We spent our first afternoon in Jerusalem winding through the petite streets of Mount Zion. I had skipped a proper lunch that day to nibble at the city’s bustling Mahane Yehuda Market and was ready to indulge in a fine feast as we marched to dinner.
Long a favourite non-kosher option, in 2013 Adom Restaurant moved from its cozy, atmospheric downtown site to a new, upscale designer location in the renovated Ottoman-era First Train Station. The original train station officially opened on September 26, 1892 as a gateway for travellers looking to make the trek from Jafffa (Tel Aviv) to the Holy City. Before the train link was built the adventure would take an average of 10 hours on camels or donkey-drawn wagons. With the launch of the new rail route the commute was chopped down to three hours. No wonder large crowds welcomed the first passengers here with an enthusiastic grand ceremony!
Our host leads us into the restaurant and I march past breezy patio into a spacious dining room featuring sky high ceilings with walls wrapped in stacked wine bottles and bar that twinkles via overhead chandelier which appears like a gently opened Spring flower. As we pursued the menu I chirped, “The place is packed and clearly trendy! I love the ambiance and it’s a marvel that one can hear moody background music but don’t have to scream across the table to have an intimate conversation.”
Over the course of the next hour I sipped through a glass of oaky Golan Heights Chardonnay as we whisked our way through wee bowls which had been plopped across the table. The simple rocket and endive salad offered a light launch into a rich choir featuring chicken liver pate, crab ravioli with roquefort mousse, sautéed sweetbreads and assorted offal with fennel.
We each ordered our own entrees but forks made their way across the table in order for us all to taste test. Mijune’s Black Risotto bowl was a winner featuring assorted seafood, red curry sauce and leafy coriander. I lucked out by ordering the restaurants signature gnocchi, each spoonful a decadence. Crisp pillows of dough muddled with rich cream, umami forward crimini and woodsy chestnut.
And the dessert’s certainly impressed, with best in show being awarded to the simply titled Tahini Ice Cream. Upon closer inspection the dishes textural and flavour contrasts offered a welcome and delightful finale featuring a true taste of place: tahini ice cream, date honey, raw tahini sauce, pistachio ice cream, crispy sesame tuille and micro herbs.
Golan Heights Chardonnay Katzrin Israel
Rocket and Endive Salad
seasonal fruit, caramelized pecans, blue cheese
Chicken Liver Pate
toast, cherry tomato jam
vongoli clams, sage butter, roquefort mousse
artichoke, cherry tomato, garlic and cauliflower puree
Assorted Offal and Fennel Confit
olive oil, parsley, raw tahini, hot chilli
seafood in red curry sauce topped with coriander
smoked wheat stew
red wine sauce, smoked goose breast
Beef Fillet Medallions and Bone Marrow
red wine sauce, pears and ginger, mashed potato
chestnuts, porcini, cream
Tahini Ice Cream
Nougat and White Chocolate Mousse