How can I do justice to my favorite restaurant in the world, and do I risk its becoming more famous by reviewing it and thereby possibly reducing its accessibility?
The Yudaleh tapas bar was founded by the owners of its Daddy restaurant Mahneyuda (named for the shuk) in order to create a place where guests didnt have to make a reservation days or even weeks in advance and could just “pop in” to the tapas bar across the street. Mahneyuda as the pater familias deserves its own honorable review, both restaurants founded by unparalled chefs using the amazing quality ingredients found in this land where a tomato in any form tastes better than grandma’s homegrown ones. It’s located in the Mahneh Yehudah neighborhood that houses the famous Jerusalem shuk (open air market).Both restaurants are run by internationally famous chefs of whom youtube videos are posted from locations all over Europe where they’ve competed and taught.
Yudaleh is a part of the new trend in restaurant-ing that calls for daily to weekly menu changes, seasonal fare available in the open air market next door, emphasis on quality of dishes made to perfection. It’s a place where you walk in and if you repeat you are already becoming part of the family. A place where arak (N. African anise liqueur) shots flow freely to chefs and clientele, where break outs of singing and drumming chefs to “mizrachi” (eastern influence) music explode in a small and humble bar and kitchen that only seats about 25 and as the night progresses a standing crowd squeezes intimately in.
It’s loud, its boisterous, its exploding with energy and flavor and the amazing cuisine is made every bit in front of your eyes, the food has not once disappointed me or any of our guests. It’s unapologetically not kosher. It’s part of what makes Israel a break-out party and pressure release valve in the midst of a stressful place (we all know why) filled with youth and joie de vivre in spite…
It’s a place where I and family am known and loved by name so a few freebies and amuse-bouches always arrive at our spot on the bar. Our overseas family has sent friends here saying too, its the best food in the world, always a highlight of their visit. It offers a fusion cuisine often based on traditional ashkenazi (European) and Sephardic (spanish/oriental) with twists to make them fuse with modern Israeli or the far east.