I think I would have been able to concentrate more on the food, to appreciate its undeniable qualities and to have more fun, if I could have heard myself think and if I didn't need to raise my voice constantly to converse with my friends. It is a pity, but from the moment I sat down the sound level was disturbing both that coming from the other diners (the place was full) and the overly aggressive music. Israelis are generally loud and the acoustics at Taizu make it worse. When I mentioned this to the staff, I was given to understand that there is another "quiet" room. Ask to be seated there if noise clashes with your culinary needs.
The restaurant is beautifully and richly designed, but the very high ceiling (see acoustics) added to my feeling of being in a communal dining room or just in the lobby of a building that was turned into a restaurant.
Service is really excellent, attentive as far as is needed, friendly and knowledgeable. I can't think of many better places in Israel, from this point of view (nevertheless there a few places that compete well). For newcomers the menu concept is not too clear and certainly doesn't speak for itself. A few words of explanation from our terrific server put us on track.
The concept of the restaurant is Asian fusion with all dishes put on the table as they come from the kitchen to be shared by the diners. Various Asian culinary traditions are represented, led by China and India. We found everything to be first rate in terms of quality, taste and presentation. Some dishes were more impressive than others, but to be frank we expected at least a few really memorable offerings. There is a lot of hype surrounding Taizu and its chef Yuval Ben Neriya and we hoped to have our socks knocked off. Didn't happen. At most very enjoyable, but nothing that made any of us say we need to come back soon for more.
The dishes we had were steamed buns with tomato chutney, Shanghainese dumplings, pork pot stickers, butter chicken and tuna sashimi. A very nice and greatly appreciated gesture on the part of the house was a bowl of Bengali shrimps. This was probably the best dish of the evening although the butter chicken was also great. As for the dumplings, yes very good, but those served by Din Tai Fung in Hong Kong at a fraction of the price beat these hands down.
Taizu is not cheap, and you can arguably get just as good at cheaper prices elsewhere, but price is not the issue. I would be prepared to pay the price for something extraordinary. It just wasn't that extraordinary.
So yes, Taizu is a very good restaurant in its class, perhaps in the first tier of Israeli eateries and I don't hesitate to recommend it. Just don't let the buzz raise your expectations too high and be aware about the noise level and the quiet room option. There is also outdoor seating, but distinctly less attractive than indoors.
Reservations are a total must.
There is underground parking in the building and diners at Taizu get a low flat rate.
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