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Karma
Karma Yonatan Sternberg
"The T-Bone steak displayed perfect grill marks and was cooked medium just as I requested, slightly charred on the outside and nice and juicy within – I was in carnivore heaven…" Yonatan Sternberg enjoys Karma in Ein Karem, Jerusalem
Ein Karem is by far one of my favorite places in Jerusalem. While I can’t move there due to very poor public transportation arrangements, luckily I have a very close friend who resides in this Tuscany meets Switzerland neighborhood and I try to visit him as often as I can. Important historical and religious sites, hidden springs, massive bell towers, plenty of trees all come together and make Ein Karem the unique place that it is.

Over the years Ein Karem has also gained popularity among domestic tourists who visit the neighborhood, dining at one of about a dozen eateries scattered along its street. Situated on the main drag in this picturesque neighborhood, Karma (previously Anashim), offers a well rounded menu ensuring that every diner will find a dish to meet their palate. The menu includes: pasta dishes, special pizzas and delicious focaccias baked in a taboon, casseroles, fish dishes, breakfast specials, salads, various meat dishes and more. Seated by the window, one of the first things that I noticed when entering the restaurant was the magnificent view of the Judean Hills and the Russian Church with its golden dome. I could have easily sat there for hours, watching the sunset while drinking a bottle of wine. But since Monday is basketball night, this was not an option and I placed the order.

Our starters at Karma were the Druze roll and the shrimp in butter & white wine sauce. While it was evident that the shrimp was frozen, the sauce was very tasty and the plate was wiped clean with the warm focaccia. The Druze roll was very tasty and turned out to be an excellent dish to share. The paper thin Druze pita was filled with minced lamb meat and pine nuts, cut into 5 mini rolls and served aside thick and tangy tehina. As we will learn over the course of the meal, many of the dishes at Karma are ideal for sharing and some can even be served in family style.

As we were having difficulties deciding which of the main courses to order, we turned to the friendly and very enthusiastic waiter for advice. At his suggestion we ordered the T-Bone steak with a side of mashed potatoes and the sea bream with gilled root vegetables and garlic confit. Again, both dishes were more than generous. The T-Bone steak displayed perfect grill marks and was cooked medium just as I requested, slightly charred on the outside and nice and juicy within – I was in carnivore heaven. Oshrit really enjoyed the fish and while focusing on the meat, I took a few bites from her plate. The sea bream at Karma is fresh, and before being put in the oven, is deep fried for a couple of minutes. This cooking technique results in a very crispy exterior while locking in the moisture – we were definitely content.

Dessert was going to be a real challenge and while the waiter suggested that we share the Nutela chocolate and mascarpone cheese ‘pizza’ considered as the house specialty, we weren’t sure that we were up for the task. This is another ideal family style dessert that can easily be served to 3 or 4 diners. We opted for a smaller chocolate treat coined ‘little Switzerland’ alongside mint tea and double espresso; believe me at that moment playing basketball was the last thing on my mind. Overall Karma is among the better options in Ein Karem, plenty of seating options (check out the beautiful balcony), good service, generous portions and reasonable prices. Enjoy!

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