February 23, 2006

Make reservations for a dinner here!  We walked in off of the street and were very disappointed when the hostess said the kitchen was closed.  Seeing the looks on our faces, she said “just a minute,” checked with the kitchen staff and said they could accommodate us.  We did feel a bit rushed while ordering when she reminded us several times of the “favor” they were doing for us.

This is one of the priciest restaurants in Jerusalem.  There are some prix fixe menus that might very well be worth it, depending on your appetite and crowd.  We felt we ordered well without.  The bill for four, with a round of beers came to approx. 900 shekels. Check it out at http://www.darna.co.il

Start with the mixed salads selection.  Two kinds of marinated olives, Moroccan carrot salad, rose water cuke salad, rose water tomato relish, beet salad, beet green spread, potato salad and hot green peppers. In the middle sits a round homemade whole wheat bread sliced into thick wedges. Salt and white pepper sit in cute mini tagines on the table.

Follow the waitresses’ advice! She knows what she is talking about and guided us through the menu.  We were beyond grateful ordering the advised pastilla fassia filled with Cornish hen.  This could have been a dessert, we were all licking our chops and seriously considering ordering more, but hesitated knowing there was much more food coming.  This little meat pie is crusted in a perfectly crisp phyllo shell with top.  It is filled beautifully seasoned meat, stringy and in chunks, not ground.  Then the kicker- it was topped with powdered sugar and cinnamon.  At first I passed on it, thinking it was too weird.  This is a must.  I would go back and just order a couple of these!

We also ordered what she said was their best main dish, the mechoui.(310 shekel for 2)  The best cut of lamb(roasted baby lamb shoulder) with crispy potatoes and almonds.  This takes a while to prepare but is well worth the wait.  We also ordered an atlas mountain couscous with beef and vegetables (100 shekel).  We shied away from the tagines, which were probably excellent, and any stews with fruits.

Dessert was incredible!  Fancy – candied dried fruits and a plate of different traditional Moroccan cookies, and a third plate was a pile of what must have been toasted/probably fried individual sheets of phyllo with syrup and powdered sugar on top.   We looked down at our watches when we finished and realized it was just about midnight, and we were the only diners left in the restaurant, so we finished up with the mint tea and the bill.  Always close a meal like this with the mint tea (10 shekel a person), it just borders too sweet and gives completion. 

There was tons of food, and we took home leftovers that will provide a round 2 at home.  I am sure this food is far tastier when it is fresh out of the oven.  More than that, we will not be seated in the breathtaking décor of this Moroccan establishment.  The furniture is all imported from Morocco, and they didn’t skip a beat.  Everything is upholstered in rich thick textiles, there are ottomans, sofa seating along the walls, private rooms with inlaid tile tables, rainted wood furnitures.  The floor is all Moroccan tiles.  The lighting is all lanterns, with tons of little cutouts, so the light plays ornately throughout the room, on the walls and ceilings with patterns.  We will eat leftovers at home and dream of a future visit.



  1. would like to bring a party of 100 people , how much would that be for a set menu?

  2. you should check http://www.themoroccanbazaar.com

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