Yuval prefers good hummus over a gourmet restaurant, and was therefore pleased that I invited him to Hummus King Asli in Rishon Lezion. We started out hungry that Friday afternoon, and ready to start 'wiping' the hummus, as we say in Israel. Our reception at Hummus King Asli was warm, cheerful and authentic.
At Hummus King Asli they boast that each and every dish is handmade on site daily from fresh ingredients. Their specialty is a basic dish of which every Israeli is proud - hummus. The hummus that arrived at our table looked straight out of a commercial: a large plate filled with hummus gently spiced with paprika, upon which rested chickpeas and pine nuts. It was a sight to behold. We picked up one of the hot pitas and started to passionately 'wipe' up the hummus.
Alongside the hummus, a wide selection of salads had arrived: matboucha salad, bulgur salad, tehina salad, carrot and pepper salad, beetroot salad, and a hot mushroom and onion salad that I loved best of all due to its special seasoning. The restaurant also offers all sorts of eggplant salads: eggplant with peppers, eggplant in tehina, eggplant in labane, spicy eggplant and more… The table was crowded with goodies and we were enjoying the selection. The king told us that every morning they prepare the salads from fresh vegetables. Therefore, the vegetables are refreshing, the salads fresh, and our colourful table was filled with nothing but the best.
We then received hot dishes of potatoes stuffed with ground meat, a dish of rice with chickpeas and vegetables, and majadra rice with blackened fried onion. Yuval and I were already stuffed, having pushed beyond our limits, not knowing we were only at the halfway mark.
Then, the king surprised us with the masabcha, made of hummus, tehina and served warm, seasoned with house special herbs, including lemon, garlic and an assortment of other secret ingredients. In addition, the king brought us falafel balls, also made on site, which tasted very high quality, possessing a soft, light texture, an exceptionally refreshing change from the usual leaden balls. It's important to note that the fact that all the food is made daily from fresh ingredients greatly affects the taste. We couldn't stop eating.
And just when we thought we'd explode, having waited for a little break, the king returned to our table with kubeh made of a thin, crispy dough and filled with meat and pine nuts, as well as spicy patties accompanied by onion, tomato and a chili pepper. Those who know kubeh know that its quality is measured by the thinness of the dough, as well as its ability to be crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. The king's kubeh is worthy of the kubeh hall of fame.
At the end of the meal, when it was already abundantly clear to Yuval and I that we wouldn't be able to put another bite in our mouths, not even a single chickpea, we were surprised for the last time with small glasses of black coffee and sweet baklava that left us with a taste for more, and gave us a good reason to stay a bit longer. Turns out that the kingdom of Hummus King Asli challenges you to test your limits.
Hummus King Asli
1 Balaban Eliezer, Rishon Lezion