Well, where should I start? I would like to begin with a short story about one of my first fine dinning experiences. Some thirteen years ago, I was invited to a family bar mitzvah meal at one of Jerusalem’s top restaurants, “Cow on the Roof”. The head chef at the restaurant, Shalom Kadosh, prepared an exquisite meal displaying creativity, attention to detail and a balance of flavors, essentially – it was delicious.
Thirteen years and 15 minutes later, (due to a traffic delay on the way to downtown Jerusalem), my friend and I arrived at the Sheraton hotel and made our way towards “Primavera”, a kosher dairy restaurant under the management of Chef Kadosh, who also serves as the hotel’s head chef. With empty stomachs and high expectations we were seated.
Chef Kadosh is without a doubt one of the leading figures in the Israeli culinary scene. When speaking to the chef about the culinary style at Primavera he said that “The restaurant offers unpretentious, fresh, elegant food without compromising on the quality of the ingredients. The menu reflects both classic French and Italian cooking methods, while relying on fresh local produce, herbs and spices”.
We were ready to eat, while sipping on a chilled glass of Chardonnay, our first course arrived, a sea bream ceviche, served with fresh cherry tomatoes, shallots, mint, coriander and an olive oil yogurt drizzle. Light and refreshing, this was a great way to start the meal.
The next course was probably the most interesting one, reminding me of a painter’s pallet. Bright yellow polenta, black olive tapenade, blue cheese, a poached egg and cream of peas, were placed separately on a large white plate. This dish offers a peek into the chef’s talent, the sweetness of the corn along with the saltiness from the tapenade and the sharpness of the cheese provided a perfect balance of flavors.
If you feel like warming up with a hot bowl of soup, try Primavera’s “orange cappuccino”, made with root vegetables, orange zest and a touch of coconut milk.
Another entrée which we enjoyed was the wild mushroom crepe, filled with onion confit, fresh mushrooms and goat cheese. The dish was rich and the sauce, made with shallots and mushrooms cooked in a Riesling wine, added an interesting kick to the dish. When our friendly waiter placed a fillet of fish with a saffron and cream sauce in front of me, I wasn’t sure I was up for the task, however after taking one bite, I smiled and concentrated on the mission at hand.
Time for dessert. As the old saying goes, there is always room for dessert. My friend decided to go for the white chocolate marquis, a celebration of white chocolate, cream and cherries, while I enjoyed an excellent crème brulee, rich custard with a caramel glaze and a mango puree on the side just as it should be.
Leaning back with a contented smile after such an excellent meal, I was pleased to know that in the 13 years that elapsed since I last ate his food, Chef Shalom Kadosh is still at the top of his game.
47 King George St, Sheraton Plazza Hotel, Jerusalem