Revisiting an older restaurant is just like catching up with a friend you have not seen in a long time. That is exactly what we did the other night at Ahavat Hayam. Located upstairs and around the back of the Paz gas station right across from Gan Sacher, you realize you are being transported as soon as you enter the door and start up the stairs. Be warned, a shark guards the entrance but worry not he is stuffed (pun intended). The interior of the restaurant is decorated with a nautical theme. Models of sailing ships sit atop the wine shelves, and the walls are lined with aquariums. The general color is blue and white, great for more than one reason but I was particularly struck by the shade they chose. The walls and ceiling both share periwinkle accents that add a level of comfort and dreaminess to the interior.
We were seatedalmost immediately, and before we could even order there were no less than 13 different salads arranged in front of us with a pitcher of cool fragrant Lemonade and toasted pita. We had to dig in right away. Some of the salads were real standouts, like the tomatoes with herbs and spices, these had great heat and as soon as I finished them our waiter swapped out the empty dish for a full one. The same is true with all of the salads. My wife really enjoyed the creaminess of the humus and we both agreed on the fried eggplant with labne. All the salads were fresh simple and tasty.
We were however not in a vegetable market, we were in a fish restaurant and fish is what Ahavat Hayam does best. We were told to ask our waiter what was the freshest, and he came through suggesting the Denis which I had and the Trout which my wife had. The dishes were served very quickly and were served with fries a lemon dipping sauce and half of a fresh lemon on a light bed of vegetables. My wife had actually ordered the baked potato which they brought to us no problem.
Both fish were superb, prepared in such a way that we were able to taste the subtle differences between the fish. My Denis was delicate and flavorful cooked just enough to be crisp on top yet moist and flaky inside. My wife’s trout was similarly prepared but had a smoother creamier flavor. The lemon dipping sauce added savory acid to the meal and really complemented the fish.
For dessert we were served vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce and a bit of Bavarian cream. The ice cream was a nice touch but the Bavarian cream was almost like a marshmallow. It was a nice end to a well prepared meal. We will definitely go back to Ahavat Hayam in the future.
Fixed price menus: 110 - 130 shekels including starter and dessert.