A dish at Anjelica restaurant .
(photo credit: DOR COHEN)
When a restaurant survives to celebrate its 10th anniversary, it’s either a sign of an excellent reputation due to the sustained high quality of the food and service or it has a great location. The Jerusalem chef’s restaurant Angelica has it all.
Tucked away on quiet Washington Street around the corner from the YMCA after spending its first five years on Schatz Street, Angelica has become a magnet for the well-heeled tourists vacationing at one of the swanky King David Street hotels, as well as Jerusalemites out for a splurge.
On a recent chilly night, the venue was packed with diners, many of them English speakers, but the spacious, elegantly designed interior and soft lighting provided a sense of privacy and privilege.
In honor of its first decade, the kosher restaurant, under the direction of chef Marcus Gershkowitz, has introduced some new items to its diverse menu, created by the head of its kitchen, Yonatan Sherbit. He says that he has tried to incorporate elements of Italian and Indian cuisine into the meat-heavy selections.
After we enjoyed a basket of delicious, nutty bread and tangy dips of creamy eggplant, aioli and dried tomatoes, Sherbit presented us with a tasting menu of his favorite items.
The soup of the day, Jerusalem artichoke soup with a touch of truffle oil (NIS 48), was thick and flavorful but not too heavy on the seasonings.
Among the starters served for sampling was Pani Puri (NIS 58), a very thin, crispy dough resembling a dumpling, which held a filling of cold tartare made of salmon and tuna, accompanied by wasabi aioli and beet caviar. The fusion of the Middle East and Far East was a blessing for the taste buds.
The sirloin tataki starter (NIS 74) was just as successful – a base of sweet Thai eggplant topped by a slice of medium rare sirloin, accompanied by crispy tapioca, Jerusalem artichoke chips and creamed carrots. The latter items were merely oddities, compared to the sublime combination of the eggplant sauce and the sirloin. It’s one of those dishes that you can’t resist using another piece of bread with which to soak up the remains.
The fish kibbeh nayyeh (NIS 58) consisted of a kubbe ball filled with sea bream tartare mixed with herbs and asparagus and coconut cream. On the spicy side, it was another tantalizing combination of tastes and styles.
For the final starter, a refreshingly tangy goose leg salad (NIS 58) was presented, featuring a smattering of tender slices of fillet on top of green papaya, cucumber, peanuts and mirin sauce.
From the main courses, Sherbit chose to offer us the salmon fillet (NIS 122) that had been prepared in a sous-vide method, vacuum-sealed in a plastic pouch. Sitting on a bed of Wakame seaweed, it was incredibly melt-in-your-mouth moist and delicious.
Lastly was the goose breast (NIS 144), served with creamy mashed potatoes, cherry sauce and carrot cream. Goose can be an acquired taste and texture, but for those who love it, the Angelica version was fine – juicy and thick.
The next time we go, we’ll make room for signature dishes like the grilled beef fillet (NIS 168) with polenta, bok choy, chestnuts and glazed shallots or the 200 gr. sirloin with artichoke cream, glazed carrots, shallots, bok choy and red wine sauce.
The parve desserts were more than acceptable – a creation based on the Magnum ice cream bar, with a chocolate covering and a pistachio mousse/ice cream filling; and a brownie mousse cake.
Angelica has three dining areas: the central one; an upper level; and a private, glassed-in room that can accommodate up to 16 diners. If the restaurant keeps on adding innovative items to its menu like its 10th anniversary fare, the fine dining establishment may well be celebrating its 20th anniversary in another decade.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.
Angelica Kosher 4 Washington Street, Jerusalem Tel: (02) 623-0056
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