One of our mornings we spent at a breakfast favorite, Gili’s at the Tel Aviv port. If Gili’s has one thing going for it than any other place, it’s the location. Situated right in front of the waves on the newly-renovated port boardwalk, Gili’s is one of the best spots to eat your eggs.
I think the breakfast at Gili’s is one of the best you can get in Israel. Despite that, it does have its problems here and there.
One of the first things that always boggles my mind is the fact that the entrance to the place isn’t really marked. There are a gazillion chairs outside, but it’s not exactly clear where the hostess is seated. A small sign with the restaurant’s name could be a good start, seeing as how the place doesn’t have sign over the main facade anyway.
When we arrived, we went to where we usually have luck finding the hostess: Where the waiters empty their dishes. Yup, next to a trashcan. Unfortunately Gili’s, like most Israeli venues, has no understanding of the importance of first impressions and how they affect the rest of the dining experience. Two factors that should be taken into consideration are the entrance and it’s appearance, and the second is being greeted warmly by staff. This time the hostess was no where in sight, and a waiter asked if we could wait for her.
Which we did, in the sun. On a very hot day. But eventually she came and sat us down. Gili’s has air-conditioned seating inside, but when you’re at the port – what’s the point? That would be like going to Coney Island and not eating a dog at Nathan’s.
As I mentioned, it was a hot one that day. We were fairly comfortable, but felt the usual sea breeze was a bit on the weak side. A respected joint like Gili’s would do well to invest in a few fans.
The service at Gili’s is great. There’s always a waiter around, and they’re all very attentive. Eyes up, just the way it should be.
The breakfast itself is probably one of the more expensive ones you’ll come across. It’s not that Gili’s is generous with its portions, it’s all about the quality. It’s a simple, damn good breakfast – but for 68 shekels. One of the perks is the small cocktail that comes with it. You can choose from a mimosa, a pink bellini and more. It does a good job of getting you into a nice, tranquil mood sitting on the deck before the food comes.
Next comes a nice-sized basket full of freshly baked breads, croissants and rugelach with butter and jam. There are many styles of eggs to choose from, whether the usual sunny side up and omelettes, to roast beef sandwiches and cured salmon.
I ordered an omelette with various cheeses and mushrooms. Another thing I like about Gili’s is that the waiter always asks you how you want your omelette done: wet, dry or somewhere in the middle. Karen ordered the salmon.
At Gili’s the plates come out pretty fast. Which is good, otherwise you’d stuff yourself on the delicious pastries. My omelette was perfectly done, with a fresh salad, white labane cheese and a pile of bacon on the side. They’re generous with the bacon, although I like mine less crispy and more juicy. Gili’s bacon is just a few seconds from burnt. But only just.
The salmon was delicious. My only problem with it is that it’s not served with cream cheese, only the same labane cheese that I got on my plate. Even if it’s not smoked, salmon at breakfast should have some sort of cream cheese at arm’s reach. Labane, though white and creamy, is taking “fusion” just a bit too far.
I ordered a cappuccino to end my meal and it was served quickly, at the right temp, and tasted great.
We’ll definitely be coming back.
The Kaufman Critique: 3.8 stars out of 5!
The Welcome: 3
The Menu: 4
The Service: 4
The Cuisine Level: 4
Bang for Your Buck: 4
1 Star: They couldn’t care less who walks in
2 Stars: Hi, hurry up my shift is almost over
3 Stars: Fairly warm welcome
4 Stars: I think they’re happy I came
5 Stars: We’re actually REALLY glad to see you
1 Star: Yawn
2 Stars: Pretty much the usual shtantz
3 Stars: A few surprises
4 Stars: Very interesting
5 Stars: Wow,unique stuff
1 Star: What service?
2 Stars: Annoyingly slow\rude
3 Stars: Can’t complain, but nothing to write home about
4 Stars: Treated like a prince
5 Stars: Treated like a king
The Cuisine Level
1 Star: I suddenly feel bolemic
2 Stars: Do I have to pay for this
3 Stars: Oh well…
4 Stars: I actually quite enjoyed that
5 Stars: Whoa, you’ll be seeing me again and again
The Bang for Your Buck
1 Star: What a rip-off
2 Stars: Wasn’t worth the money
3 Stars: OK, I guess
4 Stars: You’ll be seeing me again!
5 Stars: Wow! I’m gonna give this place 5 stars!