Last updated March 13th 2016
Shila Restaurant, 182 Ben Yehuda, Tel Aviv
Shila, Sharon Cohen’s Kitchen and Bar, Tel Aviv gets high marks for providing guests with a thoroughly delightful dinging experience. Not only is the menu creative, the atmosphere relaxing, trendy, warm and welcoming, but past guests are fairly consistent with their feelings about the taste and quality of the food and their experience. Walk yourself by the medium-sized Ben Yehuda restaurant on any night and see tables filled with delighted guests; their faces illuminated by soft candle light, glowing with smiles and laughter. The wood beams across the ceiling, large brown bar, and the large wooden tables blend well together with the other elements to offer a sophisticated, lavish environment with a rustic down-to-earth feel.
The Tel Aviv restaurant is well known by locals as a consistent choice to visit when wanting to impress visiting friends. Due to its popularity, dinner time if filled with energy and music that can be enjoyable for some, distracting for others. But it varies depending on the night, with lunchtime offering a quieter experience. The staff inside are attentive (albeit slightly reserved), but overall friendly and accommodating. Shila provides valet service, giving guests one less thing to worry about if they choose to drive.
Shila, Tel Aviv specializes in an array of tasty seafood dishes, as well as a few meat dishes. The business lunch special is a great way to experience Shila, but dishes on that menu vary significantly from their dinnertime offerings. Still, Shila Tel Aviv is highly consistent in quality and service, and an excellent choice for special occasions, intimate dinner dates and treating notable guests.
Dishes at Shila Restaurant
- Business Lunch 98NIS
- – Lamb Meat w Cauliflower Tortellini & sage
- – Zucchini Carpaccio w chopped basil and walnuts
- Carbibbean Creme Brulee 43NIS
- Mother-in-Law’s Baklava (4pcs) 34NIS
- Sample menu items
- – Progressive” Danino – Malabi dessert (not pictured) 43NIS *recommended
- – Fish Fillet in Pickled Lemons w coriander (pictured) 129NIS **dinner menu
Total = 141NIS (Business Lunch 98 + 43 Dessert, dessert wine was provided gratis by the restaurant)
Shila Restaurant Rating
Shila or is it Sheila?
Before we get into the delicious aspects of the restaurant can we first address the elephant in the room? What exactly is this restaurant’s name? Sharon Cohen’s Kitchen and Bar is called titled “שילה” translated in English simply as Sheila. But both שילה/Sheila’s website and on TripAdvisor the restaurant also goes by the name “Shila”. In the “About Shila” section on the restaurant’s website refers to the restaurant as “Sheila”. Confused yet? Because this is vitally important.
No one wants to get a woman’s name wrong.
Now perhaps we are saved by the fact that Sheila isn’t some once-upon-a-time girlfriend, his wife, or a long lost lover. Sheila is his beloved dog. I don’t think dogs feel the same way about being called the wrong name, just so long as you have treats.
Shila Restaurant Tel Aviv
Each night you can see the splendor in the diners faces at Shila Restaurant in Tel Aviv. I had made my way over to the Ben Yehuda Street restaurant for their business/lunch special. Shila came highly recommended but with the caveat that it was pricey. The Business Lunch seems like the best way to take your finances into consideration without sacrificing a delicious and high quality experience.
The Lunch Menu is very different than the dinner menu, but both are filled with intricate dishes with quality flavours and ingredients. It makes it difficult to decide. There are plenty of seafood appetizers and fish main dishes. My only note would be that getting a variety on the business lunch can be challenging. It was either fish-fish, fish-meat, meat-fish, or meat-meat. It is not that they didn’t have vegetarian options, but at the high price you do want to feel like you are getting your monies worth.
The focaccia is warm and freshly baked with a delicate salty-rosemary taste. The accompanying tomato salsa with olive oil and spicy peppers is a nice dip, but almost unnecessary. The Zucchini carpaccio appetizer was almost too intriguing to pass up. (I am amazed at unique varieties of carpaccio, ever since I had the tomato carpaccio at Mitbach Lilah). The dish is a wonderful combination of earthy zucchini and walnuts with sharp notes from the balsamic vinegar and the Tom’s cheese. It was a simple dish but overall enjoyable.
The Lamb meat and cauliflower tortellini with sage was a fantastic full flavoured and aromatic meal. The delicate sage aroma waifs its way as the dish arrives, and up close the lamb meat is clear and wonderfully present. The cauliflower is soft, warm with a simple buttery taste. The entire dish reaches deep into your soul, reminding you of the comfort food on a cold winter night. It is perfectly filling without overdoing any of its elements – just enough meat, enough sauce and pasta.
Sweet Sheila Tel Aviv
The Caribbean Cremem Brulee is a wonderful combination of caramelized bananas with strawberries and coconut sorbet, with chunks of pineapple, scented with tonka – a South American bean described as having hints of vanilla, almond and cherry. Overall the free form creme brulee (outside a ramekin) was delightful. I was a little surprised by what appeared to be canned pineapples, and the custard was warmer than usual with very little caramelized sugar. Half the fun of creme brulee is the cracking that first layer.
Sheila or Shila, however you’d like to call this magnificent restaurant, is well worth a visit. Her reputation precedes herself. Maybe more correctly since itsi Sharon Cohen and Sheila is actually his dog – his reputation precedes him. Either way, Shila has crafted a delicate balance of being a high-end restaurant offering excellent food that is accessible, comfortable and most importantly enjoyable.
Shila Sharon Cohen’s Kitchen and Bar