Man Man Chao

"That is what I love about sushi: one can eat a great amount and still there is room for more! " Efrat Rosen in the wonderland of Man Man Chao in Rashon L'Tzion by way of the Tiv Tam Supermarket, through the bar HaBaron where folks dance and enjoy a concert.

When I decided to invite my husband to a date at the new bar-restaurant Man Man Chau, from the creators of Beit HaBaron in Rashon L'Tzion, even I was not expecting such a surprise. I thought it would be a nice meal with a bit of Asian-style food and a lot of sushi to clear our heads for the rest of the long week. What I did not know is that according to Man Chao (Bon Appetit in Chinese) there are two sides. Aft not finding the entrance to the restaurant from the parking garage, we simply entered by way of the giant Tiv Tav Supermarket next door. Yes, our date began in good taste ("tiv tam" in Hebrew). There are those that will say this is not romantic, but I swipe this idea off with a wave: the supermarket is just the place to begin a romantic evening, especially if it leads to a sophisticatedly designed Asian bar.

Our romantic history in supermarkets began when we had been dating only a week. At first we did the shopping for his house. We loved to jump among the shelves buying relentlessly just to ensure that we would be able to put together millions of romantic meals. Since these shopping trips, we love to go to the supermarket together. The appearance of Tiv Tam at the outset of our date opened the way for a funny evening and brought up pleasant memories for me. Inside the supermarket we would discover another marvelous scene: we passed through HaBaron, Man Man Chao's big brother, seeing the crowded bar filled with happy people dancing and enjoying the concert. Right there, in the middle of the supermarket as if there were not people milling about in their shopping. This is a fantastic phenomena that one must see in order to believe.

We entered Man Man Chao, also filled with people, and were immediately separated from the outside world. The wide bar had red candles sprawled across it throwing a sexy light on the menu rich in Asian-style favorites. At this point we decided to go all out, ordering an indulgent sushi combination from each category: vegetarian combination with avocado, carrot, cucumber and asparagus, salmon combination, avocado and cream cheese wrapped in aromatic black sesame, salmon panko roll (fried and served piping hot this was the first arrival to our stomachs!) and, the crowning glory, sushi with caviar, a true delicacy. As the delightful combinations arrived we lost no time in tasting items from each selection, dipping in teriyaki sauce and excitedly reporting to each other on the tastes. I announced that I would trade my panko roll for his caviar. Our sushi celebration was topped off with a Fidling sour cocktail that was slightly sweet and delicately alcoholic.

As our sushi gluttony came to its close, we were ready for our entrées. That is what I love about sushi: one can eat a great amount and still there is room for more! After a difficult dilemma between the tuna and salmon filets, I ordered the seared tuna in fresh herb sauce. My beloved heretic husband ordered pork chops in Chinese-style sauce served with fried rice. What corruption! My salmon steak arrived to great expectation, seared on top and tender inside, that melted in my mouth and left behind the quintessentially salmon aftertaste. My husband was totally engaged with his pork chops; if I may read from his manly grunts and the incredible amount of chops that disappeared from his plates, I believe they tasted wonderful. Our waitress then updated us that one can also order from the menu of HaBaron, the neighbor, but we were happy where we sat. When we get to HaBaron at some point we will eat from their menu.

In the meantime, we saw, satiated and happy with our quality time together planning for our shopping in the supermarket just outside. We could not pass on dessert, however, and ordered the "Bella Donna" without even asking what it was. Turns out we were ordering an indulgent cold dessert with soufflée on the bottom, vanilla mousse in the middle, and Belgian chocolate on top. I received my chocolate dose and I did not even have to specify or talk about it. Thus we closed our evening enjoying Man Man Chao.