A true lockdown survival story, Golda finally and fully launches.
Having briefly opened in June 2020, Golda (162–164 Commercial Rd, Prahran) had only a few days of trading before having to close again. Now with Melbourne reawakened, Golda has reopened its doors permanently with a new à la carte menu celebrating the vast and exciting culinary influences of chef Rotem Papo’s native Israel.
Restaurateur Adam Faigen’s vision for a restaurant that truly spoke to his own heritage was realised after a serendipitous meeting with Chef Rotem Papo, with whom he shared a similar cultural background.
In Tel Aviv, Rotem worked at Catit, one of the most celebrated restaurants in the country working under internationally acclaimed chef Meir Adoni. It was here that Rotem developed his skilful attention to detail, deep understanding of flavour and a respect for produce and provenance. A drive to explore brought Rotem to Australia a decade ago and he has since worked as head chef of notable restaurants including L’Hôtel Gitan and Bar Lourinhã. A desire to express his own culinary heritage and the timely introduction to Adam Faigen resulted in Golda.
Located opposite Prahran Market, Golda is an embodiment of modern Israeli cooking with its myriad different influences. Similar to Australian cuisine, which combines many cultural influences, Israeli food is an amalgamation of flavours and dishes from North Africa, the Middle East, the Mediterranean and beyond.
Golda’s new menu is designed for sharing. Signature house-made hummus is an elevated take on the staple and served with smoked paprika oil, to be eaten with wood-fired Iraqi laffa bread. Mezze dishes include rockling samboosak, a filled pastry served with fermented chilli and cucumber yoghurt; kashkaval & spinach cigar with olives and black chilli; finely shaved kohlrabi skewer al ha’esh with preserved navel oranges and pine nuts; and Israeli beef carpaccio with black tahini, Lebanese cucumber and date molasses.
Larger dishes include wild barramundi with chickpeas, spinach, amba and coconut sauce; brisket ‘Reuben’ style with house-made sauerkraut, Goldstar beer and pickled chillies; and charcoal grilled savoy cabbage with labneh, ruby grapefruit and toasted almonds. Desserts are full of nostalgic Israeli flavours with chocolate & Bamba referencing the country’s national peanut snack through chocolate mousse and peanut parfait.
Golda’s wine list echoes the multicultural sentiment of the menu, ranging from local drops to bottles from France, Lebanon, Morocco, Hungary, and of course, Israel. Cocktails have been developed with modern Israeli flavours in mind with house-developed options such as Bloody Miri (za’atar-infused vodka, tomato consommé, fermented zhug); Pomegroni (Four Pillars Shiraz Gin, sweet vermouth, Campari, pomegranate liqueur); and Shlomi’s Margarita (Reposado tequila, orange liquor, sumac syrup).
Brunch is also available at Golda, perfect for long lazy weekend mornings. The Israeli breakfast is true to the Tel Avivian style – eggs your way, served typically with a selection of small dishes that include Israeli salad, labneh, marinated olives, tahini, harissa, tuna salad and granola with yoghurt. Also featured is shakshuka (Rotem’s family recipe) with spiced capsicum & tomato sauce served with tahini, Israeli salad and bread; and challah French toast with an orange reduction, cinnamon chantilly and seasonal fruit.