Asian food, be it Japanese, Thai or Vietnamese, tastes best in Petach Tikva.
The new Nini Choo Bar/Restaurant in Petach Tikva is your address for delicious Asian cuisine in a true-to-style atmosphere. Not just sushi, but also sushi, and a full menu of excellent Asian dishes.
Nini Choo is the new sister restaurant to Tel Aviv's
Nini Hachi Bar/Restaurant, the king of Asian restaurants with a huge following. We are delighted that Nini Hachi owners Udi and Yoav have opened a second Asian restaurant. Don't tell Udi and Yoav, but we enjoyed Nini Choo even more than the Tel Aviv mother ship.
Nini Choo checks all the boxes. The restaurant is beautifully designed, with comfortable minimalist light wood furnishings. The menu is varied, with a good selection of meat and veggie dishes. The dishes are beautifully presented and the service....well...Asian hospitality. And as for the food....See below.
eLuna Visits Nini Choo Restaurant
If you like to sit near a window, you are in luck because this is a totally glass-enclosed restaurant. So everyone gets to sit near a window. During the day the light pours in through the glass, creating a bright and pleasant dining atmosphere. In the evening the carefully placed light fixtures create an elegant atmosphere.
We took seats overlooking a tended green lawn.
The Nini Choo menu is a booklet with full explanations of each dish. There are starters, hot dishes, fish and meat dishes, and page after page of sushi.
We started with an amazing dish with the misleading name of Salad Maki. This is not what you are thinking, because it is no kind of salad at all.
For those in the know, this is a variation of the Vietnamese Spring Roll and consists of a plate of mouth-size vegetable canapes wrapped in rice paper. Wow. These are a lot like vegetarian sushi, but lighter, without the rice and the seaweed. Ginger and wasabi are in order on the Salad Maki. We were definitely off to a good start.
Not your standard cocktails, but sake, known as rice wine. There are different types of sake, so to get it right for us, the staff questioned our personal experience with sake. Out came a chilled, unfiltered, sake served in an attractive carafe on ice. He explained that this sake is sweetish and suitable for “sake-naïfs”. Since it was unfiltered, it was naturally cloudy. I found the flavor sharp, like whisky. The last of the whisky drinkers, my companion was happy to have my portion..
We then dug into a hot dish of mushrooms and asparagus in a lovely sauce. Nini restaurants are experts at cooked vegetables. The asparagus was well cooked but not wilted and the mushrooms which were sprinkled with sesame, were round, firm, and picture perfect. The sauce was a mix of soya, garlic, and ginger, burned and steamed. It surely cannot get better than this.
Sushi! This is the specialty of Nini restaurants. Once you have had Nini restaurant sushi, you are spoiled for life. Nothing will compare. I usually shy away from raw fish, and I stick to vegetable sushi. But this time I tried the cooked cod sushi that the restaurant prepares for pregnant women. Pregnant or not, if you prefer your fish sushi cooked NIni Choo has this option. See more about Nini Hachi and Nini Choo pregnancy-safe sushi.below.
Vegetarians and health food enthusiasts will find a great selection at Nini Choo. Not to be missed is the
Vegetarian Gyosa. This is a plate of red steamed dumplings filled with sweet potato, mushrooms and onions, served with a dish of soy sauce for dipping. We also recommend the Goma salad, a large green salad of lettuce hearts and leaves in a dressing of toasted sesame (neri goma) and miso, sprinkled with beet and sweet potato crunchies. My companion found this an excellent complement to his meaty soup main dish.
My companion has a long memory for food, and he rememberd the Thai Quatio soup from our last visit to Nini Hachi. Quatio soup is modeled after a Vietnamese street food: a slow cooked soup with a variety of Asian flavors. This meal-in-a-bowl can be had either veggie, or with chicken or meat. The soup is flavored with ginger, mushrooms, anise, cinamon, rice noodles. Miso, sake and techina. In Vietnam, it was explained, you get a bowl of broth and then add the noodles, vegetables and meats as you prefer. Here the soup comes pre-configured with large quantities of crispy vegetables, rice noodles, and chunks of chicken breast or beef, or if you prefer, just vegetables. There was a lot of chicken in this portion which is indeed a meal in a bowl.
Nini Choo is located in the Matalon Industrial area.
There is convenient parking in a large lot next to the restaurant. The restaurant will mark your parking stub, for a discount at the lot. The restaurant is on the ground floor, wheelchair accessible.
The dessert is called Muchi. You read it right. This is one of the highlights so don't miss it. This is a Japanese dessert that the restaurant prepares Hawaiian style. It consists of 4 fruit-flavored balls of sorbet wrapped in rice dough. This is a very unusual and especially refreshing dessert. Beward it is ddicting.
FYI: The Choo in Nini Choo means premium in Japanese.
This is an especially appropriate name for this restaurant.
Pregnancy Safe Sushi
No need to forgo sushi during your pregnancy. Nini Hatchi, together with the Israeli institute for food safety and quality, has developed a process for preparing pregnancy-safe sushi that does not come in contact with raw fish. The restaurant has dedicated a separated work surface, with separated utensils and rolling mat, just for pregnancy-safe sushi.
Enjoy pregnancy-safe roles and nigiri made of vegetables and baked or fried fish. You can create your own roll; trust that we have taken care of everything for you.
Pregnancy-safe sushi can also be ordered for delivery. You'll know it is the pregnancy-safe sushi, because it is marked with a pink label.