Yehudit: An excellent steak house in Mahaneh Yehuda

Yehudit is Yehudit Yehezkel, who cooks and runs the restaurant along with her son Mor Yehezkel.

Chicken Skewers (photo credit: ASSAF KARLA)
Chicken Skewers
(photo credit: ASSAF KARLA)
To borrow shamelessly from Tolstoy, all average steakiyot are the same, but all good steakiyot are special in their own way. At Yehudit in Jerusalem’s Mahaneh Yehuda market, the meat kadeh and the kebab offer something special.
Kadeh is a pastry that is usually made with cheese. But Yehudit’s version (NIS 30 for two) is made with chopped meat folded into a pastry, something between a meat bureka and an arais. The kadeh came hot, and was even good when reheated the next day.
The kebab (NIS 45) were an elliptical shape, almost like a hamburger. I’m not usually a big fan of kebab, as I don’t like onions, and most kebab have a strong flavor of onion. These were more delicately spiced, and my kids devoured them before I could get more than a bite.
The large laffot, which are baked in a special tabun oven, arrived fresh and hot, and all of the salads were clearly homemade. My favorites were a smoked eggplant and mayonnaise salad, and a crunchy coleslaw.
Like all restaurants in these corona days, Yehudit has pivoted to takeout and delivery. You can order two skewers in a laffa, or a “hamgashit,” a tray that comes with two side dishes and a choice of a salad.
The pargiyot (spring chicken) were slightly salty and juicy (NIS 45 in a laffa, 55 in a hamgashit). The butcher’s cut (NIS 70 in a laffa, 80 in a hamgashit) was cooked medium rare and was chewy and flavorful.
The side dishes you can choose are rice, rice and beans, and chips and majadera (rice and lentils topped with fried onion). I tried all except the chips, and the majadera was especially good, with a lot of lentils in the mix.
If you prefer lamb, you have several choices of lamb skewers (NIS 70 in a laffa, NIS 80 in a hamgashit), lamb fat (NIS 55 for one skewer) or lamb chops (NIS 155).
Yehudit, by the way, is Yehudit Yehezkel, who cooks and runs the restaurant along with her son Mor Yehezkel.
Rehov Ha’armonim 5, Mahaneh Yehuda
Phone: (02) 625-3036
Hours: Noon to 9 p.m. Sunday to Thursday
Kashrut: Rabbinate Jerusalem.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.