Tel Aviv, Israel: Best places to eat - chef Shlomi Palensya's picks

At just 19, he was head pastry chef at the prestigious Raphael restaurant in Tel Aviv before working in luxury hotels and fine dining restaurants including Herods Hotel Tel Aviv and the Ritz-Carlton Herzliya. Now Shlomi Palensya is executive pastry chef at the Park Hyatt Sydney. See hyatt.com

BREAKFAST

One of the most popular breakfast dishes in Israel is the shakshuka, and the best in town can be found at Dr Shakshuka, an institution in the Jaffa Flea Market. Celebrity chef Bino Gabso is the doctor behind this award-winning version. It comprises spicy tomato-based sauce with eggs and fresh bread – truly heavenly. The bold aromas of cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, and nutmeg, and bright colours of locally grown produce will kick start your Tel Aviv experience. If you're a meat lover, ask for the shawarma shakshuka. Quick tip though: resist going overboard on this experience, as there's a lot more food to discover in Tel Aviv. See doctorshakshuka.co.il

SNACK

My favourite place to enjoy a morning coffee or afternoon snack is Boulangerie 96. It's famous for its chocolate crunch pastry, commonly known as babka, but in Israel, we fondly call it "crunch". Pastry chef Eran Shvartzbard puts so much love in each layer of chocolate and crunchy dough. This cafe is one of the best in Tel Aviv. You should definitely try one of the savoury pastries too – actually order one of everything. See facebook.com/boulangerie96/

LUNCH

If you don't head into Hakosem while you're in Tel Aviv, you've missed out. Hakosem means "magician", and they serve the best sabih in town. It's a pita bread filled with fried eggplant, hummus, boiled egg, pickles, fresh salad and heaps of tahini. Thank me later. See falafelhakosem.com

DINNER

At the Tel Aviv port, local farmers sell their produce in a building overlooking the stunning coastline. If you want to try local food, go to the restaurant, Kitchen Market there. Chef Yossi Shitrit is behind the unique Israeli cooking at this place. The tasting menu is the most amazing fusion of old and new of Israeli cuisine. Don't forget to ask for his special cheesecake with dry olives. See kitchen-market.co.il

DESSERT

On a hot day you'll want to have something from Cremerie de l'Eclair. One of my favourite desserts is their combination of ice-cream and a croissant. But the stand out is the Twister – semi-caramelised brioche filled with Oreo cookie cream, vanilla ice-cream and crunchy cookies. (53 King George Street, Tel Aviv)

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