Fast and fastidious

Even if the service were not as quick as it is at the Masaryk kosher restaurant, the food would still be well worth waiting for.

By JASON TAITZ
December 3, 2010 14:22
2 minute read.
The Masaryk Restaurant in Jerusalem.

masaryk restaurant_521. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Walking into the Masaryk kosher dairy restaurant on Jerusalem’s Emek Refaim street, I was determined to try to find fault with the restaurant where justified. But try as I might, this proved to be a difficult task. The croutons on a salad were a little too large and for some palates not quite crispy enough. My main course was perhaps floating around the average mark. The decor could do with some improvement. But overall, my dining experience at Masaryk was overwhelmingly positive.

While waiting for our starter to arrive, our ever-attentive waitress brought us some hot bread and butter. My friend ordered a Carlsberg beer (NIS 23) on tap, while I stuck with tap water to start with. The cold water was in an elegant wine bottle, which made a nice change from the flower vases found in other establishments. I was most impressed with my avocado- and tomatotopped bruschetta (NIS 34), impeccably presented in a star-like formation, with a tasty mini-salad at the center. The bruschetta had precisely the right level of crispness, while the toppings provided a scrumptious complement to the bread. My friend’s mushroom starter (NIS 44) was similarly artfully decorated, as well as delicious, doused in a sweet and creamy sauce with a good blend of flavors. The portions were substantial, though not excessive; the service, fast.

My friend and I shared a tortellini dish with Kashkaval cheese, a special of the day, which was served in a divinely creamy sauce and resulted in a delightfully cheesy after-taste. The Caesar salad (NIS 49) was both tasty and wonderfully presented, though with the aforementioned crouton deficiency caveat. Like the other salads, it was accompanied by a light drizzling of sauce.

My friend’s main course of salmon filet (NIS 89) was tender and succulent, with a good accompaniment of vegetables and near-perfect presentation. My Roquefort ravioli (NIS 59) was, in contrast to the high bar set by the appetizers and salmon, disappointingly ordinary.

Dessert consisted of a waffle with ice cream (NIS 31), a special of the day, which was about as good as waffles can be. My chocolate milkshake (NIS 32) was delectable, with tiny chocolate flakes floating in the delicious concoction. It was quite possibly the best milkshake I have ever had.

The restaurant has been at the same location and under the same ownership for 15 years. Most customers come from the local area and treat it as part of the community, according to one of the managing partners, Momo Mor. He told us that its distinction lies in being a “small homestyle restaurant” and in paying attention to “the details.”

All dishes are made from scratch on the premises, and only the finest ingredients are used (no farmed salmon here). For me, a very impressive feature of Masaryk, and an example of its fastidious attention to detail, is the impeccable English spelling on its (very clean) menu.

Masaryk is definitely worth a visit. It’s not just reviewers who enjoy its unusual affability. The French girls at the adjacent table had a bottle of wine sent over to them by Momo. “They looked like they were having such a good time, and I wanted them to enjoy their meal even more,” he said.

Absolutely my kind of restaurant.

The writer was a guest of the restaurant.

Masaryk, Kosher, 31 Emek Refaim, Jerusalem (02) 563-6418, Sun.-Thur. 8:15 a.m. until midnight.


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