Something a little different. I went to a restaurant on Thursday night that I have seen advertised as a BBQ restaurant (in a yishuv 10 mins from Latrun) – and I thought that I would do a review. The restaurant is called Bishique and their number is +972 50 99 89 199. You need to book in advance. According to their website page they only open 3 nights a week. It is under local regular hashgacha.
The setup in this restaurant is simple. The cost is 225NIS a person. This includes a table full of salads, pitta, a continual delivery of different meats and as many drinks as you want. When I say drinks, this includes all soft drinks, red and white wine (locally produced by a small winery) and beer (multiple types produced by the same owners of the restaurant).
The food is plentiful and overall it is very tasty. The food is definitely worth the money and this is one of the better restaurants that I have been to in Israel (This was my second visit). Most of the meats are cooked on a grill (what most people would call a BBQ) and there was one chicken dish that was smoked. A few were cooked in a normal kitchen though.
Below is a list of all the meat dishes (with photos) and a general overview of the salads.
Above, you can see the initial round of salads – This was only about half of the options that came out. The green salad (not here) came dressed – and when I asked for the same salad undressed it came within seconds. The service was great. The first meat dish we got is not actually photographed. It came with the salads – it was a hummus plate with a sauce on top with small bite size pieces of meat. This was a delicious taste of what was to come. The salads were all tasty and freely replaced as requested/required.
The photo above shows 4 more dishes. In the top left you can just about see a dish of falafel and techina. These are probably one of the most tasty falafel balls that I have ever had – and this restaurant is a carnivore’s delight! The techina wasn’t too bad either 🙂
Below the falafel is the carpaccio. For those that do not know this is a raw meat that has been “cooked” using acid (usually lemon juice) and spices – it tasted as good as normal.
When I started this section of writing I nearly wrote about “four” great dishes – unfortunately the KFC style wings let this down – for some reason it had a very watery taste, but this was made up by the “Chatzil Biladi” which is charcoal grilled aubergine (great smokey flavour) with techina on top. There are many other additions that can be added but this was left plain. To be honest with the plethora of flavours just begging to tasted this was the correct choice. The aubergine was simple – very tasty and one of the few dishes I took multiple servings of.
This is quite a strange choice – but was ok. It is basically a pitta with a thin layer of flavoured mince (ground) meat inside. It was OK but nothing to write home about.
The only real BBQ (dish) on the menu was smoked chicken breast. I do not know if this was cooked low and slow or faster (chicken is one of the few meats that can be smoked quickly) but it was very tasty and the breast was moist. It was quite delightful. I took a piece without the skin – so cannot comment on that.
The brisket was not smoked (you can tell by the lack of a smoke ring) but it was still very tasty and moist. It was not smothered with the BBQ sauce which is good (for me) as the taste of the meat is much better than a (correctly) sweet sauce in my opinion.
In my opinion one of the best parts of the meal. I definitely took too many sausages….. These sausages are grilled normally and are flavoured with ground almonds and pine kernels (they do tell you about this before they are served). Anything with “Snobberim” (The hebrew for pine kernels) has to be great just because of the name. I really wish that I could buy a few packs of these sausages (or at least get the recipe) but I am still too English to ask.
The kebabs (Americans would probably call them sliders) were very tasty. They were a plain flavour and nothing too fancy. In fact that is the style of the whole restaurant – good, plain and high quality food. I liked it and think that it works really well. It is definitely a formula that would encourage people to come back again and again.
The entrecote skewers were tasty and flavoured only with salt. In my opinion too much salt – but as I believe in no salt in food at all I may be the only person with that opinion.
The asado (or beef ribs) were definitely slow cooked as they were very soft and melted in the mouth. They were also very meaty relative to most ribs that you get in Israel. I felt that the sauce on top was too sweet for me – but again that is probably just me…. Again though , the sauce was lightly administered and so did not damage the delight of really well cooked ribs.
Chicken thigh skewers. These were definitely lightly marinaded and tasted really great. In Israel “Pargit” is counted as one of the best “cuts” off a chicken and in this case that was definitely correct.
The steaks were sinta – fairly plain – and really tasty. There is something special about a nicely grilled steak – and these didn’t disappoint. Just a little about the portions here – in any restaurant in Israel, you could reasonably expect 2-3 of these size steaks as a portion costing 160NIS. The whole meal here (with drinks) only cost 225NIS and this was only 1 of 13 or 14 different meat dishes. They would have also very happily brought more steaks if asked. The value here is fantastic.
Then we come to the piece de resistance. In most of the “eat as much as you wish” restaurants they start with the cheapest cuts and slowly move on to the more expensive meat cuts. Generally Bishique doesn’t do this except for one exception – the lamb ribs. As they serve a whole rack to your table I know that they are actually just building you up the best part of the meal. The ribs were really well cooked and very – very tasty, being lamb they were also fatty – but without the fat they wouldn’t be so good.
Now we are at the end of the meal we come to the desserts.
The first time that I came to this restaurant we were served a large platter of watermelon for dessert. This time we were give a plate of different desserts. I normally do not eat wheat but very occasionally I “cheat”. I had half of one of the chocolate souffles and it was good. Need I say any more?
The meal was finished with a choice of coffee or mint tea. This was a nice relaxing finish to a meal that was served slowly over time without any feeling of pressure to leave the table for the next guests. In fact, I expect that as we were told that our table was for between 8 and 11pm when we booked there was only one sitting a night.
The food was great and amazing value for money. This is a restaurant that we have already been to multiple times – something that we cannot say for many of the higher-end restaurants in Israel. A restaurant has to be worth going back to when you have an almost unlimited choice in front of you.
The only issue that I have is that after 5 days and over 100km of bike riding (both on road and singletrack) I still have another 200g to lose to get back to my weight before this meal… so…if you are on a diet – don’t go to this restaurant before a formal weighing.