Black Iron: Authentic Israeli wagyu beef and more - review

The meat was excellent – tender and with a deep beefy flavor. It was honestly one of the best steaks I’ve had in years.

 Black Iron. (photo credit: ASAF KERALA)
Black Iron.
(photo credit: ASAF KERALA)

I reviewed Black Iron when they first opened in 2021 and they were the only restaurant in Israel serving mostly wagyu beef from Australian cows.

The owner, Yaron Jospe, told me they had changed the menu and invited me for a second visit and who was I to refuse? Well, the menu has changed significantly because Australia banned the export of live cows, leaving Yaron in a tough situation. So he turned to the Golan Heights to source Israeli wagyu, but the supply is very limited and it is very expensive. Wagyu is a type of cow that has a lot of intramuscular fat that makes it tender.

You can still get wagyu beef at Black Iron although it’s pricey (NIS 98 per 100 grams) as well as a 250-gram Flatiron steak for NIS 188. To compare, Yaron says that wagyu in Europe is sold for 85 euros for 100 grams so Israel is still cheaper than in Europe. He has also changed his concept and now raises his own cows on a farm in southern Israel. They are all female cows who have already given birth once (par’a mavkira) which are supposed to be more tender.

What's on the menu?

I brought my foodie son, Netanel, who is about to start his “big trip” abroad with a one-way ticket to Thailand (I miss him already). We started with several of the new appetizers on the menu. And here is where things got hot. Our first appetizer was the prosaically named “Bread and butter” (NIS 32) with the butter being beef tallow.

It was two small loaves of freshly baked bread served with a mini beef tartar (which I left for Netanel as he loves raw meat) and two dips – a delicious matbucha (tomato dip), and something that looked like eggplant. I took a piece of the “eggplant” and realized it was very hot pepper which burned my Ashkenazi palate. I immediately spit it out and reached for my water glass. “Not water, bread,” Netanel said, and after a few pieces of plain bread my mouth calmed down enough to enjoy the rest of the meal.

 Black Iron. (credit: ASAF KERALA) Black Iron. (credit: ASAF KERALA)

We next tried the Asado Pani Puri (NIS 44) – three balls of delicate pani puri stuffed with asado, the Smokey short ribs club sandwich (NIS 68), the Asado coleslaw (NIS 52) and The Butcher’s Chorizo (NIS 79), a long coiled sausage that Yaron, the butcher, makes himself. Given my earlier experience, I made my son try the sausage first, but it was not too spicy and was delicious. It was also a very generous portion.

BY NOW I was getting full but as you know I take my duty to my readers seriously and of course, had to try a steak. Yaron brought us a 900-gram Prime rib on the bone that had been aged 40 days which he deftly sliced at our table (NIS 56 per 100 grams).

The meat is aged in-house in the refrigerator at the end of the dining room which is filled with slabs of meat covered in a white substance that looks like vanilla icing but is, in fact, beef tallow which preserves the meat during the aging process.

But you can’t cover a steak in beef tallow if it still has a bone in it, so our steak had been dry-aged without the tallow. Along with the steak, which was cooked somewhere between rare and medium rare, he brought a hot plate to cook it a little more if we wanted. I was fine with how it was, but my son used the hot plate to get the steak to medium rare.

The meat was excellent – tender and with a deep beefy flavor. It was honestly one of the best steaks I’ve had in years. From what I remember, it was every bit as good as the wagyu I had the last time I visited. Yaron says he actually prefers the non-wagyu beef.

For dessert, I tasted the amazing salted caramel soft ice cream with crumbs of rugelach and pretzel sauce (NIS 52) but was too full to have more than a spoonful!

There is also a children’s meal of schnitzel (NIS 55) or steak (NIS 69). And if you can’t get a reservation or you want something quick there’s Asada next door (also owned by Yaron). Both restaurants will be open for Chol Hamoed Pesach.

Black Iron, Agrippas 80Phone: (02) 546-5650Kashrut: Rabbanut Jerusalem although much of the meat is Halak

The writer was a guest of the restaurant.