Michi restaurant in Jerusalem.
(photo credit: SARAH LEVI)
Open for a year and change, Michi, the kosher family-owned sandwich shop nestled in Jerusalem’s Maheneh Yehuda market, is a pleasant surprise for a lunchtime pick-me-up. It’s a rather small and unassuming establishment, seating about 20.
There are about six tables outside the restaurant, which gives customers a chance to enjoy some quality food while taking in all the colorful sights and sounds of the market. The interior has four tables plus seating at the counter, which overlooks the cooking area.
The day we went to Michi, the clientele was largely locals who seemed to be familiar with one another, as well as the people working behind the counter. The décor was minimal, with no pictures or decorations on the wall. The market gives this place its atmosphere, as it is situated between produce stands and across from several fish stalls.
The menu is short and straightforward: a selection of tasty grilled meats served as a sandwich or plated with a small chopped salad and fries. We started with the 200- gram hamburger (NIS 30), which was very juicy and flavorful. It was served on a fresh sesame seed bun with mixed greens, ketchup, pickles and garlic mayonnaise. Not too heavy and perfectly satisfying.
Next, we tried a selection of grilled meats, which included sirloin (NIS 29), kebab (NIS 25) and spring chicken (NIS 30). They were all quite delicious in a simple and wholesome kind of way. Each came with three dipping sauces: chimichuri, garlic and barbecue. And each worked very well together. All these dishes are highly recommended, but for me, the kebab was the true winner. I could taste the freshness, and the seasoning was spot-on. I would definitely order it again.
Michi also offers daily specials. The day we were there, they had grilled salmon skewers (NIS 35) and seasoned chicken wings (NIS 40 for a kilo; NIS 25 for half a kilo). As they were out of the salmon skewers, I gave the chicken wings a try. Juicy on the inside, crispy on the outside and tossed in a secret mix of seasoning and topped with a few drops of barbecue sauce and garlic mayo, the delicious dish is perfect for sharing before or after the main course.
We were also offered a chaser of cha cha, an interesting Georgian spirit made from distilled grapes with 60% alcohol. Apparently, there’s a Georgian man who bottles the beverage in Ashdod. Very interesting and strong stuff, to say the least. It was a clear liquid with notes of concentrated sugary sweetness and very strong alcohol. Not for the faint of heart but still a fun cultural experience.
What I liked about Michi was that the food was very satisfying.
Generally speaking, one could walk away from a meat restaurant like this feeling totally stuffed and exhausted.
However, Michi prepares food that not only tastes great but also makes you feel good.
For Israeli palates, this place is comforting and familiar. For out of towners, it is pleasantly exotic. I’d recommend Michi to Jerusalemites who haven’t tried it yet. For hungry carnivores visiting Jerusalem and travelers who want something “Israeli,” it doesn’t necessarily have to be the standard falafel/shwarma/ hummus fare.