Thursday, September 13, 2012

Jerusalem fish for our first lunch in Israel

It was our first day in Israel sometime last week, living a Travelife, and our group had all flown in that same morning from different parts of the world to meet up and travel together for a couple of days in Israel.

I had taken that expensive 20-minute flight from Amman, Jordan to Tel Aviv, which I've already written about in a previous blog entry -- I started one article in the FT Weekend right after takeoff in Amman, and we were already landing in Tel Aviv before I could finish it.

Meanwhile the rest had taken various flights from Asia, but we'd all planned it so that we were at our hotel by noon. I'd even arrived early enough at the hotel to post a blog entry and to walk down to Jerusalem's shopping district to stock up on my favorite Dead Sea products.

Then at noon, off we went in a van to one of Jerusalem's favorite local restaurants. Very few tourists here and apparently it's a favorite of residents and government bureaucrats nearby.

A starter of an Israeli version of foccacia
It was a very simple restaurant -- few places in Jerusalem are truly on the fancy side -- but here we got our first taste of a proper Israeli lunch.

My absolute favorite healthy Israeli salad.
I had this 3x a day in the Middle East.

We began with the Israeli salad of chopped cucumbers and tomatoes with herbs, olive oil, and lemon. I grew to love this salad so much that I started every meal in Israel with a heaping bowl of this and a bit of hummus on the side -- even for breakfast.

When hummus is freshly made,
it's absolutely to die for.
Everyone eats it with bread, but I have it with green salad.

When I returned to Manila, lots of people commented on my very healthy complexion. If it wasn't all that swimming in the Dead Sea, I'm pretty sure it was having this Israeli salad three times a day that did the trick.

The waitress gave us our choices for lunch of the day afterwards: it was either a grilled chicken breast or a grilled Jerusalem fish -- which is really a tilapia. Of course, this was a no brainer, as far as I was concerned.

We were in Jerusalem after all, so it was definitely the Jerusalem fish for me. Accompanied with lots of hummus and Israeli salad.

The famous Jerusalem fish

So back to the Israeli salad, which I had morning, noon and night. I studiously kept away from rice and bread and basically just had this salad and hummus for breakfast. If there was smoked salmon in the buffet, I topped my salad with this.

I've grown to like this raw breakfast as a start to the day so much that I'm even having it even in this pretty luxurious seaside resort I'm typing this blog entry from, somewhere in Asia.

Yes, I spent last weekend in Manila, arriving in Manila just in time to host the first of three dinners in a row on Friday; and then on Monday morning, after a weekend of two more dinners, I flew out to get a holiday from a holiday.

Extremely decadent, I know, after already seemingly endless travels; but I just couldn't resist the idea of editing articles and writing blog entries by the beach with one of the most beautiful sunsets in the world in front of me.

Britain's Prince William and (the former) Kate Middleton are at this same resort, by the way, living their version of a Travelife.


And, just my luck. This resort has hummus and chopped cucumbers and tomatoes as part of its breakfast offerings. So I'm still officially on detox and I've decided that this is one of the birthday gifts I'm going to give myself -- health, energy and vitality to live a never-ending Travelife for as long as possible.

Good night from somewhere really peaceful, comfortable and enjoyable. But I'll be home soon to catch the gala opening of the King and I at Resorts World. So you might say that we're going from a Prince to a King...

Just another week in our never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.


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