The Slow Food movement and it agenda of utilising local, organic ingredients as a base for quality cuisine has far from been lost on Tel Aviv. A crop of new restaurants preaching a return to traditional dishes focused on only what is locally produced have enjoyed immediate popularity among the city’s tastemakers and media outlets. Habasta, which is the Hebrew word for a market stall, is the latest and most controversial instalment in this nascent Tel Avivian trend.
Adopting the concept of a market-sourced restaurant is a synch when the vegetable vendors are a shout away. The bistro, a small space characterised by simplistic furnishings and an extensive display of wines, offers a menu that changes daily according to market availability and the effervescent whims of the management staff. Expect a varied list of small dishes, a blend of traditional Middle Eastern and contemporary Mediterranean cuisine. The crowd will be epicurean in nature, helped along by a lengthy list of Israeli and Italian wines, many of which are offered by the glass; not exactly the authentic market experience, but quite fun nonetheless.