Food and Travel (UK)




Franck Garanger, Oceania Cruisesʼ Corporate Executive Chef, shares his picks for where to eat when disembarki­ng in Isrealʼs vibrant coastal capital

Tales of Tel Aviv are told through lively cafés, a love of the arts and an eclectic medley of architectu­re, from the domes and arches of ancient Jaffa to the iconic Bauhaus buildings of the White City. Here, innovation meets history and tradition, and there’s no better way to experience it than through the city’s food. Twenty Oceania Cruises routes dock on Israel’s coast – as the ship approaches Ashdod or Haifa, I can hardly wait to revisit Tel Aviv.

My tour of the city begins at the bustling Carmel Market.

Expect the world on a plate as the aromas of cheesy bourekas, triangular hamantash pastries and Yemenite spices guide you between stalls of the freshest fruit, veg and nuts, refreshing pomegranat­e juice in hand. For a more refined jaunt across the Med, head to rustic-chic Claro, where chef Ran Shmueli serves up farm-to-table delights in a stunning Templar building – think lamb platters with tzatziki, spicy matbucha dip, pickled vegetables and pitta or roasted Jerusalem artichokes with skordalia (garlic and mashed potato dip), feta and chilli oil. Portions are generous, so leave space for dessert – the malabi (milk pudding) with sugared pistachios, berry coulis and kadaif (shredded filo) is my favourite.

A stroll away you’ll find Dok, an intimate, street-side venue popular with locals and visitors alike. The chef-patron Doktor brothers ensure that all produce is sourced locally – including the extensive wine list – to create authentic dishes with contempora­ry flare. The menu changes often, but you’ll find the likes of baked kohlrabi with Tzfat sheep’s cheese, sesame, thyme and hot pepper, or lamb wrapped in herbs on a bed of burnt aubergine cream.

A trip to Israel is incomplete without shakshuka, eggs baked in spicy tomato sauce – make sure to stop by the legendary Dr Shakshuka in Jaffa Flea Market for your fix. And since Tel Aviv never sleeps, stick around for a cocktail at Imperial – it’s not often you’re in the party capital of the Middle East, after all. oceaniacru­

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