Fancy a change from Israeli cuisine of hummus and falafel? How about authentic Mediterranean Greek food? Yassou joins the foods and flavours of Greece with the fun vibe of Tel Aviv. At this restaurant Tal Holtzer, who formerly worked at Messa, Rafael and Roshfeld, works his culinary charm once again. This time however the setting is far more casual and the prices charged are considerably less.
The restaurant is positioned right on the seafront at 105 Hayarkon. Entrance is via a car park next to the Prima Hotel. This makes it very unlikely that anyone would simply happen to stumble across it and in this way distinguishes itself from becoming a typical tourist trap common to so many of the other nearby restaurants.
The inside décor and ambience is styled on a Modern Greek tavern. The impeccable service from the waitresses means that cultural plate-smashing may well not be something you experience here. Without doubt, however, you will be greeted with lively Greek music. Opening at 19:00, early evening customers tend to be families. Yet by around 22:00 the music grows louder, the lights are dimmed, and the ouzo is cracked open. Yassou transforms into a trendy, youthful hive making it a perfect venue for a first date or a fun night out with friends. Every Sunday there are live performances from Greek singers and on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays there is a DJ. Inside seating is either on stools around the large central bar or on tables dispersed around the side. For a more romantic and refined seating area alternative the balcony offers stunning Mediterranean seafront views.
Keeping in traditional Greek style begin the meal with a shot of ouzo or a spot of wine. Then with the alcohol flowing, move on to some appetizers to share. Each costing on average 30 NIS, choose from hot fresh bread served with tapenade and tomato sauce, olives, stuffed vine leaves, saganaki Greek kashkaval, or the charcoal grilled vegetables.
For the first course, the classic Greek salad with feta cheese is of course one option. But, Yassou’s menu offers unique and innovative variations. Those more adventurous can try the foie grass with spicy date honey, shrimp on a pan with garlic, tomato and crab Bisque, purple calamari and smoked goose breast or the Moroccan style fish of the day. Certainly, however, even those with the most discerning vegetarian’s palate must try the sensational pan of seared tomatoes with buffalo mozzarella fondue. Most of these dishes are charged at around 50 NIS each.
For the main course Yassou’s signature dish is the fresh sea bass fillet with labaneh cheese (98 NIS). It equals perfection in presentation and well as in quality and flavour. Meat lovers will nonetheless be sure to delight over the succulent sirloin steak served in red wine, mustard cream and pearl onion sauce (118 NIS). And, once again vegetarians have nothing to worry about here. The mushroom risotto cooked in rich truffle oil, grilled tomatoes and croutons (72 NIS) means that Yassou provides something for everyone.
For a sweet and refreshing ending indulge in the two-tiered frozen vanilla brûlée with caramelized bananas (38 NIS).