Minato, 8 HaMenofim Street, Herzliya Pituachby Sarit Goffen | 23.10.13
For what is now a culinary trend, the use of all natural raw materials, in combination with vegetarian or vegan cuisine has always been a staple in Japanese culinary culture.
The Shu-Jin Riori meals are part of Buddhist monk kitchen, and are devoid of meat, fish and other living ingredients. They were imported from China to Japan, between the fifth and sixth centuries, and contributed to the wide spread vegetarianism in Japan.
Minato, established by Matan Rosenthal and Kobi Ninio, is located in Herzliya Pituach and Caesaria where it has become known as one of the leading sushi establishments in Israel and brings one of the more obscure elements of the Japanese kitchen to centre stage.
Minato’s design and perception is based on a version of Izakaya (a combination of the words, “I”, which means sit, and zakaya, means liquor shop), a kind of traditional Japanese bar offering a colorful array of delicious dishes, served with different types of alcoholic beverages.
The kitchen, led by Aki Tamura – a descendent of an illustrious sushi chef lineage from Minato quarter in Tokyo, and chef Matan Rosenthal – is characterized by a gentle, minimalistic and precise Japanese style.
The kitchen uses local fresh raw materials with a focus on exotic and unusual ingredients such as sayori fish, macho (yellowtail cheek), Edge (Trhon), Saba (mackerel), Diicon (Japanese radish), water chestnuts, Soba and Udon Noodles, seaweed Combo, wakame, Glitzrih, Alva and Aig’yaki, Anouk mushrooms with a gentle sweet flavor, and more.
Keeping the tradition is also apparent in the process the raw materials go through. Soy sauce blends and miso are made and seasoned on location. The ginger is cut daily and is home pickled, and even the fish are traditionally pickled in combo seaweeds and rice vinegar.
The menu features not only vegetarian dishes but also a rich traditional menu with dishes such as Gio Kushi (poached asparagus wrapped in entrecôte) and Honsambi dish (fried sayori fish served as snacks next to the alcoholic beverages), and unique and authentic dishes such as Tzukona (Trhon fish patty) and Hamachi (yellowtail chick that was marinated for 24 hours).
Minato also features a variety of O-Makasa – tasty traditional meals that showcase a complicated but well-balanced experience, tailored to the diners palate.
The restaurant is kosher.