TurkiShuk: Istanbul comes to Jerusalem - review

The kashrut is mehadrin and when I asked Motti why he answered, “We live in Jerusalem. I wanted everyone to be able to eat here.”

 TurkiShuk (photo credit: Oz Ohayon)
(photo credit: Oz Ohayon)

If you haven’t been to Mahaneh Yehuda recently, there are lots of new places to try. One of the newest is TurkiShuk, which brings Turkish street food to Jerusalem and opened just three weeks ago.

“I looked around the shuk and I thought that Turkish food was the one thing missing,” said owner Moti Mizrachi, who also owns several other restaurants in Jerusalem. “The concept is Turkish street food.”

The kashrut is mehadrin and when I asked Motti why he answered, “We live in Jerusalem. I wanted everyone to be able to eat here.”

Turkish cuisine is similar to Israeli food, but there are differences as well. The spit of shwarma, called doner kebab in Turkish, is made at the restaurant, Mizrachi says. While shwarma in Israel is usually pargit (spring chicken) with some lamb fat on top, here it is a mix of veal and lamb and was absolutely delicious.

We were four diners – myself and my favorite daughter Rafaella – and another mother-daughter pair, Shelley and Hilary, visiting from Orlando. Hilary prefers to eat gluten-free and to her delight there were gluten-free laffas available. The dishes were served “Ethiopian-style” with the different salads put directly on the laffa, and the main dish in a separate paper container in the middle.

Jerusalem's Mahane Yehuda market (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)Jerusalem's Mahane Yehuda market (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

First we shared two appetizers – homemade grape leaves (NIS 32) that were vegan  and kubbeh Nablusi (NIS 36) small meat – filled kubbeh that we dipped in a tehina sauce. Both were delicious.

For the main dishes we tried the shwarma I mentioned above (NIS 49) which came with a spicy tomato salad, a vegetable salad, tehina and amba. The meat was delicious and juicy and the portion was a decent-size, and all of the salads were fresh. It is good value for money.

We also tried the “Turkish meorav” - Turkish mixed grill (NIS 49), a combination of chicken, spleen, hearts and lamb with the same salads. I’m not usually a fan of meorav but this was delicious.

Lastly we shared the kebab (NIS 49), shaped like discs rather than the long thin shape we are used to. Dipped into the tehina sauce they were delicious.

“I feel like I’m back in Turkey,” Shelley said.

 Mission accomplished. TurkiShukKosher: Mehadrin; meat is Chalak Beit Yosef15 Hashazif Street, Mahaneh YehudaOpen: Sunday-Thursday 11 a.m. – midnight, Friday until 3 p.m.Saturday, closed until one hour after ShabbatDelivery on Wolt, 10 Bis

The writer was a guest of the restaurant.