Written by Chelsea Truesdell
Coming from the seafood capitol of Seattle, I can’t help but be somewhat of a sushi snob. I tend to be very critical when I enjoy the fine cuisine of fresh raw fish delicately rolled with crisp vegetables, paying close attention to the balance of flavors and creative presentation. I have been pleasantly surprised to find delicious and inventive sushi restaurants in Tel Aviv offering fresh fish and creative ingredients.
Earlier this week I wandered through Neve Tzedek looking for a new restaurant to try out and stumbled upon Okinawa sushi restaurant nestled in the center of the neighborhood. It seemed to be the only crowded Tel Aviv restaurant that Wednesday night and I always take that as a good sign. My friend and I sat down and we ordered the ‘Salmon Fingers’ as an appetizer to munch on while we scanned the menu and decided what to order.
We ordered a variety of rolls, including potomaki, inside-out maki, and sushi “sandwiches.” The red tuna potomaki came out rolled in a huge roll, stuffed with different finely chopped vegetables, including chives, carrots, and cucumbers. The roll itself was so wide I had to eat it in two bites! We ordered a sea bream inside-out maki roll rolled with fresh seabream, cucumbers, and avocado. The sea bream was a full white color and meaty in taste. The sushi “sandwich” consisted of salmon, cream cheese, and avocado, cut into triangle shapes and dusted with breadcrumbs on the edge. They we’re considerably bigger in size and filled us up quite nicely.
Although we stuffed our bellies full with sushi, it was so fresh and delicious we couldn’t help but order one more roll. We asked what the waitress suggested and she recommended the salmon tempura. The roll came out with salmon, cream cheese, and avocado stuffed inside with a crispy coating of tempura on the outside. The roll was still warm on the outside from being fried but still moist on the inside with the combination of the refreshing rich salmon and cream cheese. The dish was one of my favorite in all of the Tel Aviv restaurants.
restaurants in Tel Aviv can come off intimidating, but Okinawa is bright and inviting. Not only was the staff attentive and friendly, but the food was classic with a light twist of creativity, which kept the dining experience simple yet unique. Neve Tzekdek hides many delicious restaurants, and Okinawa is just one more waiting to be discovered.