Many restaurants tweak their menus seasonally in order to keep customers coming back to try different dishes. Moses, with its seven outlets, is no exception. However, since it is known for its hamburgers and meat entrées, it is hardly going to overhaul the entire menu. Accordingly, its summer makeover is limited to a handful of starters and a few cocktails. 

In honor of the occasion, Moses corporate nonetheless decided to recall and reprint all of its menus, from top to bottom, just to incorporate a few different appetizers and drinks. When this happens, experience teaches us, the English menus get short shrift; and indeed, the “summer menu” is only in Hebrew. At the same time, the regular English menu was given a new look – and it is riddled with typos and mistakes. 

As we sat down on a muggy summer evening to peruse the two menus (since the English one alone is insufficient), we wanted to start with a cooling cocktail (NIS 34). We chose one from the regular specialty cocktail list, the Captain Moses – spiced rum with coconut and lemon juice – and another from the summer selection, the Moses Gin & Tonic; the former was intense and overly sweet, while the latter, enhanced with a splash of lychee liqueur, was deliciously refreshing. 

We did find a comparable appetizer listed in both menus: Mexican Table (NIS 59) in the English menu vs. the Hebrew menu’s Mexican Fiesta (NIS 76). The platter of small mezze we received included eggplant guacamole (which would have been better off had it been the traditional avocado), and two rather pleasant combinations: ragout with tehina and black bean salsa in lima bean cream; we never did figure out why tehina is considered Mexican – or why the chef deviated from the menu’s descriptions and swapped the beds of lima bean cream and tehina – but we enjoyed dipping the soft flour tortillas into both.  

The unusual platter was rounded off with a unceremonious pile of chunks of radish, an unremarkable salad of root vegetables, and two spicy condiments: a soupy tomato salsa and a salsa verde that started out sweet before switching gears into fiery. 

Our second starter was Asian Eggplant Carpaccio (NIS 39), whose presentation looked quite promising. Alas, however, the roasted eggplant slices were mushy, and the flavors of the classic Asian ingredients failed to meld into anything the palate would recognize as coherent.  

We returned to familiar territory by turning to the hamburger selections, where the Worldwide Burgers (NIS 76) column presented some interesting options. We eventually settled on the Portuguese, a beef burger topped with goose breast, onion rings, lettuce, pesto and peri-peri sauce. The patty was grilled as ordered (medium rare), but the goose breast was actually smoked goose breast, a rather different animal, apparently meant to be a substitute for real bacon.
 Moses Mexican fiesta (credit: GADI OHAD) Moses Mexican fiesta (credit: GADI OHAD)

Unfortunately, everything arrived a bit cold, especially the onion rings and shoestring sweet potato fries; to his credit, the manager acted swiftly to rectify the situation (although the temperature of the onion rings remained defiant) – and the result was a pretty tasty burger, seasoned nicely with the smoky toppings, and complemented by the excellent crunchy sweet potato fries.  

Finally, we ordered (in English) the Chicken on Sweet Potato Cream (NIS 68), which the waitress failed to recognize among the slew of chicken dishes, because on the Hebrew menu it is called pargit (pullet, although actually boneless chicken thigh). This turned out to be the best dish of the meal: nicely marinated tender poultry on a bed of mashed sweet potato, enhanced with black bean salsa and a tamarind BBQ vinaigrette. Altogether, an innovative and satisfying creation.   

It came with a choice of side dish, and I am almost ashamed to admit that I overdid the carbs, ordering the house mashed potatoes – simply because, as I had remembered, Moses does a fine job with its buttery purée.

Disappointment returned with the dessert course, starting with the lack of the usual English menu, which had been classified as outdated and removed from circulation, even though the actual contents were – and remain – quite current. Worse, the only dessert we wanted to order – the crack pie, representing 20% of the total choices – was unavailable. 

The manager insisted on making it up to us by bringing an assortment of all the other desserts, which are the same usual suspects one finds in just about every casual dining restaurant in the city. Our consolation was that the chocolate fondant (NIS 42) – a moist, warm lava cake – was surprisingly better than we had anticipated. 

Not kosher
35 Rothschild Boulevard, Tel Aviv 
Tel. (03) 566-4949
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.