Cafe Korus

“The Korus salad is a must order, made with bean sprouts, sliced radishes, kohlrabi, cashews and black sesame seeds with a ginger, mayonnaise, sweet and spring chili dressing…” Sybil Kaplan and companion enjoy the best that Café Korus, a mehadrin kosher restaurant in Jerusalem, has to offer.

Cafe Korus is not your typical mall restaurant. You enter on Yermiyahu Street, below the Central Bus Station, and are in the middle of a noisy mall, frequented predominantly by religious Jews, with some music in the background.

In the open area, a few meters back from the front of the entranceway, is 20 year restaurant industry veteran, Cafe Korus, with comfortable seating for 140 people. On the menu are: breakfasts which range from 26 to 78 NIS, soups, appetizers, house specials, toasts, sandwiches, salads, malawah, fish, pastas, pizza and focaccia from the Taboun oven, a children's menu, desserts, and hot and cold drinks.

French-born manager Eli Backoushe, who has been with the restaurant for the last decade, helped us make our menu selections. We started with a watermelon granita of blended watermelon, arak and lemon juice. Each day Eli creates a new aperitif to offer customers at no charge.

Post cocktail - we sampled also on-the-house salads placed on each table with warm Italian ciabetta and whole wheat breads. Included among the mini salads were Greek tzadziki which had just the right amount of dill and yogurt, a cherry tomato, basil and olive oil salad, sweet potato cubes with sweet chili and coriander, a regular spring green salad, cream cheese with hyssop (za’atar) and baba ghanoush (eggplant with tehina), flavored with just the right amount of lemon juice.

Next came our first proper course, consisting of the Korus salad, a must order, made with bean sprouts, sliced radishes, kohlrabi, cashews and black sesame seeds with a ginger, mayonnaise, sweet and spring chili dressing. We also enjoyed the anti-pasti plate, which included eggplant, sweet potatoes, peppers, zucchini, baked potato and carrots baked in the special taboun oven and seasoned with rosemary, garlic, thyme and olive oil with Bulgarian cheese to contrast with the taste sweet vegetables.

Next came pasta, in the form of the ravioli house specialty, which came with an Alfredo sauce and a small square of Parmesan cheese with a mini grater.

The Eggplant on focaccia, similar to pizza, was unique, giving a crispy crust, a sun-dried tomato base and mozzarella cheese and cherry tomatoes on top. My companion, who is not an eggplant lover, tried this dish and declared it was very good.

The sweet potato and squash mini quiches are beautifully presented and made in the shape of large muffins, only higher, with a delicate dough, rendering the insides hot.

Finally, we also tried the red drum fillet, served atop a green salad with a fancy cut lemon the size of an orange. Even my companion, who is not a lover of fish, had several tastes of this dish and remarked about its non-fishy taste.

Though quite full after all the sampling, we tasted the house dessert, a very Mediterranean Korus ice cream, made with large scoops of vanilla ice cream with a sweet tahina syrup with honey and nuts added, giving the flavor of halva. For one who is not particularly fond of halvah, I had to admit this combination was very pleasant. Also on offer for dessert are apple pie with vanilla ice cream, chocolate soufflé for two, pancake with maple syrup and tiramisu.

In keeping with the clientele, all of the food is delicately spiced with nothing too heavy or spicy. As the restaurant is Mehadrin kosher, a mashgiach (kashrut supervisor) is in the restaurant at all times.

Café Korus
43 Yermiyahu, Jerusalem
Tel: 02-5383507