Port Said Tel Aviv: Casual Chic Eatery

Port Said Tel Aviv is one of those places where the young and the hip like to congregate and where you can’t book a reservation for love nor money. Nestled in the shadow of the great synagogue, the queue snakes around as throngs of beautiful people stand sipping arak muddled with mint and lemon waiting for a table. We were lucky enough not to stand for long, but anyway I was feeling fine, the night was warm, the arak was strong and the sounds of Egyptian vinyl being spun by the DJ sent a rhythm skittering through my soul. With the essence of a vinyl shop blended with a casual eatery and headed by what is said to be one of Israel’s most poetic chefs, you can be sure that Port Said is the word on everyone’s lips when it comes to experiencing the multifaceted wonders of the city.

Port Said Tel Aviv Dining 1

Outside a scattering of trestles lined with brown paper offer a casual al fresco feel, which is awesome because on nights soaked in such revelry who wants to be indoors anyway? Young people perch on every orifice, lighting up cigarettes, waving their hands and letting the music of laughter reverberate beneath the breath and blossom of orange trees. The servers smile with genuine familiarity and in the throes of feeling fine we go ahead and order practically everything on the menu.

Port Said Tel Aviv Dining 2

As usual the first thing to arrive is the dream-like hummus, laced with tahini and oozing with oil – perfect for glopping onto fresh warm bread. The minute steak was melt-in-the-mouth good and the lima bean mash helped me release a sigh of sheer bliss. Port Said breezes with warmth, meaning that every plate that flies out the kitchen of EyalShani and piles up on the table is perfect for sharing. The tapas delights of Middle Eastern food with a contemporary cool as a cucumber twist make for purely delectable dining with a casual flair to fall in love with. The bread salad ensures that every morsel is a mouthful of heaven, diced tomatoes, cucumber, sweet pink onion, handpicked parsley and hunks of bread is as fresh as the sea breeze air, especially when you are delving into soft as silk sweet potato with yoghurt, chocolate cake like chicken liver and roasted eggplant.

Port Said Tel Aviv Dining 3

The hours seem to blur when caught in the magic and mayhem of Port Said, leaning over the table to grab, scoop, pick and pop into your mouth, swigging back cold Israeli beer, shooting back the aniseed pleasures of cleansing Arak and snatching conversations with everyone who bumps past your chair, this place seems to perfectly capture the true Tel Aviv spirit. Casual, cool and achingly trendy, Port Said is a place where sunglasses can be donned after dark, where strangers can become best friends in a second and where the DJ lasts all night, their sounds spilling onto the steps of the synagogue.

Port Said Tel Aviv Dining 4

All Images’ Source: www.orkaplan.com

Big thanks to the lovely people at Vibe Israel for inviting me to enjoy the bounty of their beautiful country. Vibe Israel is a non profit and non political organization, find out more at www.vibeisrael.com 

Jodie Oakes

Jodie Oakes

Jodie Oakes is a seasoned writer and an avid surfer with continuously itchy feet and a love of the finer things in life. After traveling through the continent with a touring band, living in Paris, Amsterdam and under the Auroras Borealis, she is now in Bulgaria where she attempts to piece together her first poetry collection.
Jodie Oakes