On a cool afternoon in mid-April, Israeli chefs Yair Yosefi and Omer Ben-Gal, co-founders of Brut Wine Bar in Tel Aviv, examine a shipment of fresh silver-skinned sawara (Spanish mackerel) from Tottori Prefecture in a tiny kitchen on Cat Street — in the middle of Tokyo's bustling Harajuku neighborhood.

Despite the unfamiliar surroundings, the two seem perfectly at home. Six months ago the site was a mere skeleton, but Yosefi and his team have transformed it into a charming and welcoming space to host Brut Wine Bar's series of pop-up dinners and wine tastings from April 15 to 24.

He and Ben-Gal will use the mackerel to prepare their signature dish, fish b'Siniyah, a modern take on the Israeli tradition of cooking with sesame-based tahini sauce. For their Tokyo debut, the chefs had spent months experimenting with Japanese goma (sesame) paste to approximate the flavor and texture of tahini — trying, as Yosefi says, "to understand sesame culture in Japan" — to use local Japanese ingredients to "bring the language of our cuisine" and introduce Mediterranean flavors to Tokyo.