1868: Finally! Fine dining in Jerusalem

10 King David
Rabbanut Jerusalem
reservations recommended

see comments below :

1 comment:

  1. Luckily, Ruth had given me some tips on what was good and what to bypass.
    She told me the house aperitif was yummy that we should definitely order
    this, so I did. It was superb, made from inhouse cherry tomato jam, vanilla
    vodka, lime juice and lychee syrup. I wouldn't have ordered it, had Ruth not
    given me a headsup, since the ingredients sounded so strange. It was just
    divine. I could have sipped that for hours and never tired of that perfect
    meld of subtle flavors.

    Dov had been wanting to try a certain single malt scotch, named Strathisla.
    He decided that now was his chance. This was the kind of place in which they
    were sure to have a well stocked collection of single malts. Sure enough,
    they DID have Strathisla in their bar. Dov thought it more potent than any
    single malt he'd tasted in the past. I thought it had a very clean taste, no
    smoke, with a long finish that seemed to gather heat as time went on.

    We were served a small loaf of whole wheat bread studded with California
    walnuts, served with two dips; olive oil with balsamic vinegar, and a creamy
    onion confit. Both were delicious, but I especially enjoyed the olive oil
    and balsamic vinegar. I dipped the bread into that mixture, then into the
    small saucer of fleur de sel that I was happy to see on the table when we
    arrived. My chef son used to bring me some for my Shabbos table, but had
    lost his source for this delicious, moist salt that comes from Brittany.
    Later on, we had our waitress ask the chef where he bought the salt. He told
    us that he buys it in large, restaurant-sized quantities and he didn't think
    it was available in stores here, though I might try one of the better
    organic food stores. He did offer to sell me a bag for 70 NIS. Dov nixed
    that. Quel bummer...

    The waitress asked if we would care for soft drinks. I ordered soda water,
    thinking I'd be served Schweppes, and ended up with San Pellegrino. I was
    scared these kind of touches were going to drive the bill way up, and hoped
    I could curb my thirst as the meal went on. The San Pellegrino impressed the
    hell out of my palate. I gave Dov a taste. Who'd've thunk water could be so
    delish? This was beyond water.

    We were then served an amuse gueule of eggplant cream in a tiny pastry puff.
    Dov and I are not eggplant fans, but we felt that we must give it a chance.
    It was very smoky. I think that someone who likes eggplant would have really
    enjoyed it. All I can say is that I'm glad it was teensy, because it didn't
    change my mind about that vegetable.

    My appetizer was the most beautiful dish I've ever seen in my life.
    Sandwiched between two portabella mushroom caps was a mixture of chunks of s
    teak tartar, pear chunks and finely chopped, blanched pistachio nuts. This
    was topped with a crown of baby beet leaves, rocket and watercress. Served
    on a white plate, this pagoda-like creation was surrounded by a teensy,
    perfect brunoise of carrot, beet, and turnip, sprinkled with black sesame
    seeds. The appetizer tasted clean and refreshing. It felt just right; not
    heavy or cloying. The plate was so pretty. I remarked to Dov that even the
    aftermath (the plate after consumption of the food) was beautiful.

    We were then served a beet and sage granita, which, though delicious, was
    too peppery to be a proper palate cleanser.

    My main course, as per Ruth's suggestion, was rack of lamb, medium rare. It
    was perfectly cooked, pink as lamb should be. The meat was of a very high
    calibre, not gamey at all, as lamb tends to be, and with a melting texture.
    I closed my eyes at the first taste and commented, "I now understand G-d."

    Dov cracked up.

    Alongside my lamb were two OH MY G-D perfectly cooked, pencil thin asparagus
    tips and two creamy shallots that tasted of wine and fresh thyme. I was not
    as pleased with the other vegetables on my plate: a rolled, rose-shaped
    potato creation that had been brushed with vanilla oil and two carrots cut
    cocotte (oval) style that seemed much too salty even for someone like me who
    LOVES salty food. The carrots had been described as cooked in lamb broth. I
    thought the potatoes seemed dry, the texture somehow off. The taste seemed
    off, too, I thought I could taste margarine.

    All too soon, my lamb was all gone.

    Dov had the striped bass. He said he had never had such delicious fish in
    all his life. Dov loves fish. The fish was served with roasted garlic,
    asparagus, new potatoes and roasted fennel prepared with fresh thyme and
    white wine.

    I tasted the new potatoes and the fennel. The fennel was amazing, and I
    couldn't believe that he was going to leave it on his plate. I chided him
    until he made all gone. The new potatoes were overcooked and mealy to my
    taste. I have always been of the opinion that one can't ruin potatoes (I'm a
    carb addict), but I have to say that the chef clearly does not understand
    his spuds.

    Once again, I followed Ruth's suggestion and ordered the chocolate trio
    which consisted of 2 whiskey truffles rolled in Dutch cocoa, a chocolate and
    chestnut fondant served with a tiny orange tuile, and a very cold mocha
    cream piped between triangles of roasted coffee bean toffee. The waitress
    had asked if she should bring an extra plate so Dov could share. He thought
    he was too full and declined her offer. But guess who couldn't turn down
    chocolate? He couldn't keep his hands off the fondant, and luckily it was in
    a little saucer, thus portable. Dov finally said, "Just give it to me."

    And I did.

    I was struck by how each of the components of my dessert had a different,
    just right temperature, how the textures and flavors had been orchestrated
    just so.

    All in all, I'd say there is a very gifted chef at work in the kitchen. This
    was the best meal I have ever eaten in Israel. I am certain that I would
    never have a kosher meal of this calibre in the States. During the evening,
    I found myself eating as slowly as possible. I felt that the food deserved
    my undivided attention and savor.

    This was a meal the memory of which will keep me happy for a very long time.

    Highly recommended*****
    israel-food yahoogroup


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