Several years ago, when I visited Kyoto (remember those times when we could travel?), I stayed in a charming guest house on the outskirts of the city run by Beit Shalom, a Christian group that supports Israel. For dinner, I went to the supermarket, and bought a beautiful box of sushi in which each piece looked like a sparkling gem.
The sushi from Uran’s is the closest I have found to that experience in Japan. One of my sons lives in Hawaii, and is here visiting. “Wow,” he said, when we opened the stylish black box the sushi was packed in. “This is the best sushi I’ve had in Israel,” he said after tasting.
My family likes sushi so much that my husband has learned to make it to support our habit. But he usually makes standard salmon and avocado rolls, and when he wants to get fancy adds some grilled salmon skin.
Uran’s sushi is beautiful and uses edible flowers and leaves as decoration. I asked the chef to choose for me, and received two boxes, each with two rolls. Chef Oran Ben Moyal had the boxes specially designed for his sushi, and they are a far cry from the usual plastic that take-out sushi comes in. Each roll is cut into eight pieces, and offers unique combinations of fish, vegetables and sauces.
For example, we tried the white fish roll with mustard leaves (NIS 54) which along with the fish had cucumber, avocado chips, mustard leaves and anchovies.
Don’t miss the spicy tuna roll (NIS 52) with green onion, black sesame, asparagus, spicy panko, black roe and ponzu sauce.
For non-raw fish eaters there is a baked salmon roll (NIS 48) with cucumber, asparagus, sweet potato and black sesame.
And for my vegan friend, Estelle there is vegetarian futomaki (NIS 44) with sweet potato, avocado, cucumber, pickled kohlrabi, pickled beetroot and kanpyo.
One of my pet peeves with Israeli sushi is they often use very little fish, perhaps because that is the most expensive ingredient. Here the chef uses the fish generously, and there is more fish than rice. If anything, I would have liked a little more rice.
These sushi rolls are not cheap, and an average person would need at least two rolls to be full. Hungry teenagers could eat three or more rolls.
“I think I could eat all of this and still want more,” said my always-hungry 16 year old.
There are also a few salads, and a ramen soup (NIS 62) with beef broth, shiitake mushrooms, green onion and a soft-boiled egg.
The chef is Moyal, 28, who spent years working as a chef first at Jacko’s Street, and then at Jacko’s Son, a bar specializing in cocktails and sushi.
“I’ve always been connected to the world of raw fish,” he said in an interview. “I find it romantic. If I could, I’d give my sushi away.” His dream, he says, is to visit Japan, and he hopes to go as soon as he can in a post-coronavirus world.
Uran’s opened on Havatzelet Street in downtown Jerusalem between the two waves of COVID-19. For now it is delivery only, although Oran is hoping to reopen soon, according to the government guidelines.
He is also expanding his menu with planned offerings of bao buns and carpaccio.
In these days of what feels like never-ending lockdowns, treat yourself and order elegant sushi from Uran’s. You won’t be sorry.
Kashrut: Rabbanut Mehadrin
Hours for delivery: Monday-Thursday 12 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Phone for orders: 02-5817171
The writer was a guest of the restaurant