Friday, August 26, 2016

Ha-Eucalyptus in Jerusalem brings you back to Bagdad of old when Jews were allowed to cook and live there (8-16-16)

We decided to eat at Eucalyptus in a Cellar like setting just opposite Jaffa gate so we could attend the sound and light performance nearby later in the evening.
It was pretty quiet when we arrived and the music with Simon & Garfunkel or Peter Paul and Mary but it was nice.We all got an amuse of the superb Jerusalem artichoke soup to start. Sam insisted on the Kube-niya Syrian style beef tartare with mint, red onion, lemon zest and Nablusia fries which turned out to be couscous and made up a good majority of the tartar making him not as happy as he had been with others on previous nights.
I had an amazing starter of figs stuffed with chicken in a sweet and sour Tamarind sauce with pomegranate seeds that was out of this world. Our server Naomi explained that many of the dishes were strong sauces since Chef Moshe Basson hailed from Iraq and had moved here decades ago as a young child when his country was suddenly infested with radicals forcing all Jews to leave very quickly.

The bread arrived with a garlic aioli baba ganoush in a red pepper puree and we absolutely loved the long Arabic style bread with tomato and garlic on top.

Four main courses Samuel chose the beef fillet in a porcini sauce with potato puree and roasted butternut squash. No surprises here but it delicious piece of meat.
Will chose Ingeria beef and eggplant stew in a sweet and sour Tamarind sauce  (from my mother's kitchen) which was a novelty and unexpected welcome change from our standard food.
I went a similar course with Jerusalem Siniya or minced lamb and beef slow roasted vegetables covered with har bracha tahini cooked on a bed of roasted potatoes and pita; it was truly a spectacular and exciting dish.
Our wine was a Wadi Katlav red  2012 Nes Harim blend that was out of this world, making me very happy that I had bought some of their Wines in Jerusalem just that day.

We chose one dessert to split called Ice from Paradise and this being a kosher restaurant it was a non-dairy almond cream flan called Bazbuza with hibiscus syrup and sorbet that was very refreshing.
It was heavy food and a big change from what we have been eating, I welcome and exciting change in a different look into a completely different end of Israeli cuisine.
It was also a great pleasure to meet the chef himself who came out to check on us a couple of times; how nice is that?