Messa by Aviv Moshe

A few weeks ago, I caught up with my old school friend Shiran.

As a chef, she’s a big fan of cooking but loves dining out in fine restaurants too — so we had plenty to talk about! I took the chance to show her my blog, and she went on to ask why I hadn’t reviewed Tel Aviv’s Messa yet.

Shiran knows Messa well, having worked there as a cook 3 years ago, and her question stayed with me. I knew I had to try chef Aviv Moshe’s creations for myself, and promptly booked a table.

Did Messa live up to Shiran’s recommendation?  Read on to find out!

the place:

As soon as I stepped into Messa, on Ha’arba’a Street, I was shocked by the decor.

Messa’s design is unique; I’ve honestly never seen anything else like it. It’s a startling contrast to the bustling, urban street just metres away, with its long, elevated banquet tables (Messa is Spanish for ‘table’) and understated elegance.

The seating plan means you end up sitting alongside strangers while you eat, but that didn’t bother me too much.

If you prefer more privacy while you dine, though, Messa does offer intimate seating areas featuring plush sofas and individual tables.

But no matter where you sit, you’ll feel as if you’re eating in a palace. It’s that gorgeous.

Score for place: 10/10.

the TASTE:


I’d done some homework about Messa’s menu before I arrived, so I knew what wanted to order for most of the meal.

For my starter, I ordered two dishes: Veal Sweetbreads and the restaurant’s flagship dish, Seared Foie Gras.

Sweetbreads are very easy to ruin when prepared by a novice, but in this case the dish was just wonderful. It contained sweet potato tortellini, sunchoke cream and pearl onions broth.

The texture was soft and the taste was exquisite.

Score: 9/10.

The Seared Foie Gras looked like a dessert at first glance, with its creative and unconventional aesthetic. The combination of liver and white chocolate “Valrhone” lemon was incredible — I actually thought about ordering another one because it was just so good.

Score: 10/10!

Main dishes

After a brief consultation with the waitress, I ordered two main courses: Beef Fillet with Potato Cream and Sea Bass Fillet.

The sea bass was served with goat’s cheese and hyssop tortellini, smoked eggplant, sunchoke cream, tomatoes and garlic confit. The fish had an amazingly rich flavor and a soft texture, which was a pleasant surprise.

As regular readers know, I’m not a fan of fish, but I’d definitely recommend this to any fish-lovers.

Score: 8.5/10.

It seems the combination of meat and potato puree is a winning combination, considering how common it is in high-quality restaurants. The beef fillet was a great example of how to do it right: the fillet was so soft, lightly-salted and well-prepared it melted in my mouth, as did the delicious mash.

Chefs can sometimes make puree like this with too much butter and cream, which can make it too heavy, but here they got the balance just right. It looked and tasted fantastic, with a perfect texture.

Score: 9.5/10.

SIDE NOTE: For those who eat kosher and gluten free, I was told most of the dishes on the menu can be prepared to accommodate both dietary requirements.


The dessert menu included a selection of nine desserts to choose from. After consulting with the waitress again, I chose two dishes that ended up being better than I could have imagined.

The first was a jar filled with ice cream and white chocolate — a popular style of dessert seen in quite a few restaurants today.

It included 2 Macaroon cookies on top, strawberry compote, patisserie cream and meringue pieces — just as delicious and luxurious as it sounds. Sweet, delicate and moreish: what more could you want from a dessert?

Score: 8.5/10.

The second and more daring of the two was the Snow White. I had no idea what to expect, but the waitress insisted I’d be “pleasantly surprised”.

And she was right. The Snow White dessert caught me completely off-guard.

It consisted of a white chocolate mousse ball filled with raspberries, on crispy pastry, topped with a white-chocolate biscuit. Alongside all this, the dish was decorated with ‘pebbles’ containing raspberry ganache and white chocolate, which stunned me with every bite I took.

The level of creativity and flavour in the Snow White was of the highest standard: I’d never eaten anything like it before.

If you visit Messa, you have to try the Snow White. It’s that simple.

Score: 10/10.

service and price:

The service was impeccable. Not only was the waitress attentive, courteous and quick to bring our dishes, her knowledge of the menu was extremely impressive. She recommended delicious dishes when I asked for her advice, and I have to thank her for bringing the wonderful Snow White dessert into my life.

Score for service: 10/10.

Messa is an expensive restaurant, pricey enough to even be considered above the average price range Tel Aviv’s luxury venues are known for.

But I honestly feel the high price of the food is justified, given its sheer quality and originality.

Score for price: 9/10.

a quick summary:

So, does Messa live up to Shiran’s praise?

The answer is YES.

It definitely deserves to be recognized as one of Tel Aviv’s best restaurants, and I’m even going to call it one of the top three venues I’ve visited in the past year.

It’s not cheap, but considering that every dish I ate surprised me with its creativity, innovation and stunning flavors, Messa is definitely a must for anyone who thinks of themselves as a lover of supreme food.

My Total Score For Messa restaurant is 9.5/10!



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HaArba'a St 19, Tel Aviv-Yafo



opening hours:

Business lunch: 12:00-16:45 Dinner: 19.00-23:30 (Bar 19:00-until last costumer).

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