Racha restaurant 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
In a city divided among a variety of religions and ethnic groups, dining in
Jerusalem is certainly a fascinating adventure for both the palate and the soul.
In a beautiful old British Mandate period building on Havatzelet Street in the
heart of the city, Racha is a meeting place for the Georgian
Racha is the name of the area in the former Soviet Georgia
where the owners were born and raised. The restaurant is a testament to that
part of the Balkans, from the decor to the authentic Georgian menu. The chefs
themselves are from Racha, and all the food is made from Georgian
From the moment you enter Racha, you know you have entered into
a different world. The owners have thought about every little detail, and the
end result is a real Georgian feel to the place. The ruling design can be
defined as purely eclectic, which creates a magical and mysterious atmosphere.
The food is also mysterious to someone who is not familiar with Georgian
restaurants. So going to Racha is like going on a journey to a faraway place,
but with a very warm and welcoming atmosphere.
In a Georgian home, it is
traditional to start a meal with a large choice of salads and traditional
pastries, so that is what we did. As far as salads go, we were impressed with
the chicken kindzmarauli – strips of chicken breast in a sauce of ground nuts.
Equally delicious was the patrigianni – layers of eggplant with a filling of
nuts and herbs.
Next up were some delicious Georgian pastries served with
tujemali sauce – green plums. Most of these are meat filled, though there is one
Although neither my dining partner nor I are “stew
people,” the prakilobio was recommended, so we tried it. The slow-cooked dish
was composed of lamb and root vegetables. The meat was so soft, it melted in our
mouths. There were green beans and tomatoes, and it was all just bursting with
flavor. If that’s what stew always tasted like, I’d be a stew person. This was
followed by salianka, a Georgian goulash; and khalia, a beef casserole in a
pomegranate and onion sauce. Both were very tasty.
For the less
adventurous, there are options from the grill that include entrecote, chicken
pullet, lamb kebabs and ribs.
The presentation of the dishes throughout
was attractive and almost home style: There was garnish, but Racha didn’t go
overboard with it.
The service was attentive and friendly, and
For dessert, we were treated to delicious homemade cookies
served with traditional tea.
Racha is a family-run business, and you can
kind of feel that in the air. Everyone is friendly and welcoming, and
there’s a low-key vibe. The food is tasty, authentic and therefore very
different from what we usually find in restaurants here. I would recommend this
restaurant to anyone and everyone The writer was a guest of the
6 Havatzelet Street, Jerusalem