The monastery of St. John of the Desert is located on a high mountain. Of course, everything is relative, a high mountain in Israel isn’t exactly the Himalayas, and the Almora restaurant sitting near the bottom of this mountain isn’t the Almora restaurant at the bottom of the Himalayas either, but it sure tries to be.
Yossi, the restaurant owner, has spent the last 37 years traveling between Israel and India, living a month here, and several there. He has learned all about the Indian culture, and since he loves restaurants, he also learned all about their food and how to make it.
In addition to the stunning scenery, Almora offers both Indian and Israeli kosher foods, and has weekly culture evenings in which live singers show. Almora is open Sun-Fri and can also host groups.
We opened with Bahajia (28 NIS) – a dish consisting of different vegetables fried in lentil bread tat comes with many wonderful dips such as Tofu and coconut, ginger and chilli, tomatoes, preserved lemon sauce, and a mango chutney.
The next dish server was Rasam (22 NIS), a savory soup made of Tamarind and lentils with peppers and other spices, careful – this dish can fill you up very quickly, the soup is spicy and tasty and comes with Chapati, a thin Indian bread.
We also ordered a Tali (47 NIS) – a full Indian plate that consists of 2 kinds of rice covered by Sambar (a spicy sauce), with 4 dips – Mangold leaves, Hummus sauce, Lentils, and a Soya Kari. All very tasty.
We also sampled a few of the Meat dishes such as the Tika Chicken (55 NIS), Massala Chicken (50 NIS) – this comes in a sort of soup with bread, and the Lamb Kebab dish (60 NIS). All were brilliantly well done and very tasty.
For desert we had a Chai tea (12 NIS), Kolfi (20 NIS) – a tasty Indian ice cream made of Soy milk and a Carrot Halwa (18 NIS) – Carrots mixed with Cashio, Almonds, and raisins to create a wonderful sweet dessert.
At only 5 minutes from Jerusalem and Ein Karem, this restaurant (misaada in Hebrew) is still Jerusalem’s best kept secret. I heartily recommend dropping in for a meal.