Kosher wagyu beef? Yes, please

Since Segev Burger opened in our neighborhood in Talpiot about two years ago, my family have been faithful customers.

kosher wagyu (photo credit: Courtesy)
kosher wagyu
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Since Segev Burger opened in our neighborhood in Talpiot about two years ago, my family have been faithful customers.
Located next to the upscale Segev butcher shop, you know the meat is always fresh because the burgers are made fresh every day. It’s also a great deal: for NIS 53 you get a large hamburger on a giant bun, fries and a beer. It’s usually enough to fill up even my perpetually hungry and growing teenage sons. I usually only eat half the bun, and I’m still full!
If you’re feeling flush, go for one of the special burgers. My favorite is the “Pampering Segev,” with onion jam and goose liver for NIS 69. There is also the “Nervous Segev,” with merguez sausages and a fried egg for NIS 55, and the “Smoked Segev,” with smoked goose breast and a fried egg for NIS 55. Fries and a drink will cost another NIS 20. They have also started serving the “Beyond Burger” for NIS 50, although strict vegans should check if they are grilled on a separate surface.
Recently, Segev has started serving meat platters on a big wooden board for NIS 180 per person. I came with my perpetually hungry 18-year-old foodie son, and we polished off close to a kilo of meat. The meat came straight from the butcher shop next door and was served on a large wooden platter.
I like these platters because it’s like getting a tasting menu. There were delicious lamb chops, strips of entrecote, juicy kebabs, perfectly cooked sinta (meat from the hindquarters), and the start of the show for me, filet mignon with a nice-sized piece of goose liver on top. The only less-than-perfect dish was a tomato stuffed with ground beef that was slightly undercooked.
The platter comes with a mixture of regular and sweet potato fries, as well as a green salad with home-made tortilla chips. When I asked if the fries were frozen or made fresh, Nissim Segev, the owner of both the butcher shop and the restaurant, said he had tried both and his customers preferred the frozen fries, which are imported from Holland.
If you don’t want to order the whole platter, you can order a steak by weight. Both the entrecote and sirloin are NIS 40 for 100 grams, while the filet mignon is NIS 45, and the prime rib is NIS 49.
I also found out the secret of why Segev’s burgers are so delicious. They are the only purveyors of kosher wagyu beef in Israel. The cows are imported from Australia, and grown to full-size on the Golan Heights. They are allowed to graze freely, and given top-quality food.
The meat is aged in a special refrigerator in the butcher shop, and is sold by weight to upscale customers. Wagyu beef is very fatty, and Nissim said that all of the fat from the beef goes into the burgers. So you may have tasted wagyu beef without knowing it!
Nissim said he sold out over the recent Jewish holidays, and the next round of meat is currently aging. However he did have one “snack” for us to taste: small chewy squares of wagyu asado. They had a depth of meaty flavor that surprised me.
We arrived at around 6:30 p.m. on a weeknight and there was just one other table of customers. By 7 p.m., the restaurant was packed with a mix of families and couples on dates. The chefs worked hard to keep up with the demand. Segev is not a fancy place, but has one of the best burgers in Jerusalem. And if you’re too lazy to go out, they offer deliveries, as well as a catering service where they bring their own grills.
Segev Burger
Kashrut: Rabbanut Jerusalem
Yad Harutzim 4, Jerusalem
Phone: 02-501-7170
Hours: 11 a.m.-midnight. Closed Fridays, open Saturday night after Shabbat.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.