Monday, December 27, 2004

New meating place in Jerusalem

The Jerusalem restaraunt scene is one that I think that I know fairly well but would like to be able to afford to know even better! As it is with a new wife and new mortgage, things have got pretty expensive all of a sudden and I can't really go out as much as I used to if I want to stay friends with my bank manager.

Knowing that for many Israelis, the overdraft is a way of life, I'm always happy to recommend a decent and not overly expensive restaraunt when I find one and, having just enjoyed my second trip (the first was on a visitor's account) to the recently opened Limonim, I am very happy to report that it certainly fits the bill.

Situated in the Khan Theatre, next to the old train station as King David Street splits into Derech Hebron and Emek Refaim, the word seems to have spread about Limonim exceedingly quickly. From almost empty immediately after opening, we were lucky to be squeezed in when we turned up without a reservation.

The reasons for such success are simple - firstly the atmosphere of the place - it's well presented, very funky, with music that is loud enough for ambience but toned down enough so as not to overpower conversation. There is a feeling of space that other similar places lack and materials have been used well. It does not feel very Jerusalem-like and could easily fit into any cosmopolitan setting. Secondly, the service was superb. The staff do not appear to be chosen on the basis of how blond they are or how well they fill out a tummy top but rather on the basis that they know how to provide good, attentive service - as it should be.

All this would be fairly pointless however, were it not for the fact that their is a extensive and interesting menu. I had trouble choosing between the many delicious sounding items on a menu which is similar to that of Joy or Olive in many respects; hearty soups, salads with meat, chicken wings, oriental noodles, steak, salmon.

Our party of four opted to skip a starter this time, but on my previous visit we went for a shared starter - a choice of 8 delicious dishes out of a total of 16 to nibble on which are delicious without ruining you appetite and also economical at NIS 52.

I tucked into mullard breast in a pear sauce whilst my wife went for chicken livers in red wine. Our friends went for the beef noodles and chicken wings in spicy mango sauce. All dishes (other than the noodles) were served with a choice of chips or herbed potatoes and vegetables and all were delicious. The ladies needed help to finish off their large portions and we duly obliged. On a previous visit I had steak which was also excellent. The bill after a 15% discount (a card picked up from Superdeal) came to a touch over NIS 200 with drinks which is about as cheap as you'll find for 4 diners at a decent place in Jerusalem. The regular Eluna discount is 10%.

Call for reservations - (02) 671-9602.



Dark Horse said...

Beautifully written. You seriously need to consider giving up your Day Job and becoming a restaurant critic. There's a definite niche for you: that idiot in Ha'aretz only patronises minimalists haunts in Gush Dan serving Calamari Ice Cream.

Jack's Shack said...

Ok, you have my mouth watering. I am on the phone with El-Al and will be on the next plane. Ok, so maybe I will not be moving that quickly, but I hope to soon.

It sounds delightful.