Friday, May 16, 2008


We had spent almost a month in Tel Aviv, eating, sleeping and savouring five star food. Time, which was supposed to play the healer, chose to reverse its role and reminded our near dead taste buds about spicy Indian food, Sachin too was a great contributor to the effect, reminiscing about his Mom’s parathas and the great eat-outs and joints of Delhi. Succumbing to both time and Sachin, we set out on a nice Friday morning to Dizengoff Center, to roam about in general, window shop and finally when our legs were tired of walking, and our eyes of window shopping, we went in the general direction of the restaurant that we had tracked down. The place was located somewhere near about Rehov Herzl. Armed with a map and a razor sharp navigating brain and the rudimentary location, we reached the Rehov Herzl to discover that the road was almost a mile or two long and we cursed ourselves for not being able to get the address or the name of the Restaurant. We walked towards the beginning of the street in an effort to leave no stone unturned or untouched in the pavement. Sapped of energy, hungry from walking and thirsty from cursing and excess salivating we approached a cafĂ© in Sderot Rothschild to quench our thirst.

I have to say, the Israelis are a great bunch of people. They are fitness fanatics, great revelers and party goers, love their food and drink. Say you are an Indian and a display of true warmth and friendliness comes forth. We were just pondering the fate of our grumbling tummies when the guy across the kiosk counter (who had given us excellent coffee by the way) pin-pointed the location of the restaurant right to its doorstep sending flutters across the GPS world which managed by great effort to keep its satellites in orbit. We paid him his bill, due respects and the promise of a photograph which would be e-mailed and went towards our final destination.

The directions were given correctly, no doubt about that, but we still couldn’t find the place. So we stood in front of the only red painted door in the whole of Rehov Ha’mashbir that lay south of Dereh Yaffo and one street west of Rehov Herzl, facing the end of the street and arguing about the easier wrong turn taken instead of the harder right turn (No apologies Mr. Kipling, No apologies), much to the chagrin and curiosity of a passerby. He was lucky that his curiosity didn’t do him or his cat any or much harm other than a-don’t-mess-with-us look from the both of us. That was when a small white paper stuck to the door with something written in English and Hindi caught my eye. We were standing right in front of the door and yelling till Kingdom come. Lucky it was made of glass!! We went inside and sought out the menu. The thaali/ buffet which was spread before us was very inviting, so we literally dived into it. The food was quite appetizing and it didn’t matter much to Sachin that it was only vegetarian. There was excellent dal, rice, green coloured rice and fried jeera rice, channa masala, lobia and two very tasty subjis with some of the best curd and raita.

We sat there purring like two satisfied cats and resolved not to have breakfast or coffee on the way the next time, ready to make another walk back to the Hotel.

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