Dunya is a new restaurant, but already it feels like home
This is a global restaurant. As I entered Dunya I noticed the authentic Arabic tiles on the floor, emphasized against the writing "Where There Is Love There Is Life" on the wall of the European-styled bar; European vintage photos decorated the Jerusalem stone walls. A small Parisian sitting area on the top floor was looking at the London phone booth bathrooms. Dunya is indeed original and bold. And so is its menu.
It was a cool Jerusalem night that followed a very hot day. Delicate South American music put us in a Brazilian mood, and we checked out the menu, which we were told was changing on a daily basis. We started with Dunya's cauliflower, fried and seasoned with sesame dressing, lemon and some spices. The sourness of the sauce blended with the crispy cauliflower. A fried avocado roll followed, filled with peppers and sundried tomatoes, served with a sweetish dip of cashew and tamarind. Beautiful.
As it started to get dark outside, the Brazilian music was replaced by Leonard Cohen singing about a Vienna bar, and we had to decide what to order as a main course. The chef's recommendation was the mushroom-chestnut gnocchi in cream sauce, with browned and sliced almonds scattered on top, together with a fair amount of parmesan cheese. This was a winner.
But Dunya's salmon fettuccine could be titled as the restaurant's proud representative. Many contrasts were integrated into a beautiful harmony of textures and tastes. The salmon fettuccine was covered in a sauce of green beans and curry in coconut milk and coriander. Delicate on the one hand, stinging on the other, rich yet clicking – this was an embodiment of the entire restaurant.
Simon & Garfunkel went up on the stage and we moved on to desserts: chocolate-pecan meringue, halva cream, crispy nougat and some more halva hairs – standing ovation.
Dunya is a new restaurant, but already it feels like home. If you're lucky, the staff might dedicate a bottle of wine for you, with your name and birth date. If you visit again on your birthday, it will be on the house.
One more thing: Dunya is available for private events including up to 80 guests. Business deals are served between 11:30-17:00. You should visit.