A jewel in the crown

Rubis is a new kosher gem in Kfar Saba.

A meal at Rubis (photo credit: Courtesy)
A meal at Rubis
(photo credit: Courtesy)
With the owner coming from Morocco and the chef from Hungary, the cuisine at Rubis is what you might expect – fusion Israeli with classic European dishes rubbing shoulders with innovative Middle Eastern creations.
Kfar Saba never really had a proper restaurant where you could sit in pleasant surroundings and eat a leisurely well-planned meal. There are plenty of grills, shwarma and falafel joints, but if you wanted to dine in style, it usually meant a trip across the main road to nearby Ra’anana, where kosher eateries abound.
Now Ruby Elharar has stepped in and saved the day. He opened Rubis three months ago after having run several fast food places around Tel Aviv and Ramat Gan. Chef Rami Yofeh came from Munkacs, Hungary, at the age of six, and many of his dishes he learned from his grandmother.
Situated just at the edge of the popular Arim Mall, Rubis is a large attractive space with wooden tables, comfortable chairs and a very well-stocked bar lining the back wall. A large screen plays silent movies in the background – either Mr. Bean or Charlie Chaplin type antics that require no dialogue.
Even before we had time to sit and take in our surroundings, a plate of black olives had appeared on the table, with a small dish thoughtfully provided for the pits.
The starters arrived very shortly after.
I chose the grilled artichoke flower, served with rocket leaves, raisins, walnuts and a balsamic dressing (NIS 29). This was just the inner part of the prickly vegetable, with a few surrounding leaves. A very pretty dish, it was also very tasty. My companion chose mini moussaka – little mounds of fried eggplant topped with chopped meat (NIS 42). He assured me these were tasty mouthfuls that got the appetite going.
For the main course, I had skewers of spring chicken served on a Yemenite type lafa with msbacha – a blend of hummus, tehina and whole chickpeas (NIS 72). The generous portion of chicken was perfect: crispy and flavorful on the outside, tender and succulent inside. The pita base made a good accompaniment, although I felt that the amount of hummus was overly generous. The addition of green schug – a Yemenite condiment – was inspired, especially as it was not overpoweringly hot. A lemony fresh green salad came as a side dish.
My dining companion, being somewhat more conservative, chose steak: thin cuts of tender sirloin served with rocket leaves.
(NIS 78). So soon after the Pesachfest, we both eschewed carbohydrates as much as possible.
However, the desserts were irresistible and imaginatively named (NIS 42). The rich chocolate soufflé was appropriately dubbed Nemesis.
Another calorie-laden creation was called A Thousand and One Nights; the semolina cake was decorated with an icing made from tehina, another original touch.
So soon after Passover, we decided that we had imbibed enough wine and opted instead for beer and diet Sprite. I invariably pinch a soupcon of beer from my partner’s glass and make a very satisfactory shandy.
Having lived in Kfar Saba for more than 40 years before moving to Netanya, it is great to know that the city finally has a good kosher restaurant in the form of Rubis, a place that is definitely worth revisiting from time to time.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.
Rubis 4 Hacarmel St., Kfar Saba Tel: (09) 950-7072 Sun-Thurs: noon to 11 p.m.
Friday: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Saturday night until 11 p.m.