music with his customers.

After a short hiatus from eating, our main courses arrived: my sister had the Lamb Fillet and I the fish special of the evening; both were exquisite. I had a light flaky white fish served with a sweet creamy mushroom sauce that had a hint of maple. The fish nearly melted in my mouth and the flavor was exceptional. My sister’s dish was also wonderful: the meat was rich in flavor and cooked to perfection. We could not have been happier.

After finishing our meal I think we both felt a little gluttonous, but I must admit that did not stop us from having dessert. We relaxed a bit longer enjoying the music and each other’s company before beginning our dessert. We decided to try what our waitress called Kreplach, which my sister and I had never had in such a sweet form. They were filled with cherries, covered in a brown sugar sauce and served with sour cream on the side. They were amazing, my sister called them tiny dumpling pies; we nearly licked the plate clean.

Baba Yaga is the perfect date restaurant; it is romantic and secluded offering an extremely special evening. However, it is also a wonderful place to take the whole family, with a superb menu of home cooked food, everyone will love it. I cannot wait for my next visit.

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