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High St, Northcote boasts a plethora of eateries varying in cuisines, prices and styles. Regardless of what you are after, there is bound to be an option for you there. One Sunday night, when we couldn’t be bothered cooking, we decided to pop down there for a cheap and cheerful meal. To me, cheap and cheerful is that type of meal that is easy on the wallet, without any pretences of starched tablecloths or fancy folded napkins, but doesn’t compromise on taste and instead offers a hearty, home style feed. 

I had seen Tahina mentioned in a few guides, and all of them wrote about the delicious food that was offered. It seemed like exactly the place for us and so we headed there.

Tahina is an Israeli restaurant that serves vegetarian food. The vegetarian aspect is not however highlighted, and it was only when I took a close look at the menu that I realised that no meat dishes were available. The offering is simple. You either choose a pita pocket, or a shakshouka platter. Or if you are like us, you choose one of each and do a swap half way through. Both these options have a few varieties to choose from but the basis remains the same.

For the pita pocket, I chose the sabich. The highlight of the pita pocket was definitely the bread which was fresh and soft. It was filled with eggplant, hard boiled egg, potatoes, Israeli salad, pickled cabbage and brought together with hummus and tahini. The combination of flavours were amazing, in particular the eggplant which was soft and melted in the mouth.

The shakshouka came in a choice of red, green or white. The red is obviously the traditional version in a tomato based sauce, but we decided to be adventurous and have the green version, based on a slow cook of broccoli, zucchini and spinach with avocado and olives thrown in. There was a subtle hint of cumin through the dish giving it a wonderful aroma. The eggs were floating in the sauce, but there was also a vegan version available where they were substituted with eggplant. I imagine this would be equally delicious. The shakshouka was served with a green salad, pickled cabbage, hummus and pita bread. Don’t make the mistake we initially did and try the pickled cabbage by itself, it certainly has an odd flavour, but when combined with all the other elements, it added a wonderful freshness.

Tahina doesn’t bother with fancy service, elegant d├ęcor or a spacious dining area. Instead it focus on the food, and for people like me, it is just perfect. Given how busy it was on the night we visited, I would say there are a lot of people who agree with me.
Tahina Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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