(photo credit: Courtesy)
The German Colony has so many restaurants that it has gotten tougher for new
eateries to stand out and find a niche. One admirable way of attracting new
clientele is to keep prices low while offering a wideranging menu of creative
This approach was tried by Joy, which raised its prices after
the restaurant became popular and is now as expensive as its counterparts on
Emek Refaim, Jerusalem’s restaurant row. Even Hamoshava 54, which boasted a menu
with no item higher than NIS 54, now has a list of entrees that cost NIS
Enter Roza, a restaurant that remarkably managed to be successful for
two years on Jaffa Road, despite its seemingly neverending construction. Roza is
not named after a person but rather a song by Yehoram Gaon.
were looking to open a second Jerusalem branch in the German Colony. They heard
that the Coffee Shop chain was looking to leave, they met with the owner of the
space on the corner of Emek Refaim and Rachel Imeinu, and the next day a deal
In a welcome change, Roza did away with Coffee Shop’s
notorious smoking section, whose glass divider never adequately prevented the
smoke from permeating the room.
We went to the restaurant on a cold,
rainy evening. We were immediately impressed by the new décor, modern lighting
fixtures, relaxing music and the muted bluish-gray walls.
The tables are
still a bit too close for comfort, but they are not as tight a squeeze as they
were before. The close proximity has its merits in that you get to see and smell
the fajitas as they are served to your neighbors in a steaming cast-iron pan,
ready to be prepared to their own taste in tortillas with all the fixings (NIS
For appetizers we had what we referred to as a matza/focaccia with
goose liver, mushrooms and a sweet pepper and Dijonnaise sauce drizzled on top.
Other meatzzas include roast beef, lamb sausage, ground beef and
Focaccias are also available in meatless flavors. There is
also a creatively named “hot-tempered” salad of hot peppers, tomatoes and purple
The soups of the day were minestrone and the lentil soup we tried,
which had a standard flavor and was thinner than we expected.
satisfying nevertheless and was a welcome change from the orange-colored soup
that every other restaurant seems to serve.
The main courses range in
price from a reasonable NIS 28 to NIS 44. There is a separate menu of specials
that includes lamb ribs (NIS 82), entrecote, sirloin steak or filet of beef
medallions (NIS 88), the chef's cut (NIS 45), Denis fish (NIS 78), a veal skewer
(NIS 35) and ceviche (NIS 42).
For NIS 48 we had kebab on a bed of
eggplant with Arab salad and fried onions (like fancy onion rings). This dish
was delicious, even for people who don’t generally like eggplant. The meat was
rare and juicy. We savored every bite.
Our steaks were served
artistically on a bed of mashed potatoes. The steak was very tender and came
with a wine and caramelized onion sauce on the side. For purists who don’t like
the taste of their meat masked by sauce, this was a welcome gesture. The mashed
potatoes, unfortunately, had vegetables mixed in, which although creative,
Our desserts were served with real English Tetley tea. We
had trouble deciding but finally sampled the warm apple pie, the chocolate
skewer and the vanillastrawberry coconut roll (29 each).
We wished we had
room in our stomachs to finish them all.
Roza’s owners want to open
another branch in Jerusalem soon and then spread to Tel Aviv and elsewhere in
the country. If they succeed in the German Colony, then their future will indeed
look Rozy.The writers were guests of the restaurant.
Rachel Imeinu 2, (02) 563-8000