Chef Victor Gloger.
(photo credit: PR)
The younger, bar-style sibling of Jerusalem’s Machneyuda (situated across the street) has been boisterously serving up Mediterranean-style tapas and arak shots for almost five years. We had the pleasure of sitting at the bar, with a full view of the chef and his sous-chefs creating their gastronomy magic in an open kitchen.
The three-sided bar centers around the kitchen area, allowing guests to witness the creation of their meal step by step. From the relaxed decor to the meticulously selected ingredients, it is clear that a lot of thought and preparation went into developing this restaurant’s design and menu.
Chef Nimrod Norman is a colorful character on the culinary scene, and he gives the impression of someone who has dedicated his life to good food and wine We started the meal with Yudele’s iconic polenta with mushrooms, asparagus, Parmesan and truffle oil. There are no words for how smooth and perfect it was.
Served in a closed pickled jar, it is one of the only staple dishes on the constantly changing menu.
The polenta is unbelievably creamy, almost bordering on silky texture, and is complemented even more with hints of Parmesan folded in. Topped off with an aromatic serving of truffle mushrooms that add some earthiness and richness to the dish, each spoonful is just as delightful as the one before it.
Next up was the endive salad.
Endive is a notoriously difficult vegetable for those unfamiliar with it. Though fragile in appearance, it has a rather bitter taste. Here, the endive was finely sliced and served in a mound with Roquefort, pears in wine, almonds and a sauce that seemed to mellow the bitterness without submerging it entirely.
This was followed by the red tuna sashimi. This is where Yudele’s exquisite presentation becomes evident. I was so mesmerized by the colors and the beauty of the dish that I almost didn’t want to spoil it by digging in. The sashimi was fresh and tasty, but this dish seemed to be more about delighting in the experience of being able to play with your food, mixing and matching the different accompaniments with the fish.
We were then presented with the beef carpaccio with artichokes and shaved Parmesan.
This was so good! Perfectly seasoned, delicate to the touch, and the Parmesan and balsamic added just enough punch that it did not overwhelm the dish.
After a bit of a breather and sharing some shots of whiskey/arak with other diners as well as staff, we valiantly headed into the main course. First up was the mini cheese burgers in profiterole accompanied by sweet chili potato wedges. My issue with sliders is that there are usually too many ingredients for such a small burger, but this was very well put together.
And perfectly done as well! This was followed by scallop risotto, tomato butter, chives, almonds and cauliflower. Both were cooked to perfection. The scallops weren’t fishy or rubbery.
They were decadent and clean. The risotto, so creamy, so good.
Last, we were presented with the 300 gr. entrecote. Accompanied by two pieces of bone marrow, the meat was delicious and perfectly cooked to my liking (medium-rare).
Already bursting, we politely declined dessert, but chef Nimrod would have none of that, so we tried the cheesecake, as well as ice cream sandwiched between a relatively large chocolate cookie.
Both were deviliciously decadent.
Yudele is a classic after-hours place to go. The crowd always changes, and the alcohol keeps flowing. I have the distinct feeling that Yudele, with its delightful atmosphere, good food and drink, will be around for a long time to come.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.
11 Beit Ya’acov Street, Jerusalem