Station 9 serves mouthwatering Asian cuisine – food review

I’m always torn when trying to choose a restaurant. Do I go somewhere where I know and like the atmosphere and the food, or do I roll the dice and try a new place? One restaurant I keep coming back to is Station 9, an Asian fusion restaurant in the […]

I’m always torn when trying to choose a restaurant. Do I go somewhere where I know and like the atmosphere and the food, or do I roll the dice and try a new place?

One restaurant I keep coming back to is Station 9, an Asian fusion restaurant in the First Station.

During the pandemic, when it was closed, the owners redesigned the restaurant, making a modern space even more attractive. The menu, which has both Vietnamese and Thai dishes, has been tweaked, and there are several new dishes.

I visited Station 9 on a Thursday night with two of my sons after returning from a monthlong trip to Hawaii to visit my third son. (Believe me, I’m not complaining!) When we arrived at 8 p.m., the restaurant was crowded, and it got more crowded as the night wore on. While we waited to be seated, a man approached the hostess and asked for a table for that evening.

“We’re completely full,” she told him, although I did see him seated when we left.

The Israeli pop music was loud, but it somehow made the evening feel like we were at a party. There was a nice range of diners – from a table of four older women who left soon after we arrived, to a large party celebrating something in the back of the restaurant, to several double dates.

Probably because it was so crowded, the service was a bit slow. Manager Ziv Krief and the other staff worked hard, but we had to ask for our drinks (hot sake) at least three times.

Krief described the concept of the restaurant as a “mizlala Asiati,” which I think can best be translated as an “Asian pig-out.” Don’t worry, the restaurant is kosher, of course.

Krief said they encourage diners to share the dishes so they can taste as many different things as possible. The revamped menu is divided into Appetizers, In-Between Courses, Wok Dishes, and Main Courses and Soups. As I usually do, I asked the chef to choose my meal, with just one caveat. As we were looking at the menu, a waiter passed by with a plate of tori gyoza (NIS 52) homemade stuffed spring chicken dumplings in a ponzu sauce, so I asked for that to start our meal.

My boys, who were very hungry, pounced on the gyoza and pronounced them delicious. I managed to get one before they disappeared, and I agreed.

Next came one of the first courses, the Sea Mosaic (NIS 62), which Krief said changes according to which fish the chef decides to use. The dish was cubes of raw sea bass with melon and vegetables on an aioli sauce. It was a unique dish and very tasty.

There was also a lovely salad called Fuan Kaw (NIS 48) with cucumbers, basil, coriander, radishes and peanuts.

The meal so far prompted my younger son Mishy, 17, to remark that “the food is even better than I remembered. The dishes have a light elegant flavor palette.”

(I promise this is an exact quote, as I wrote it down immediately! Spoken like the child of a food critic!)

After the fish and salad course, a waitress came and wiped down the table, which was a nice touch.

Then came probably the best dish of the night – Taki Kumi (NIS 140), thinly sliced hangar steak that was cooked just under medium rare. It came with a hot iron casting pan that had been rubbed with goose fat. I’m a big fan of interactive dining, and here you take a slice of meat, cook it briefly on the pan, then dip it into a sauce. Again, as I was with my two sons, this dish disappeared quickly.

The last dish we tried was the Short Ribs in Japanese Barbecue Sauce (NIS 128), which made me feel a little like Fred Flintstone. The meat on the huge rib was very tender, although fatty, as this cut always is. The sauce was delicious.

For dessert we shared a lychee malabi that was not too sweet and a delicious chocolate mousse.

Station 9

First Station, Jerusalem. Phone: 072-212-5152

Sunday-Wednesday, 12 p.m.-11:30 p.m.; Thursday, until 1 a.m.; Saturday night, opens one hour after Shabbat

Kashrut: Jerusalem Rabbinate (all of the fish and meat is mehadrin)

The writer was a guest of the restaurant.

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