The trend of authentic Mexican food has dominated the Tel Aviv culinary scene over the past few years. However, now it’s time to make room for representatives from South America – this time from Venezuela. Totumi is a Venezuelan street food restaurant created by Dalia Alhadef, who competed in the TV show Master Chef two years ago. Now he has fulfilled his dream and opened the restaurant he has always wanted in Tel Aviv. Totumi (a species of tree that grows in America) is bringing the Latin Venezuelan kitchen with additional influences from South and Central America.
The main ingredient in many of the dishes coming from the Totuma spicy kitchen is the Arepa, a gluten-free pita bread made of cornmeal, and is one of the cornerstones of Venezuelan kitchens. The owners dreams that all types of palates can come and enjoy this new and exciting food genre that most locals haven’t seen before- “I want everyone to find themselves in my restaurant – first of all, most of the dishes are gluten-free, which both also worried vegetarians, who feel that they want to eat something as well. I want everyone to enjoy here.”
The appetizer menu offers the following – Takinios, which are salty cheese sticks wrapped in dough of wheat flour with passion fruit sauce spicy mango (32 NIS), Casa Limniyah- Peruvian dish consisting of layers of mashed potatoes, shrimp, tomato, egg, avocado and sauce tartar (32 NIS), the Venezuelan empanadas filled with cheese, corn flour / chicken / vegan ( 24-28 NIS), and Katz’afh- corn pancakes stuffed with cheese salted with the addition of sour cream (NIS 31) and more.
The dish we all will be asking for is the beloved Arepas which you can choose to stud with 8 different fillings. Pabelion- beef pepper sauce, tomato and onion with black beans, cheese, salted and Flantiin (38 NIS). Reina Peplada- chicken salad and avocado (36 NIS), Asado Negro – beef marinated vegetables and wine, blackened sugar cane and cooked in cooking long with salty cheese (42 NIS), Los Muchachos- burger Dalia, melted cheese, avocado, tomato and lettuce (47 NIS), Costa- fish fillets coated with quinoa and braised with tomato salad and onion sour, brother spicy and tartar sauce (42 NIS), Kariba -Spicy shrimp served with Indian curry sauce (NIS 44) and more.
Totuma provides the atmosphere to sip on a few cold beers or to sample from various tropical cocktails. There is a respectable assortment of cold beers from Mexico and Argentina, as well as the well-known domestic brands. But the house cocktails looked just too appealing, and the staff recommended trying the Pura Vida: a frozen rum mixture made with pineapple, banana, coconut, ginger and lime. Another rum-based drink we recommend you to try is the Caribbean Ginger Beer: Rum with Totuma’s homemade ginger honey, lime and ginger beer, topped off with a slice of ginger. It was a enjoyable strong drink, perfect for fans of ginger.
Totuma may have the design, experience and prices of a local street food restaurant, but the excellence of the food lines up there with the nearby pricey Dizengoff restaurant.
Address: Dizengoff 265
Hours: Sunday- Monday 12PM-11PM and Friday 12PM-5PM