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HomeFoodA Tel Aviv tapas bar in Brooky: Meet Fuel by Night

A Tel Aviv tapas bar in Brooky: Meet Fuel by Night

There’s almost no need to write this review, I’ve already raved about it to anyone who would listen.  But, in the event you are one of the rare few I’ve failed to accost with my recommendation to try the Israeli feast from Fuel by Night in Brookvale, best you read up and make your plans post haste.

Fuel by Night? Doesn’t sound very Israeli, you might be thinking. Rightly so.  This is one of those venues where the space and aesthetic are nothing much (clean, lovely, functional) but right near a main road and very simple and unassuming. And that’s because by regular trade they function as a café “Fuel”, a popular day time haunt for very good coffee and a decent bite to eat which has been running since 2013.

Fuel by Night is just off Pittwater Road in Brookvale on Chard Road.

But Fuel by Night is a very different creature, a magnificent beast.  A dining experience offering, to my mind, food so good it needn’t impress with location or fancy branding. A foodie’s delight.

What’s on offer?

A carefully curated menu of Israeli-inspired food, best enjoyed as a set menu shared among two or more. It’s just $60 a person and worth every penny.

Created by owners Israel-born owners Shak and Jess including the culinary talents of their chef Liron Mayer, ergo the outstanding sashimi starter dish, this fare is exciting, fresh, high quality and interesting. It’s also incredibly tasty while offering great nutritional variety.   It has it all.

The sashimi starter was a very strong standout dish.

Pushed to find a new way to keep their business afloat during COVID, Jess and Shak decided to open their menu to full Israeli fare on Friday to Sunday evenings only, with the husband-and-wife team splitting between day and night shifts across the three days.

It’s essentially an Israeli/Mediterranean tapas bar.

Jess was a warm and attentive host. “Since COVID and the lack of travel, we love giving the experience of almost stepping inside a Tel Aviv bar, stimulating all senses from food music energy giving an authentic experience,” she explains.

If you book early like we did it’s perfectly suitable for kids too, especially in the outdoor tables, but it does fill up fast after 6.30pm and the music will encourage you to try more from the cocktail menu than planned (for the pregnant lady a mocktail, of course, using local non-alc spirits). Cocktails include gin-based Mona, Whiskey based Yaffa, and Ouzo based Dvora, all $19.

The Mona.

The food

The set menu starts you off with a bagel and mezze, so that’s a few dips, olives and pickles and a choice between sashimi, beetroot and liver.  These aren’t your regular bagels, they are large, fluffy, absolutely divine chewy warm comforting hugs made all the more brilliant by a sensational medley of dips which were real standouts. We had the roasted capsicum Moroccan salad and confit garlic; labneh, tchirshi, pepitas and a hummus mixed with zhug ( a green hot sauce, like verde)  But I cannot stress enough how delicious the bagels are.  You’ll ask for another, we did.

Then? Getting down to business.  Choose from a Turkish kofta (Beef and lamb balls, burnt tomato and onion, shifka (chilli), parsley, cabbage salad, hummus, tahini, zhug), a vegan Jerusalem mix and a chicken shawarma.  We had the kofta which were decidedly flavoursome and worked beautifully with accompanying salads. But I was still fantasising about the tangy citrus on the sashimi I was technically forbidden to eat as a pregnant lass as it was truly exciting food.

The kofta and salads.

Either that or the first piece of raw fish in six months tastes sweetest. Pretty sure it was the former.   Alongside are the salads – OH THE SALADS – we have the crunchy sweet potato tabbouleh, and it was a perfect mix of fresh, starchy, the occasional hit of sweetness from pomegranate, a zing of citrus all dancing happily with the meaty mains.  GOOD. We also had a beetroot dish which was a deep, dark, earthy punch in the face you actually asked for.

Vegan delight: Burnt eggplant cream, roasted beetroot, pine nuts, chèvre

Dessert – cheesecake!  I wanted the apple tart but given my husband’s love of cheesecake I conceded the floor. Husband, a much harder diner to please than I, declared it the best cheesecake he had ever had.   Even the mint tea alongside tasted better than most.  Such is the talent of this team they make mint leaves and hot water taste better than most.

Fuel by Night is a flavour experience for both omnivores and vegans, and while they are definitely happy to have your whole family along, the experience seems ideal for a couple of friends who love to sit and talk about the food they are eating, and other worldly delights.

I will be back, if I can still get a table.

Well worth a visit, bete’avo

Fuel by Night is on Chard Road just off Pittwater Road in Brookvale and currently operates Friday/Saturday/Sunday evenings , bookings are recommended Book Online Now (nowbookit.com) or call 0455 554 828.

Transparency check: This was an independent, genuine review.  Meals were offered free for the purposes of the review and our attendance was not anonymous.