Delicious fish dishes

Dolfin Yam has stood the test of time.

Dolfin Yam (photo credit: PR)
Dolfin Yam
(photo credit: PR)
Dolfin Yam, a unique spot in the center of town, is a Jerusalem institution. It serves up some of the best seafood and fish dishes in a pretty much landlocked location.
Situated on the walkway of Ben-Shetach Street slightly east of the city center, Dolfin Yam was the first among many eateries that helped to make this street what it is today – a busy venue studded with trendy restaurants and bars overflowing with locals and tourists.
On a recent weekday night the tables were filled, but the service was attentive by the small but efficient wait staff. The dining room is small, but the best seats are outside, as this lively walkway is a prime location for people-watching. And on warm nights, the weather is ideal for dining al fresco.
The thing I found most alluring and comforting about Dolfin Yam is how classic the menu was. After tasting the food, it didn’t surprise me that this place has had such a long and rich history.
The menu is simple, and the food is not reliant on contemporary chef’s tricks. You can taste the food, as well as the freshness and how every ingredient complements each other.
There’s something respectable about knowing how to adhere to the rule that less is more.
As we sat down to dine at Dolfin Yam, our table was arrayed with nine small plates of salatim: tehina, tzatiki, caviar salad, beets, carrots, cauliflower, cabbage and matbucha, served with a fresh round loaf of bread. After that, we were able to sample the other dishes that come out of the kitchen.
The green salad with a mustardy vinaigrette with crushed walnuts and shredded feta (NIS 32) was simple, fresh and comforting. This was followed by perfectly fried calamari with two lemon wedges and sweet chili sauce (NIS 46). The crab bisque, served in a martini glass with a grilled shrimp garnish (NIS 42), was so rich and velvety that I forgot I was eating hot soup in the middle of summer.
The highlight was two of the specials: risotto with perfectly cooked salmon; and a buttery rich sea bass topped with a grilled shrimp and a scallop that literally melted in my mouth.
Both were delectable creations from the talented chef.
After that, we were treated to two classics from the menu: deep-fried mullet (NIS 82) that was crisp on the outside and juicy, flavorful and flaky on the inside; and the meat platter for two (NIS 272), which included a hearty selection of grilled kebab, entrecote steak, filet mignon and lamb chops.
Dessert was consistent with the high quality of the dishes: strawberries and cream; semolina cake with pistachios and rosewater; ice cream with halva and sauteed apples; and a piece of dense, rich flourless cake.
Dolfin Yam also offers some excellent Israeli wines and spirits. We sampled the restaurant’s take on the pina colada, which swapped tequila for rum, and we sipped grappa with dessert.
As the old adage goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Dolfin Yam has stood the test of time in one of the most competitive spots in the city by serving delicious, high-quality food to its diverse and appreciative clientele.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.
Dolfin Yam
Not kosher
9 Shimon Ben-Shetach St., Jerusalem
Tel: (02) 623-2272