Uri shakes hands with friends in his restaurant.
Located in Northern Israel near the city of Haifa is the small port city of Acre (Akko) which is home to a popular man named Uri Jeremias, also known as Uri Brui. Walking through the Turkish Bazaar with Uri one might assume that he was the mayor of the city as every person he passes stops to greet him. However Uri, who was a fisherman for many years is not the mayor, rather one of the most well liked residents of the city. He also happens to own the best restaurant in the city named after himself, Uri Buri Seafood Restaurant, and in the past few years has also become a popular hotelier opening the Efendi Hotel in 2012. He has been called the best chef in the Mediterranean and Efendi has been called the best luxury hotel.
Uri never had any formal training to become a chef, he just new seafood and what he liked and what was good. He took his knowledge and ran with it and has become extremely successful. While visiting Akko on my recent trip to Israel we got to sit down with him and enjoy a delicious meal at his restaurant.
There are so many good things on the menu that he recommends you do a tasting menu so that you can have a little bit of everything. If you can’t decide what to get, just ask for recommendations and you won’t be disappointed.
Amberjack fish ceviche with olive oil, garlic and onions
We started with a flurry of plates of delicious seafood on the table. So much good food came at one that I didn’t get photos of it all before it was eaten. We also had a bisque and some salads and every single thing was delicious.
Caramelized tilapia with sweet and sour beetroot
One of the reasons that Uri is so successful with his restaurant is because he isn’t afraid to try things. He pairs seafood with fruits and other things that I never would of imagined and does interesting things like putting sorbet on salmon.
Salmon sahimi in soya sauce with a wasabi sorbet
I talked to Uri about this dish, surprised there would be a sorbet on fish and he said to me “Salmon without ice cream is like a kiss without a moustache.” So thats something for you to think about….
This was probably my favourite thing that we had at the Uri Buri Seafood Restaurant. The different tastes and textures, with the crunch and pops of the caviar… I could of eaten a lot of this.
More seafood, at this point I had given up taking notes and was just trying to eat as much as possible. It looks pretty though doesn’t it? Next we got to see Uri himself cooking in the restaurants small kitchen.
I am amazed that that beard of his doesn’t catch on fire when he is cooking.
Topping off the scallops with a seaweed garnish, so delicious.
All washed down with a Malka Beer blonde ale, an Israeli craft beer.
For dessert there was no better thing than having a traditional knafe.
For dessert we also shared a kiwi soup with pomegranate, and a grapefruit sorbet.
This was the kind of meal where you need to be rolled out of the restaurant and/or have a big nap afterwards. It was so fresh and everything was sourced locally from the markets and fisherman that Uri trusts. A unique thing about Acre is that there aren’t even any grocery stores so everyone in the town eats locally sourced foods from the markets, its a great concept and idea.
If you find yourself visiting Israel make sure you visit Acre to see Uri Buri or at the very least stop to enjoy a bite at his restaurant, you won’t regret it.
Special thanks to the Israel Tourism board for having me. As always all opinions, views and full bellies are my own.