Yumcha, a New York styled restaurant located on Yigal Alon Street in Tel Aviv, offers eclectic Asian food featuring the best of the Thai, Chinese, and Vietnamese and Indonesian cuisines. This means that you can be in Tel Aviv, feel like you are in New York and eat like you are in Bangkok.
It is designed like a New York Dim Sum bar. One wall is made of exposed bricks, the other of bamboo; between them a heavy wood bar fills most of the restaurant's space, although there are 6 tables if you insist on sitting next to one. Fascinating waiters and waitresses walk about carrying cutlery designed with an Asian touch. On the night of our visit, the restaurant was packed with all sorts of sophisticated lawyers and accountants, who probably came from the offices nearby.
Yumcha's menu is both eclectic and precise at the same time. Precise, because at best it has 15 entries that include 3 types of steamed dim sum, 3 types of fried dim sum, few salads, and 5 kinds of main courses, mainly based on chicken, beef, salmon, shrimps and duck. Eclectic, because other than a strong Chinese orientation implied by the dim sum, you'll also find here Vietnamese spring roll, Indonesian Gado-Gado salad, Japanese Udon noodles, Thai Bok Choy, or, in other words, the best dishes and produce the giant continent of Asia has to offer.
So we hit the road with steamed wheat dough dim-sum with beef and truffle. It is a delicate dish in which the truffle oil (an interesting choice for dim-sum) did not take over the taste of the beef, which was wrapped by a thin package of dough. With the Crystal dough shrimps and water chestnuts, the packaging was so thin I could see through it. We couldn't resist the temptation of dipping it in the little saucers served with the dim-sum: soy, chili pepper, and Hoisin. We also ordered the Gado-Gado salad that took us right back to our honey moon in Bali. Yumcha's version of this Indonesian flag salad had noodles, cauliflower, and properly made Indonesian peanut sauce. Because if all versions of Gado-Gado have something in common, it is the peanut sauce.
Main courses were really hard to choose. After some thought we got the Tom Yum shrimps and Thai green curry chicken. These two were perfectly sized for me (or, in other words, it was too bad I had to share them with my partner). Juicy raw material (shrimp / chicken breast), exotic escorts (bok choy, "morning glory"), and especially rich spicy sauces that got along very well with the sticky rice.
We had all of this with the house drinks – refreshing juice made of carrot and ginger for her, and good old Goldstar for me (if you need to know, a selection of Japanese and Thai beers is served here too).
Dessert was a truly great idea – mango tapioca – tapioca pearls in coconut milk, light, cold and delightful. For a change, it was nice to end such a great meal with very little guilt.