While the beach has always been an essential facet of Tel Aviv life, fine dining opportunities by the sand of the Mediterranean coast have rarely been offered. The Manta Ray, a locally revered seafood cuisine institution, has proudly stood as the sole exception for over a decade. Launched by culinary entrepreneurial couple Ofra and Avi Ganor, the restaurant has become a permanent part of the landscape, to the point of having its surrounding beach unofficially rename by the locals ‘Manta Ray Beach’. The restaurant literally sits upon the sand, enjoying the salty aroma of waves breaking upon the rocks nearby, and the pristine view of the Jaffa walls to the south.
Expect a creative seafood-centered menu offering personal takes on the Mediterranean kitchen. The mullet ceviche, a permanent fixture in the menu and widely regarded as the kitchens trademark dish, represents this unique blend of traditional and eclectic. The mullet, a popular local fish, is prepared with red onions and lemon, as well as sumac- a tangy, purple spice popular in the traditional Arab kitchen.
The restaurant is regarded as one of the country’s leading establishments, and the price fits the reputation. Reservations are strongly recommended for dinner-time, while lunches will often be easier to accommodate. The restaurant also offers a breakfast menu, yet thus far it lacks the originality to generate a following.