The Eucalyptus restaurant in Jerusalem is a restaurant that is famous for it’s fresh, farm to table cuisine using locally sourced ingredients. What is special about this restaurant is the way that their menus reflect recipes and ingredients that locals have been enjoying for thousands of years. When you dine at Eucalyptus you will be feasting on some of the same foods that you read about in the bible, and you will enjoy whatever is fresh and in season.
Song of Songs, Queen of Sheba, Solomon’s feast.. these are your tasting menu options, or you are welcome to order a’la carte off the menu. We went for the family style tasting menu for our biblical foodie adventure.
Rather than tease with a list of all the savory ingredients, I thought I’d share the snaps of our meal, course by course. Sadly we missed a couple, but we managed to capture most of the dishes despite our blissful tasting torpor. You’ll have to close your eyes to imagine the intoxicating scents of spices rising up with the steam and try to imagine the twang of middle eastern music and clinking glasses in the background.
If you are planning a trip to Jerusalem and want to eat at Eucalyptus my advice is simple. Go hungry. Don’t eat anything for several hours before. And take it slow, easy on the bread even if you are starving. Don’t fill up too much on the early courses. This meal builds and builds and you don’t want to be too full to try the main courses. Here are the courses we experienced.
ONE: Soup shooters: tomato, lentil, artichoke
TWO: Fry bread w spreads: red pepper spread, pesto, garlic
THREE: Mediterranean ceviche w/ strawberries, faux seaweed based roe
FOUR: Roasted cauliflower with tahini
FIVE: Fresh-picked salad with pansies and local wildflowers and mushrooms
SIX: Salmon sashimi with beets and nettle oil
SEVEN: Seared salmon topped with fried gnocchi
EIGHT: Spicy fish falafel with red pepper sauce
NINE: Fire roasted smoked eggplant w pomegranate and tahini
TEN: Beef tartare
ELEVEN: Liver pate served on a macaron, w/cranberry sauce
TWELVE: Figs stuffed with spiced chicken with sweet and sour tamarind sauce, served on a cloud of foam
THIRTEEN: Phyllo wrapped duck pastilla served on bed of pureed carrot
FOURTEEN: Seared mallard served on mashed potatoes
FIFTEEN: Maklubah — Saffron scented slow cooked chicken and rice. There is a bridal ceremony associated with this dish in which the contents of a large pan are reversed and revealed on a platter, and wishes are made.
SIXTEEN: Tahini and fish baked in ceramics
SEVENTEEN: Savory Lamb Stew in a Pie
EIGHTEEN- TWENTY THREE: Locally sourced dessert plate, Including chocolate souffle, tahini ice cream, sesame cake, pears in wine sauce, and a rosewater and corn pudding
Coffee, fresh picked herbal teas, Turkish Coffee.
The restaurant provided gluten/allergen free versions of each course where and when possible so nobody (ie me) had to miss out. Dinner was served family style, over the course of almost three hours, which was a good thing. We were able to enjoy it.
Afterwards we walked home even though our apartment was a good 30 minute, uphill walk from the restaurant. This is a meal worth its calories, but it’s also rich and filling and a good idea to walk it off!
Disclosure: I experienced this restaurant on a press trip a year ago but returned with my crew on my own time and dime this trip!