We came on a Saturday night, as the place was packed with families and friends scattered around
As someone who used to live in Raanana, I was skeptic as I took my seat at the River restaurant across from Raanana Park. People in Raanana are known for their conservative taste, and so I doubted the success rates of an Asian restaurant here.
We came on a Saturday night, as the place was packed with families and friends scattered around: long tables for families, bar stalls for the younger crowd, a private area where a group was having a get-together, and in-between - lively waiters. We started with starters, of course. A green salad consisted of three different types of lettuce with vinaigrette dressing, peanuts and crispy sweet potato. This was the first surprise of the night. We then had the miso entrecote – a generous serving of curled cucumber and entrecote cuts & onions burnt on a wok in miso and chili sweet sauce. It was a pleasure. With the warm tortillas, the entrecote really stood out. Our final starter was the Chendgu chicken breast dumpling that was served with an excellent spicy basil sauce. We had our starters with Choya – authentic plum liqueur not adjusted to the Israeli palate and therefore not so sweet and flattering like other so called Asian drinks sometimes tend to be.
Cheered up and surprised, we continued to our main course. The Red Smoke was the star of our meal. It was a marvelous dish of huge egg noodles colored in red with beets and red peppers, stir-fried with smoked spring chicken, chicken bites and vegetables. Absolutely delicious. We then shared two drinks: one consisting of lemonade, mint and grenadine, while the other – Ko Pha Ngan – was a delicious melon and coconut shake.
A word for vegans: there is a variety of options for you here. In fact, most dishes can be adapted, just ask your waiters.
And another word for you, business people: River offers 10% off the menu at lunch time.
We wrapped things up with crème Brule over crispy dough and caramelized bananas.
Oh, one more thing: rest rooms at River are indulging. Go for it.