Love Potions and magic spells: Yudale Bar - Machne Yehuda

Hey Everyone!
Posting Jerusalem today.
Whenever I visit Jerusalem, whether for work or pleasure, it’s always memorable. The city has such a WOW factor and that serious tone, that you’re either caught in its spell or you bounce off of it.
End of my visits I’m always in awe of the city, but it ever feels too complicated. So, as much as I LOVE Jerusalem and it's a true privilege to come to, I can never actually see myself living there. I bounce right off.
That’s normally, but not last Thursday night.
Now, to say last Thursday night was a big night in Jerusalem is an understatement. The city was colored with triumphant of red love. L'elisir d'amore at the Sultan's Pool and (more importantly (?!) Yes… coming even from me) - Hapoel Jerusalem B.C. won an historic first ever (!) state championship. Respect!
It deserves a proper celebration and once the game was over, it did seem like everyone were under an infective magic spell.
I spent that evening/night/early morning in Jerusalem, accompanied by a dear free spirited friend (born and raised in Jerusalem, needed said for the following). At the end of a 3 hours cheery opera play performed in piercing cold wind, we had one single mission in mind - to gain back warmth and some feeling to our toes. Get warm get warm get warm!
Lihi offered we’d go to Yudale.
Ha? where?
Well (poor me) I didn’t know the place, had no remote idea what she’s actually talking about, and hey, I was cold, hungry and the outsider of the two of us, so yeah, sure, I’m game. Yudale it is.
To set the record straight, a night out in Jerusalem is quite a rare thing for me. To fun or dine - Tel Aviv is definitely the first option.
Come on… don’t role your eyes at this… “Fine dining”, “dancing” and “night life” - clearly it’s there, but those are not the first things coming to mind when you think of Jerusalem. Right? Right!
Especially in recent years to date, Tel Aviv houses a long list of A - league fine fine establishments, so even in a worldwide review, it’s dining and night life scene isn’t one easy to eclipse.
BUT Tel Aviv (very very sadly) does not house the Yudale.
The younger (louder and drunker) sibling of the rule-breaking Machneyuda, set across of it, just off market in midtown Jerusalem.
After a short walk through the quiet small streets surrounding the Machne Yehuda market, just before midnight where we could already see a bakery or two prepping up for the coming Friday morning crowd, we reached the Yudale bar.
The first thing I spotted was a playlist and sound matching one of a mega club, a small gathering at the entrance and inside an inflamed crowed of numerous cheery faces (of a very wide age range) set around a three sided room - filling - bar/open kitchen.
People were either dancing (standing or in their seats), singing out loud or enthusiastically witnessing the small kitchen crew breaking all distancing barriers (existing by definition in serving clients) as they were too drinking, singing and drumming the beat while sending out some crazy-magazine-good looking plates.
Are we gonna wait the line? Hell yeah!
Was it something in the air? The state championship? The multiplying red shirts dancing on the street? The drinks? The food???! Is it a bar? Is it a restaurant? Are we at some private party? What’s really going on here? Oh so many appreciative questions while waiting our seats.
Eyeing this love fest, all I was thinking is I want whatever they’re having!
We were lucky enough to land seats quite quickly, and as I was trying to measure the scene with the fact that we were (after all) right in the middle of a quiet residential area in Jerusalem, I ended up concluding - that’s a whole different animal. Food wise, alcohol wise and fun wise, this place is at its own definition with its own atmosphere.
And then came the food, and it tied everything and everyone together, granting us a silent smile just looking at the plate and then again and again with every bite.
We had mini cheese burgers, grilled to PERFECTION. Served in buttery croissants, deliciously layered and accompanied with pickles and chili glazed potatoes. Ridiculously good.
With looks and taste of fine dining, minus the attitude or the formality, we were invested in this plate as much as the Chef who made it.
Change of story to change my heart, I was caught in that spell, can definitely see myself going back, again and again, Much sooner than later, I hope!
Master Chef - Uri Navon
11 Beit Yaakov