“The toro of tuna dish – three pieces of toro (the prized fatty belly of the tuna), cooked to perfection were placed on separate mounds of a piquant pepper chutney with a dash of a sesame oil and corn cream on the side...” Yonatan Sternbergs enjoys a delicious pre-game meal of sushi and fusion delicacies at Taiku in Jerusalem.
This time, there isn't really a fascinating adventure to prelude our dinner out. The restaurant was easy to find and my friend and I arrived on time for our reservation. No being pulled over for speeding flat tire delays. It was a Wednesday evening and we just felt like going out for a light dinner, enjoying a glass of wine and heading back home in time to watch the soccer game (hey, it’s the semi finals).
Situated on the northern side of the upscale Emek Refaim Road (adjacent to Shachar’s Wine Shop), Taiku offers a wide sushi and Asian-style menu including soups, sushi, salads and various meat and fish dishes.
With only an hour and a half till kick off, and a mouth-watering menu revving up our appetites, we decided to get the show on the road. Following recommendations by Ron, our friendly waiter, we started off with an assortment of “specialty sushi rolls”. A variety of colorful uniformly sized maki were served upon a beautiful serving platter. After mixing a dash of wasabi into the soy sauce (sacrilege in Japan, but hey, this is Jerusalem) we were good to go.
The Mediterranean roll and the Rainbow roll are quite unique. The first consists of sea bream fish with a creamy olive tapenade, basil, cucumber and rice all wrapped in seaweed. I know what you’re thinking: almost every sushi place in Israel has the Rainbow roll on their menu. Well you’re probably right – the Rainbow roll being an international sushi classic featuring alternating strips of salmon, tuna and avocado to wrap the roll. The only difference is that at Taiku they add several leaves of nana (mint) to the roll offing a refreshing, Mediterranean twist to the dish.
But Taiku isn’t only about sushi. After working in several upscale Tel Aviv restaurants, Chef Eitan Doron moved to Jerusalem where he is heading the Taiku kitchen. Eitan combines various French and other classic cooking methods and offers an impressive array of tasty and original dishes. Check out Eitan’s version of the classic fish & chips – two juicy seasoned fish patties covered with golden panko flakes (the flakes also go well with schnitzel), a stack of fries and a small house salad. While the fish was quite good, the fries were unfortunately a bit greasy. We also enjoyed the toro of tuna dish – three pieces of toro (the prized fatty belly of the tuna), cooked to perfection were placed on separate mounds of a piquant pepper chutney with a dash of a sesame oil and corn cream on the side. Another recommended dish is the duck confit, served along side a rich shallot cream and a few sautéed green beans the duck was cooked to perfection and the shallot cream is addictive.
FYI - Eitan informed that Taiku is currently updating the menu, hence some of the dished I referred to may not yet appear on the menu.
With just enough time for desert, we ordered the banana soufflé, served with a fried slice of banana, a scoop of parve ice cream and a spoon full of cream patissiere.
Taiku also offers business lunches, provides free food delivery services throughout the city, offers a special student menu and even hosts sushi preparation courses on Friday mornings. Note: Strictly Mehadrin kosher, any sauces or dishes described as 'cream' or 'creamy' are strictly parve.
Taiku 31 Emek Refaim Road, The German Colony, JerusalemTel: 02- 5665262