Revised: July 2011
We had the great pleasure of dining at Pacific Bistro and Sushi Bar, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Tel-Aviv. This is a marvelously up-market restaurant in one of the hotels along the tayelet "strip." The restaurant is in the lower level of the Crowne Plaza, overlooking the beach and the Mediterranean Sea.
Pacific Bistro and Sushi Bar is a full-menu meat restaurant with an outstanding selection of meat, fish, and veggie dishes. The menu offers fusion-style dishes with influenuces from both European and Asian dishes. It is appropriate that East meets West at this restaurant, in Israel, the crossroads between Europe and the East.
Yes, they've got sushi - a separate menu of wonderful sushi. There is also a two-page menu of mouth-watering appetizers and delectable main courses and a separate wine menu that focuses on Israeli boutique wineries and favorites from the Golan wineries.
Picture a stunningly beautiful room overlooking the sea. The décor in muted gray colors suggests Chinese, but with a European flare. Take a seat in a comfortable chair with Chinese design backs at generously proportioned tables covered in cloth, or dine in an intimate booth. The tables along the window have a romantic view of the sea and the sunset.
The service takes a page from the legendary graciousness of the Orient. The staff is professional and attentive. Our complements to the restaurant's chef Aviad Ben Shabbat, an Israeli who studied the culinary arts in the Far East for many years. Restaurant manager Liad Schechter and his staff go the extra mile to give each diner individual attention. The service staff is in coordinated uniforms bearing the restaurant logo. It is all very professional and correct.
The thoughtfully considered dinner menu offers a limited number of dishes but with something for everyone. My carnivorous companion was impressed by the choices of meats. There is at least one fish alternative in every category. In addition, there are several enticing vegetarian dishes.
We started our meal with two recommended appetizers from the dinner menu. The Vietnamese Salad was a generous portion of shredded root vegetables with a Miso dressing topped with roasted peanuts. Alongside the salad were excellent nuggets of coated, pan-fried fish. This was a refreshing and creative dish with an impressive presentation.
My partner’s Yakatori Trio consisted of three small skewers of meat, one each of entrecote steak, sirloin, and chicken, each atop its own round bed of sticky sushi rice. Three unique sauces topped each one of these rounds—pepper sauce for the entrecote, peanut sauce for the spring chicken, and green curry for the sirloin. The sauces were outstanding, even if they did sort of overwhelm the flavor of the meat. These outstanding appetizers got us off to a good start.
How can we visit a restaurant that calls itself a Sushi Bar without trying the sushi? To a sushi lover there is nothing more attractive than a selection of beautifully wrought sushi aligned on a wooden board just waiting to be consumed. We did this with glee. Excellent sushi. A must at this restaurant.
For our main courses, I chose the salmon and my partner, the Peking duck. The impressive presentation of both these dishes satisfied the eye even before the taste. Though I was forewarned, I was somewhat startled by the sweet but flavorful salmon. The fluffy mashed potatoes side dish gave balance to the sweet taste as did the shredded greens alongside, and this was a very satisfying and very pleasant dish.
The Peking duck is a “working” dish not seen too often in Israel. The platter consists of a spread of flat tortilla wedges alongside thinly sliced roasted duck, accompanied by a boat of clear plum sauce and a mound of shredded cucumber. Your job is to roll the tortillas into small sandwiches containing the duck, pour on the sauce and garnish with the greens. Balance the ingredients according to your taste. To work! Though a charming idea, my companion finally abandoned the tortillas and enjoyed the duck alone. The quality of the meat and the expert preparation needed no help from the tortillas.
We shared a bottle of San Benedetto sparkling mineral water, and my partner had bottle of Bazelet Beer, a dark beer from a boutique bewery in the Golan Heights. The beer was part of the unique experience at the Pacific restaurant – you don’t see this beer on the supermarket shelves. The color is more like a cola than a beer, and the alcohol content, at 8%, is more like a light wine than a beer.
Dessert! Banana Loti was our choice of dessert. This is a crepe filled with sliced bananas in a caramel sauce. A very lovely way to end a luscious dinner.
At Pacific you will get a lot of good eating for your shekel. Dinner for two comes to a bit over 300 shekels.Take your eLuna discount coupon and visit Pacific Bistro and Sushi Bar.
Note: There is pay parking in the underground public lot just north of the hotel. Entrance to the lot is on your right, just before the hotels, as you drive south on HaYarkon.
Info for Handicapped: The hotel elevator does not stop on the floor of the restaurant. The restaurant is a short flight of steps either up or down. Netilat Yadayim is a half flight up.
Separate VIP room for meetings and small parties. Ask about the group menus.
Appetizers: Vietnamese Salad NIS 44, Yakatori Trio NIS 58. Main courses: Salmon NIS 85. Peking Duck Main NIS 108. Bazelet Dark Beer NIS 28. Dessert NIS 35.