Yona Restaurant and the Jaffa Portby matkonation | 12.11.12
Something new is happening in Tel Aviv’s southernmost and oldest neighborhood, Jaffa. The newly renovated old port of Jaffa is bringing new life to this once quiet, fishing village.
The frontrunners of this new renovation are Ofra and Avi Ganor, whose restaurant just up the beach, Manta Ray, has been a staple for years for locals and tourists alike. Open for about a year, Yona, is a very different experience than its sister restaurant. They call the restaurant an “Open-Code” restaurant, where the menu items are broken down and reconstructed, such as their “juice of the Israeli salad” which comes as an accompaniment to their delicious fresh-baked bread.
Located right on the waterfront, overlooking the fishing boats and local yachts, Yona specializes in seafood and local flavors. We started our meal with shrimp sautéed in a sauce of artichokes and chopped macadamias and the surprisingly sweet fried halumi cheese served in a fresh tomato sauce.
For mains, we had another shrimp dish, this time served with a more Thai twist, with lemongrass and ginger and served with bean vermicelli. The “magic” lamb cube, was robust with flavor, even if it did arrive in the shape of a cube.
With room for only one dessert we opted for the fresh raspberry and mascarpone crumble, which was divine.
We walked off our meal by taking a stroll around the brand new (just a few months) Jaffa Port Market, which somewhat reminds me of the amazing Chelsea Market. Filled with food stands serving local seafood gourmet, pizzas and pastas, homemade sausages, chocolates, fresh juices, and a boulangerie-this is the place to come if you are looking for something to do and eat at the same time. You can take your food and sit outside on the balcony overlooking the water, or walk up the boardwalk a bit and have a picnic on the beach. The market is indoors, making it a good option for the (few) rainy days we’ll see this winter.
Hangar 1, Yaffo Port
Hours of Operation: