Jerusalem was once known to be a culinary desert, but that reputation changed as people moved to the state from all around the world, they enriched Jerusalem with cultural influences from their adopted homelands. This has given Jerusalem an amazing mix of food, one that can be witnessed at the Machane Yehuda Market from cheap street food,
to more expensive restaurants
sometimes next to an egg seller 😉
There is an ever-increasing list of television shows promoting the great mix of food in Jerusalem.
The first night I was free I decided to try local food, but which one?
Hmm… seems expensive…
Don’t think I can afford that…
Wait, where are the locals?
Oh there are set meal discounts, this I can afford!
So I dropped into the Shipudei Hatvika for my first bite of Arabic/Israeli food. The waiter looked at me and smiled, I asked for an English menu, he smiled again and walked away, he didn’t return…
“Go evening sir, do you need a menu?” Came a voice from the other side of the restaurant “Yes… that would be great, thanks.”
I got my menu and looked at the dishes I was only presented with three set menu options, I picked the cheapest and asked for the least, because I didn’t think I could eat a lot. “Actually can you just give me the kebab and hummus…”
“No sir, I give you everything…”
And then it came.
Is this the appetizer, I looked up at the waiter and asked? The same waiter who walked away earlier looked at me and smiled, signalling he didn’t speak English.
But I didn’t have to wait long to find out, because next came the starter and the main course.
How does someone eat all this and not get fat!
But seriously though, the food was really good!
The next time I had a chance to eat out, it was the Sabbath weekend and all the kosher and jewish stores nearby were closed. Even the shops that I googled were closed 😦
So I tried the stores that were open, from coffee at a French-style Pattiserie called Kadosh,
to pizza’s at the best place for a pizza – P2,
and finally, to the most authentic (and only) Chinese restaurant in town (aptly named, Mandarin).
Guess the most expensive meal (hint: the cheapest one was also the most filling one) 😉
But I wanted more local food. Local food such as falafel,
shkedei marak with chicken soup
oh, and Bamba, a peanut-butter flavoured snack – the most popular snack in Israel (25% of all snack sales).
But good food doesn’t have to be found in the restaurants, a much much cheaper dinner can be had from things sold in the market.
These two hummus’ and 10 freshly baked pita breads set me back 17 NIS (4.20 Euro), whats not to like about that!
Which would you try?