Manta Ray is the quintessential beachfront restaurant, located on an attractive stretch of beach between Tel Aviv and Jaffa. It has an unpretentious casual atmosphere, tastefully decorated with dark wooden elements and floor to ceiling windows that allow for uninterrupted views of the ocean. Outdoor dining on this restaurant’s long veranda is also possible – just metres away from the ocean, watching the rolling waves becomes part of the experience!
Visiting with my husband, we immediately ordered a cold carafe of white wine to cool down from the heat outside. We were just walking along the beachfront on our way from Tel Aviv to Jaffa – thankfully the friendly chef at our hotel (White Villa) was able to pull some strings to get us into this very popular seafood restaurant.
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Our delicious meal started when we chose from a variety of freshly made salads and dips (mezze) that our waiter brought around on a huge tray. It was rather difficult to choose from a selection where every single plate looked so incredibly delicious – I would have loved to taste every single one! We eventually (after long discussions) settled on the beetroot, zaziki and white bean dishes.
My husband ordered ‘chunks of fillet of grouper on mashed blue sweet potato and shallot flakes’. When it arrived I could not get over how beautiful his dish looked – the colour of the mashed potatoes was just stunning! While I was still going on and on about the lovely presentation, my husband looked up after his first taste commenting ‘would you believe me that it tastes as good as it looks?’ – well, this just said it all!
My choice were the ‘roasted whole calamari (squid), served with chimichurri, cherry tomatoes and feta cheese’ – the perfect light dish on a hot day. The saltiness of the feta and sweetness of the cherry tomatoes together with the chimichurri balanced it beautifully!
We did not stop there and ordered ‘4 leafs of Creme Brûlée, with filo pastry leaf, tangerine dream and lemon zest’ – accompanied by a glass of sweet dessert wine was the perfect ending to an outstanding meal!
We happily continued our walk along the beachfront to the beautiful ancient town of Jaffa that we could see in the distance – post coming up soon!