"There's no second chance to make a first impression" is a phrase that applies to first dates, job interviews, and, of course, first visits to restaurants, where a bad experience (and not necessarily food related) could mean an eternal ban.
But the first thing that grabbed my eye as I came inside The Dining Hall was its space. In spite of the big temptation many restaurant designers face – to put in more profitable tables that would mean less space per diner – here it was decided to generously give everyone enough room: the tables are large, specious, and some are even shared by some parties, like in a Kibutz dining hall.
Together with this "togetherness", The Dining Hall sets a high standard of service, and while the waiters are just friendly enough, they are very professional and know how to match the right dish to each guest. Many diners here adhere to the simple method of asking the waiter to serve whatever is good. I have examined this with my friends who ate here before – almost zero percent of the served dishes are returned to the kitchen.
Let's talk about the food, then: dishes here are divided into 2 categories: starters and meat. Of the meat section, we have sampled a 200 gr fillet, which was served with a bone marrow, potato puree, glazed carrot and beef stock: the steak was absolutely amazing, perfectly done and got along very well with the sides served with it.
For starters, we had (take a long breath) – the house bread, eggplant cream, chopped liver, fish sashimi, drum fish sinaia and stuffed beet. What was most interesting about the food were these little touches, which is why going out to restaurants is so much fun: the eggplant cream which was really amazing had date honey and roasted pine nuts in it, two ingredients that take this dish from the realms of boredom to the big league.
The sashimi (let me confess: I enjoyed this one so much, it took second place to the steak only), was nothing like I have ever tasted before. Its fleshiness got along really well with the chopped vegetables, the tahini and the sweet onion. And what can we say about the chopped liver? It was so good, I was reminded of my hometown Haifa authentic restaurants.
We also had two desserts – the apple crumble with the perfect texture, and the Bavaria cream that was much better than the traditional one.
Go eat at The Dining Hall. It is not your usual restaurant, and even if you had similar dishes at other places – you should know they make a better version of them here.