Inside the Mendeli Street Hotel, the kitchen of Mashya is filled with the spicy aroma of mace, the local spice that the restaurant is named for and which inspired chef Yossi Shitrit's reinvented traditional cuisine. Mashya is a restaurant with a focus on design, whose bright, clean look is trimmed with the rough and rugged textures of locally-sourced natural materials, helping it blend with the spirit of the nearby outdoor market.
A visit to Mashya lets you experience the authentic joys of local life, down to every "Mineral, metal, earth and sand and stone," to quote from Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni's 1997 novel, Mistress of Spices. Worthy to serve as a muse for an exclusive gourmet restaurant, the Mistress of Spices knows "their origins, and what their colors signify, and their smells."
At Mashya, the emphasis is on freshness, and on combining the highest quality ingredients with the most advanced, sophisticated cooking techniques. With soft lighting, specially designed ceramic and metal tableware, and lush vines that drape the restaurant's walls, you are in the perfect environment for experiencing the gastronomical adventures that the Mashya has in store.
From the farmers׳ stalls crowding Tel Aviv port, through the vibrant, bustling city center, all the way to the stores of antique dealers in Jaffa׳s flea market, the Sucré Group presents three landmarks for gourmet cuisine and nightlife on the Tel Aviv-Jaffa map - Kitchen Market, Mashya, and Onza. Each of these restaurants has its own unique flavors, pace, and atmosphere, but all three are the creations of a professional team that attends to every last detail in order to deliver the perfect experience and, as the Group׳s name suggests, leave you with a sweet taste after each visit. “Somewhere between the Kitchen Market, which is like our mother, and Mashya, our pride and joy, and Onza - our crazy little sister - we׳ve raised a family that we are very pleased to lead,” say Asaf Lees and Alon Friedman. They head the Sucré Group alongside Chef Yossi Shitrit , who is responsible for the culinary side, and Avi Masri, manager of the MGA Trade company, which imports and markets utensils for restaurants and hotels.
Asaf Lees (38), a avid skier, slid right into the restaurant business 19 years ago, opening and managing the Herbert Samuel restaurant, and then managing Toto. Today, he is in charge of the Sucré Group’s creative materials, concepts & overall branding. “My role is the direct result of a short attention span,” Asaf laughs. “I hop from event production to menu design to creating a musical concept, and enjoy handling all the creative aspects of the restaurant.”
Alon (32) is responsible for managing the three restaurants. He is addicted to numbers, and his job combines the experience he gained at the Agadir and Toto restaurants with his work in digital ventures and stockbroking from the age of 26, and the knowledge he is currently gaining as a student of business administration, accounting, and information systems management. “When I׳m sitting in a restaurant, the most important thing for me is the relaxed, elegant experience, the joyful energy that begins when the waiter appears, and comes from the design, the music, and the quality of the entire restaurant experience,” Alon says. “That’s the experience we want to bring to the Sucré restaurants.” Alon knew Asaf from when he was running the bar at Toto, and together they entered into partnership with Shitrit and Avi Masri, one of Toto’s suppliers, who turned out to be one of Asaf׳s childhood friends.
Together, they are the youngest group in the fine dining field, and are looking to create and expand even more in the future. They have especially fond memories of hosting such renowned, talented chefs as Stéphane Froidevaux, Vicky Jones, and Erez Komarovsky, who collaborated with Chef Yossi Shitrit and took Kitchen Market׳s cuisine to a whole new level, and also of Mashya׳s construction - a lengthy, meticulous creative work they compare to the birth of a child. “But our best memories,” says Asaf, “come from the positive reactions of our customers, who return again and again to enjoy our complete experience, and leave every time with huge smiles on their faces.”
Chef Yossi Shitrit has been living and breathing his culinary dreams for more than two decades, including running the kitchen in his first restaurant, the fondly-remembered Violet, located in Moshav Udim. Shitrit's creativity and culinary acumen born of long experience are expressed in the every detail of each and every dish. They are what have enabled Shitrit to create Kitchen Market's unique and innovative menu, with delightful flavors and stunning presentation that make it stand out on the cutting-edge culinary scene.