Tahina Bar has made a great name for themselves in serving Israeli street food in Northcote. They recently opened their second restaurant in Fitzroy and kindly invited us to check it out.
Upon entering Tahina Bar in Fitzroy my first impression was that the restaurant looked really clean with white walls and chairs, hints of blue and wooden tables. From the entrance the space looked like a small eatery but then you walk through to the back and it opens up into a lovely outdoor space with a roof and string lights sweeping low from the ceiling that remind me of Austin, Texas.
When we perused the menu we were surprised to find out that it was in fact a vegetarian Israeli restaurant! Either we never noticed when we checked it out online or it wasn’t really something that was advertised. Anyway I was fine with that. We need a break from meat sometimes anyway. Davin had a 20 second panic attack as he’s so used to having meat with everything but then he moved on when he saw the interesting menu items.
To start off we ordered a couple of smoothies. I ordered the Green Goddess smoothie which had mixed berries, spinach, almond butter, medjool dates, raw vanilla protein and coconut milk. Davin got the Green Warrior which consisted of spinach, kale, mango, pineapple, bee pollen and coconut water. Both smoothies were thick and tasted so nice and HEALTHY! I felt like they were a meal in itself!
For food I ordered the red falafel pita pocket mixed with chilli and red peppers, hummus, israeli salad, pickled cabbage and tahini. Davin ordered the yarakoht pita pocket which had sautéed mushrooms, pumpkin, hummus, israeli salad, pickled cabbage and tahini. They were delicious!
The red falafel pita pocket was really nice and we got an extra plate of a mix of green and red falafels served on its own with hummus and tahini for our eating pleasure. The falafels were really flavoured and crispy on the outside. We also thoroughly enjoyed the yarakotht pita pocket. The flavour combination of the mushrooms, the super fresh israeli salad and the hummus and tahini made each bite so tasty! The bread of the pita pockets were also warm and fluffy.
We shared the white shakshuka platter which had free range eggs, wild mushrooms, fennel, Jerusalem artichokes, chilli, fresh thyme, oregano and Meredith goats cheese. This dish was also certainly not lacking flavour. It smelt amazing because of the lovely spices and herbs and tasted just as good. It was an easy dish to eat and we happily used the fresh bread they served with hummus and lapped up as much as our tummies would allow of the dish.
We also ordered the cauliflower papiot which was a great dish. The cauliflower was slow roasted so it was really soft but lightly charred and served with hummus, lemon and tahini. A real easy dish to enjoy.
Finally for dessert we were served with the baklava. We generally find baklavas overly sweet but this one was actually nice and was filled with crunchy goodies. Unfortunately we started eating it before we realised we should have taken a good photo of it!
Overall we were quite impressed with the quality of the food. It felt like hearty home style cooking which we really liked. We met Roy, the chef and who owns Tahina with his partner Natalie, and he was so lovely and open for a chat. His passion for cooking great dishes with top quality produce and putting his love into these dishes for his customers is clear when he’s talking to us.
So do check Tahina Bar out and don’t let the fact that it is a vegetarian restaurant turn you away if you are a meat lover!
Tahina Bar, Fitzroy
Approx $30 AUD per person
Address: 362 Brunswick St, Fitzroy VIC 3065
Phone: +61 3 9417 4510