Bar Rafael love of Tel Aviv and her brother

Restaurant zinc

Bar Raefaeli writes about her love of Tel Aviv.

To get away from it all, I go to Tel Aviv, Israel! Since I travel so much, I go home when I need some time off to relax and recharge. Spending time with my family and friends is my favorite thing to do.

My favorite place to stay is My parents’ house. Since I don’t go very often and I’ve been traveling since I was 18, I just like to wake up and have coffee with my family, hang out, and be around them as much as I can.

My ideal travel companions are I often bring friends from around the world. I love showing people my country, and I love to share where I come from and how I grew up. It’s always surprising to hear what people think Israel is like and then see their faces when they arrive. It’s completely different than what people think it is.

When I’m in the mood to paint the town red, I go to  There are a few bars called Otto around Tel Aviv that I love, and a great bar/restaurant called Yasu, which is a Greek tavern. My friends and I go there often.  When I’m in the mood for some retail therapy, I visit … Designer stores on Dizengoff Street, the HaTachana area, and a few really nice malls that have everything.  My favourite travel pastimes are …Books! When I travel on planes, I always read a lot. But at home, I catch up on all the TV shows I missed.  When I’m in the mood for room service, my favourite order is … I go for the healthy choice: fish and rice, or a large salad with tuna fish.  My favourite place to indulge in local cuisine is … My brother’s restaurant, Zinc. They have delicious food! I usually go for their stir-fry vegetables and chicken.

Upon arrival, I most look forward to There are always really good Israeli TV shows that I love. But on my last trip to Israel, I watched two seasons of Game of Thrones in three days.

My favourite best-kept secrets about Israel are My secret beaches! Israel is long and narrow, and the long part of it is mostly on the water. It is hard for me to go to the crowded beaches in Tel Aviv, but I have a few just 30 minutes away that are really private and calm.

To stay in shape, my on-the-go fitness regime is If I don’t have a gym, I usually just give up on the idea. I like to explore when I’m in different countries, so I walk around a lot anyway.

My suitcase must absolutely contain Always a bikini because I never know where I’ll end up. And my collection of basic clothing, because basic clothes are always needed! I love taking pictures on my iPhone wherever I go around the world and sharing them on Twitter and Instagram.

When it comes to luggage, I Always over pack I usually plan a trip for a week that ends up lasting a few weeks!

Upon departing, I am most happy to leave behind Absolutely nothing I love travelling the world. I love new experiences, meeting people, and I love my job. But in my heart there is always a feeling of missing something.

Spicy chicken & veg stir-fry

Spicy chicken & veg stir-fry


  • 400g mixed green vegetables
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 4 skinless chicken breasts, sliced
  • 1 red chilli, desseded and sliced
  • 120g sachet stir-fry oyster sauce (we used Blue Dragon, or make your own (see below)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 25g toasted cashews, or more if you like
  • bunch spring onions, sliced
  1. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil, cook the green vegetables for 2 mins only, then drain.
  2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok, then fry the chicken slices for 4 mins until almost cooked. Add the drained green veg, chilli, stir-fry sauce and soy sauce. Stir-fry briefly to heat everything through and to finish cooking the chicken. Mix in the cashews and spring onions, then serve.



Olly Murs

As Olly Murs tweeted on 22nd  December “Time for Irish beef and Guinness Pie…Me Thinks”

With a Pork Pie hat!

Beef and Guinness Pie brings together two of Ireland’s most famous products, beef and Guinness in a hale and hearty pie. The long-slow cooking of the filling creates not just perfectly tender beef, it also allows the flavor of the Guinness to permeate the meat and the vegetables and produce a thick, luscious sauce.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours


  • 7 oz/200g all purpose/plain flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 oz/ 110g butter, cubed or an equal mix of butter and lard
  • 2-3 tbsp cold water
  • 1 egg, beaten for glaze
  • 1oz/25g all purpose/plain flour
  • 1lb/900g chuck steak cut into 1″/2.5cm cubes
  • ¾ oz/ 20g butter
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots chopped in to 1″/2.5cm cubes
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp tomato puree
  • 17 fl/oz/500 ml Guinness or stout
  • 1½ pints/300ml hot beef stock
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • Salt and ground pepper


Make the pastry

  • Place the flour in a large bowl and season with salt and ground black pepper, add the cubes of meat and toss well in the flour until evenly coated.
  • Heat the butter and oil in a large, heavy-based, flameproof casserole dish until the butter has melted. Add the meat to the fat in small batches and brown quickly all over for just a minute, then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  • Add the onions and carrots to the pan and fry gently for about 2 minutes then return the meat to the pan with the Worcestershire sauce, tomato puree, ale stock and sugar. Grind in plenty of black pepper and a little salt, stir well and bring to the boil. Cover, reduce to a gentle simmer and cook slowly for about 2 hours until the meat is tender and the sauce has thickened and is glossy. Remove from the heat, place into a 2½ pint/1.5 liter deep pie dish and leave to cool completely.
  • Heat the oven to 400F/200C/Gas 6.
  • Roll out the pastry to 1/8″/3mm. Cut a ¾”/2cm strip from the rolled-out pastry. Brush the rim of the pie dish with water and place the pastry strip around the rim, pressing it down. Cut out the remaining pastry about 1″/2.5cm larger than the dish. Sit a pie funnel in the center of the filling; it will support the pastry and stop it from sinking into the filling and becoming soggy.
  • Place the pastry lid over the top and press down to the edge and seal. trim off any excess pastry an crimp the edges with a fork or between your thumb and forefinger. Brush the top with beaten egg and make a hole in the center to reveal the pie funnel. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden.

Or try this PJs pie

PJ’s Steak & Guinness Pie Recipe


2kg diced chuck steak
1 brown onion medium dice
1 teaspoon garlic mince
300ml Guinness
½ litre veal stock
Salt and pepper
1 bunch thyme
50gm flour
30ml olive oil
2 sheets puff pastry


In a thick base saucepan sauté the onions, garlic, thyme and seasoning, and then add diced meat. Lightly brown the meat off then add the flour and stir for 1 minute on a low heat. Add the Guinness and veal stock. Bring the pie mix to a boil and let simmer for approximately 45 min on low heat. Always ensure the meat is covered by the stock and add more stock if needed.

Once the pie mix is ready place into a ceramic pie dish and cover it with puff pastry. The pie is then placed into a preheated moderate oven (180°C) and baked till the pastry is golden brown. Approximately 10 min.

Remove the pie from the oven and serve immediately with mash potato and green peas.

A Few Tips

  • * The pie mix will be ready when the meat starts break apart if pressed
  • * The lower the heat whilst cooking the meat, the more tender the meat will be
  • * Check the dish every 15 min to avoid over-cooking