Tasting Titora (restaurant review)

Jerusalem Post, Weekend Magazine; August 2, 2007

Titora lies nestled on a road that literally has no name, amidst the rundown hothouses of Moshav Shilat a few minutes from Modi’in. The abandoned farm setting suits the quaint and rustic restaurant, built in an old storage barn for bouquet wrappings. A garden filled with thyme and peppermint plants and adorned with passion-fruit vines leads to relatively small and modestly decorated indoor and outdoor seating areas.

Titora may be hard to find for non-locals, but the location couldn’t be more convenient for Jerusalem and Tel Aviv residents who use Road 443 to commute. It’s a place to stop for lunch or a late-night drink, and also an apt middle point for residents of the two cities looking for an equidistant place to meet.

Residents of Modi’in and surrounding areas, particularly those who don’t keep kosher, should consider Titora a find in an area not commonly associated with fine dining.

Chef-owner Bucky Dasa has used his experience as a restaurateur in Tel Aviv to combine high culinary standards with a homeyness and authenticity less prevalent in Israel’s metropolis. The menu is eclectic but with a Medierranean touch, and it’s clear that careful thought was put into each dish to produce aesthetic, creative and delicious results.

I started off with the passion-fruit shrimp (NIS 39), a favorite at the restaurant. It comes with six pieces of shrimp sauteed in sauce made from fruits plucked from the garden. The seafood absorbs the flavor of the tangy, sweet and buttery sauce, and the seeds of the passion fruit add a little punch.

The salmon ceviche (NIS 33) was well-done, in both senses of the phrase. It was served on a bed of beet carpaccio (thin, freshly sliced beets) swimming in olive oil and topped with freshly plucked thyme. The long, amorphous pieces of salmon on their own tasted decent, but when I wrapped the fish with the carpaccio, the appetizer turned into a particularly scrumptious, fun-to-eat and refreshing treat. Save the olive oil as a dip for the hot Moroccan bread – a wonderful combination.

The Buri Buri (NIS 68) is a generous and unusual, fresh and tasty dish. Two hefty fillets topped a mound of grilled eggplant sprinkled with lentils and parsley. The dish is garnished with olive oil and dried fruits.

The combination of all these ingredients is unconventional, but they created a perfect blend of aromas and flavors – sweet, healthful and earthy. Definitely recommended for fish and eggplant lovers.

The beef fillet (NIS 88) cooked in port wine sauce was a much heavier dish, but not any less creative or good. The beef, served with onions stuffed with nuts, bulgur and cinnamon, was superb, soft and sweet, with an extra delightful flavor added by the garlic jam sprinkled on top.

It’s hard to find anything bad to say about Titora. The food is excellent, the service is friendly, the prices justified and the atmosphere pleasant.

While its isolated location on the side of an obscure road is part of its charm, it seems like it deters people from discovering it. The restaurant was empty around 6 p.m., although I’m sure if the restaurant were more accessible to passersby, it would be much more crowded.

Titora is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The outdoor patio is well-equipped to handle strollers. On Saturdays the restaurant doesn’t serve its regular menu, and instead opens up as a buffet revolving around an asado meat grill (NIS 89 per person).

Shilat Industrial Zone, (08) 976-1499
Breakfast: 9-12; business lunches: 12-5;
dinner: 5-1 a.m.
Not kosher

2016-08-30T16:38:55+02:00 August 2nd, 2007|