One of my best friends, Ben (who you all know from my recent post on Nina Sushi), married his lovely partner a few weeks ago. Mazal tov!
At the wedding itself, when we were both drunk and feeling good about life, we made an exciting plan: once he and his bride returned from their London honeymoon, we’d visit a high-class restaurant to discover more delicious new foods.
And, of course, to bring you — my loyal readers — another in-depth review!
Ben often eats at relatively high-end restaurants, and recommended a place named Lumina.
“I heard this restaurant recently featured on La Liste’s coverage of the world’s best restaurants” he told me, as he tried to convince me.
Beforehand, he told me this place was DEFINITELY going to earn a 10 out of 10 from me — so how could I resist?
As far as I know, no restaurant has received a perfect 10 out of 10 on my blog yet. Will Lumina be the first?
Keep reading to find out! 🙂
Lumina was created by Meir Adoni — one of Israel’s most famous, respected and creative chefs. Thanks to his immense talents, Lumina boasts a high level of French cuisine and a diverse menu of innovative Jewish dishes.
But, perhaps most impressive of all, it overlooks the blue, tranquil waters of Tel Aviv’s Gordon Beach!
Lumina is located on the first floor of the prestigious Carlton Hotel, and we arrived late in the afternoon, just as the sun was preparing to set.
The route to the restaurant is extremely special too: imagine yourself in a Hollywood movie, entering a suite in the most exclusive hotel, within walking distance of the stunning promenade and beach.
This is exactly how you’ll feel — it’s so enchanting, you’ll forget all about the food! For a while, at least. Until you’re seated and surrounded by mouth-watering aromas.
However, once we sat at our table, we realized the acoustics in the place were a bit too noisy for us. But when we saw the balcony overlooking the beach was empty, we asked the waitress to move us.
This turned out to be a terrific decision.
The view from the balcony was stunning. At the 2C restaurant, we could see all of Tel Aviv’s shoreline from afar, but here we were treated to the city’s famous beach and promenade. It really does have a powerful impact on your entire dining experience.
What about the restaurant itself? Its interior is luxuriously decorated, boasting an open kitchen that lets you see and smell what the chefs are preparing.
The chairs are comfortable and the tables are large enough to accommodate all the dishes we ordered, so there was no clutter.
In the background, contemporary pop music played, adding to the atmosphere of comfort and prestige.
Score for the venue’s interior: 9/10.
Score for sitting on the balcony: 10/10 (due to the better ambiance).
For the first course, we ordered the tapas – a Jerusalem bagel served with tahini and garlic confit, beet salad and eggplant carpaccio.
The Jerusalem bagel was hot and crispy, fresh from the kitchen, and was well combined with well-seasoned tahini and olive oil.
The Beet Salad contained organic beets, lamb spareribs, uzbek apricot, cranberries, walnuts, ginger, black quinoa and soy vinegar.
I’m by no means a beet lover, but this was certainly a pleasant surprise. I enjoyed eating it, and Ben agreed that it was excellent.
Score for Beet Salad: 9/10.
The carpaccio included tahini, rose water, date honey, pistachio, thyme, and olive oil powder. The dish’s presentation was beautiful and colorful, but its taste made less of an impression on me. Maybe others will love it more.
Score for caroaccio: 7/10.
After the first tapas, the waiter recommended a first course called Moroccan carrot salad, quite enthusiastically. He told us the chef had labelled this dish as the best of all the first courses. Well, with such a glowing description, how could we argue?
The dish included seared tuna, carrot and turmeric cream, lima bean cream, roasted organic carrots, harissa masooda, and coriander oil.
The waiter instructed us to place a piece of each ingredient on the plate with a fork, and take a bite with all the ingredients together, creating a perfect combination of flavors.
The dish was delicious; the spices covering the tuna lent it a special taste I’d never encountered before.
Score for Moroccan carrot salad: 8.5/10.
After starting the evening with delicious appetizers, we continued on to the MAIN EVENT.
The first main course to go to the table was Veal Fillet, dusted with coffee and cardamom, as well as creatnut chestnut, butternut squash, caramelized onion, macadamia nuts, parsley root chips and porcini powder.
The fillet was undoubtedly one of the best I’ve ever eaten. The chef’s degree of preparation was perfect, creating a meal with a soft texture and great seasoning. Ben also debated whether to order another dish — it was just so tasty but ended too quickly!
My personal recommendation: add the cream of the pomegranate to the fillet. The taste is heaven on earth.
Score for fillet: 10/10.
The second course was Mushroom wild Sea Bass, which included black rice ragu and root vegetables, forest mushrooms, and Jerusalem artichoke cream
I’m less of a fish man, and when served after such a successful dish as the fillet, it’s an uneven contest. I would choose the fillet ANY DAY.
Still, the fish was tasty, well made, and no doubt those who enjoy fish will love it.
Score for fish: 9/10.
For dessert we chose Middle Eastern milfe.This includes Kadaif strings, cassis powder, Persian lemon, raspberry jelly, roasted pistachios, tarragon, basil, coconut chips and cherry sorbet.
Considering it’s a parvee dish, the dessert was refreshing, sweet and pretty tasty.
Score for dessert: 7.5/10.
service and price:
The service in the restaurant was impeccable. Our waiter took care of us throughout the meal, asked if we were satisfied and cleaned regularly.
The waiters answered all of our requests, and asked for recommendations from the local chef to help us choose our dishes.
Score for service: 9/10.
This place wasn’t cheap, but consider what it offers: kosher food, located right by the beach, and one of the most famous chefs in Israel.
Still, I didn’t feel I’d paid an unreasonable rate: the food was delicious and definitely worth the money.
Score for price: 9/10.
a quick summary:
Lumina is undoubtedly a unique restaurant, unlike any other I’ve visited. The food is unique, delicious, prepared with great creativity and offers value for money.
Throw in the gorgeous view of the Tel Aviv beach, the outstanding service and inviting atmosphere, and it’s a hit!
My Total Score for Lumina Restaurant is 9.5/10!
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Best Restaurants in Tel Aviv
Dec 21, 2018
by OPM on Best Restaurants in Tel Aviv
Thanks for reviewing Kosher restaurants!
Dec 21, 2018
by Teddy on Best Restaurants in Tel Aviv
Loved your review
Going to visit there next week on my visit to Tel aviv :)
Eliezer Peri St 10, Tel Aviv-Yafo
During the week: 12:30–3:30pm, 6:30–10pm , On Friday and Saturday it's closed.