When I heard that a good friend of mine, who had abandoned Jerusalem for Be’er Sheva, was planning on coming to town for the day, I immediately began searching for the perfect spot to grab a bite. A quiet comfortable place where two old friends could get together, catch up on old times and, of course, enjoy a tasty meal and a good cup coffee.
After brainstorming with myself for a couple of minutes, it hit me; I know the perfect place for the occasion, Kadosh. Kadosh first opened its gates after the reunification of Jerusalem in 1967. Since then it has been known for serving excellent fresh food, good coffee and as a second home to many a Jerusalemite, including the longtime Kadosh regulars, some of whom even have dishes named in their honor. Upon our arrival we ran into Mr. Bonfil (whose name you may recognize from the 'Bonfil Sandwich'), and after speaking to him for a couple of minutes we realized that Kadosh is much more than just a café.
Today Itzik, the son of original owner Meir Kadosh, who spent much of his childhood in his father's café, together with his wife Keren, decided that the tradition must go on. So, after taking a few courses with leading pastry chefs, they added several dishes to the menu, which includes: indulgent breakfasts, quiches, salads, fresh pasta, fish and an impressive assortment of homemade deserts.
We started off with the shushka pepper, a roasted red pepper stuffed with a variety of cheeses, pesto and pine nuts all topped with a creamy tomato-yogurt sauce. The dish was very tasty and we devoured it in no time. Since we were two hungry men, we decided to skip the salads and go for some fresh pasta.
The eggplant ravioli was excellent, uniform dumplings of fresh pasta dough filled with smoky roasted eggplant all covered with a rich kashkaval cheese and cream sauce. My friend decided to go for the spinach and ricotta gnocchi, which was of perfect texture. As a spinach lover, I felt that the spinach was a little lost in the dish. If you consider yourself a spinach fan, I recommend trying the spinach and cheese ravioli; here the spinach really shines through.
Time for desert, after drinking a small espresso, and walking over to the impressive dessert display counter, we placed our order. At Kadosh they prepare their own phyllo dough, using butter rather than the common Israeli substitute of margarine, a fact that had a positive influence on the napoleon cake we shared. Layers of delicate home made dough and rich cream; needless to say that we were satisfied.
To my disappointment, they were all out of the famous desert brioche, however the lovely waitress assured me that if I call in advance she will put one aside for me next time I come.
6 Shlomzion HaMalka