Hatzar: Good food but amateurish service in Jerusalem – review

Hatzar: Good food but amateurish service in Jerusalem - review

Ein Kerem is one of the most beautiful areas in Jerusalem to visit, especially when the trees are in bloom. But until now, the kosher offerings were minimal at best. Now a new dairy restaurant called Hatzar has opened on the main street of Ein Kerem with food that is well prepared and some options that are a little different from the menus of most dairy restaurants in Jerusalem. If you sit on the top floor, there is also a lovely view.

I sometimes feel like all the dairy restaurants in Jerusalem have the same menu – pizza, pasta, salads, etc. At Hatzar, the menu is diverse enough to make it interesting.

“Our concept is to cook good food with ingredients that are common in this area like eggplant, beetroot and zucchini.”

Erez Shabbos

“Our concept is to cook good food with ingredients that are common in this area like eggplant, beetroot and zucchini,” said chef Erez Shabo.

Enjoying a different kind of dairy meal in Jerusalem

We were three diners including my favorite husband, who by the way got me beautiful flowers for Mother’s Day and said they were from the kids, and my friend Erika, who is visiting from the US. Shabo asked us to choose what we wanted instead of him choosing.

We started with two appetizers: the 12 Gods Pastry (NIS 48) filo pastry with feta cheese and honey and the Sautéed Mushrooms (NIS 56) prepared with butter, shallots and parsley on a bed of French mashed potatoes. Both dishes were excellent – ​​the pastry slightly sweet from the honey, and the mushrooms with a spicy umami taste.

Hatzar (credit: Oz Ohayon)

In a nod to eating healthy (but a small nod at best), we ordered a Roasted Beetroot and Mozzarella Salad (NIS 62) with baby leaves, endive, apple, fresh mozzarella and other goodness. It was a large portion and plenty for the three of us.

We had to try a pasta dish (of course) and chose the polenta and parmesan ravioli in a salsa rosa sauce (74 NIS). While the pasta was fresh, it was not made in-house but by a company that specializes in fresh pasta. I love polenta, but thought the carb-heavy filling on top of the pasta might be too heavy, but it wasn’t. I have never had polenta in pasta and I enjoyed the dish very much.

As a service to you all, we also got to try the pizza with a thin sourdough crust. Eight types of pizza are offered and they are large enough for two people to share. We chose zucchini and goat cheese (NIS 74) and it was one of the best pizzas I’ve had recently.

For our last course we wanted to try something from the fish menu. We wanted the sea burgers (85 NIS), mini burgers made from fish, but they weren’t available, so we got the fish cigars (68 NIS) served with tzatziki and salad. They were three long cigars and tasty, although the size of the portion would have been more suitable for an appetizer than a main course.

While the food was very good and I plan to go back, the service was lacking. It was amateurish and several of the servers didn’t know the menu well. They also brought the dishes along and we felt a bit rushed to try and eat them before they got cold.

Hatzar Ein KeremThe Haromaim Staircase, Ein KeremTelephone: 02-535-3000Opening hours: Sunday-Thursday noon-11 p.mFriday (special brunch menu) 9.30 – 14.00Kashrut: Jerusalem Rabbinate (most products are mehadrin)

The author was a guest in the restaurant.

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