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First open-fire restaurant in Israel debuts in Tel Aviv

The gala opening of "Flame" was attended by the ambassadors of Japan, Kenya, Argentina, France and the European Union.

From left: The ambassadors of Kenya, European Union, France, Japan and Argentina attend the invitation-only opening of "Flame" in Tel Aviv, Aug. 8, 2023. Credit: Yuri Skvirski.
From left: The ambassadors of Kenya, European Union, France, Japan and Argentina attend the invitation-only opening of "Flame" in Tel Aviv, Aug. 8, 2023. Credit: Yuri Skvirski.

Israel’s first open-fire restaurant opened its doors at the Carlton Tel Aviv last week, to a sizzling reception.

The newest addition to the suave culinary scene that is Tel Aviv is aptly called “Flame” and is certified Kosher.

Overlooking the shorelines of the Mediterranean on the second floor of the hotel, the decidedly meat-oriented restaurant’s delicacies are cooked over an open flame and celebrate traditions from around the world. 

“I really enjoy Israeli food because what is happening in modern times, people are copying a lot of the best dishes in other countries, so there is a lot of Israeli food that is typical of Kenyan food. Especially the Mediterranean diet,” Kenyan ambassador Samuel Thuita said at an invitation-only VIP opening night.

“I love Israeli cuisine, with lots of Arab flavors and also your own flavors, but mixed in with Europe and some other places,” said Japanese ambassador to Israel Mizushima Koichi. “It’s a very creative and innovative cuisine.”

In recent years, the utilization of open-flame kitchens has become a leading trend across Michelin-starred restaurants and the esteemed 50 Best Restaurants list, embracing both the ancient and the innovative.

Flame’s open kitchen showcases the use of both a Spanish iron oven fueled by oak charcoal and live fire, and a traditional Argentine charcoal grill, working with varying heights and distances from the flames to achieve short or long roasts and masterfully extract deep and unique flavors from the ingredients.

“We are introducing Israel to the world’s first open-flame restaurant, one of the few of its kind globally,” said Alon Aharonovitch, who owns the restaurant.Fire has always been and will always be the primal center around which we gather, and its flavor remains the most exciting encounter for our palate.”

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