Dining at Tel Aviv's Minna Tomei feels like a communal experience.
With long wooden tables in the center of the dining area hosting large parties, it seems like the entire restaurant is perpetually in the midst of celebration.
And when the food is this good being in a celebratory mood is easy.
The menu is an eclectic snapshot of what Asian cuisine has to offer. With a list of popular dishes from five Asian countries (Thailand, Japan, Korea, Vietnam and India), it's hard to go wrong.
The menu is an organized one. Comprised of five columns, each represents one of the five countries and gives the guest the ability to stay confined to one area of the globe or go crazy and explore from a mix of nationalities.
In keeping with the communal experience, trying a bit of everything is highly encouraged, our server Tzachi explains. With generous portion sizes, it's easy to share and sample a decent portion of the menu in one night.
Their sushi is an excellent way to kick off a Minna Tomei dinning experience. Specifically, their Spicy Maguro Tamago roll -- filled with tuna in a delectable spicy sauce with cucumber, avocado and spring onion wrapped in tamago -- is excellent.
For those who don't like experimenting much when it comes to a sushi order, the Rainbow roll is a good classic choice. With fresh salmon, tuna, yellowtail and shrimp, it's a powerful cocktail for your taste buds.
And speaking of cocktails, ordering one is a must.
The Lychee Royal, served in a chilled martini glass, contains sparkling wine, apple schnapps, and lychee. What sounds like a simple sugary concoction is anything but -- the flavors are robust and will put one in the mood for more.
If curry is your thing, the green one is highly recommended. The chicken, sautéed with onion, leek, spinach, green peas, and coconut milk, is served with a divine green curry sauce served in a piping hot dish. Upon arrival, Tzachi patiently explained that the best way to eat the dish is by gently pouring the sauce over the rice and chicken mixture. The result is an excellent combination of textures and flavors that may not make you feel like you're in Thailand, but it's dangerously close to the real thing.
Fair warning though, all this flavor at a trendy spot in Tel Aviv comes at a cost. Main dishes range from 40-80 NIS; cocktails are around 35 NIS; and sushi rolls are 30-40 NIS.
But compared to the cost of traveling to any of these five countries, a Minna Tomei experience is a bargain.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.
17 Ha’arba’a St., Tel Aviv