by Sybil Kaplan
Photographs by Barry A. Kaplan
3 Yanai (opposite Mamilla Hotel)
Phone -- 077 952--9952
Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday, 7:30 a.m. to an hour before Shabbat begins.
Low to moderate prices; kosher by Rabbinute Jerusalem
Looking for a healthy breakfast, brunch or lunch? Even dinner is available. Across the street from the Mamilla Hotel is a small street called Yanai with tables to seat 12 seats outside (depending on the weather) and a picture window with a bar in front.
Inside, stools for 9 sit by a wood bar in the center of the room; other tables seat 15. Behind the inside bar is an open window looking into the kitchen. Ceiling fans and light fixtures are simple, walls have only a few decorations; you sense a quaint, intimate atmosphere.
Chef/owner Nir Kedar, 43 years old, explains "Shraga" is Arabic for candle (which sits on each table in the evening).
Prior to moving here in September 2012, Kedar owned a casual, simple coffee shop on Derech Bet Lechem. Before that, after the army, he worked at a diner in San Francisco for a year, liked the work, returned to Israel and worked a few years in Jerusalem restaurants--making a total of 17 years in the food industry.
On his current menu Kedar has a small or regular breakfast; four salads with a sour dough ciabetta (33-45 NIS); and main dishes like lasagna and quiche and a dish of the
day (42 and 45 NIS).
The soup of the evening, when we visited Shraga, was steaming hot, slightly peppery, tasty lentil soup (32 NIS).
The feature of Shraga are the 11 special sandwiches (33-42 NIS) served on the sour dough bread with no yeast or sugar, each identified by a color and served with a green salad.
So we tried the "green" sandwich--smoked mozzarella, avocado, and tomato with a basil and olive oil pesto (36 NIS
), large enough for two to share.
Veggie burgers come on a plate with three (45 NIS) but we shared one with lentils, mushrooms and caramelized onions on a mini bun. I couldn't believe it wasn't meat!
Three bite-size salmon quiches come with a salad (42 NIS) but we shared one which was not just cute but delicious.
The seven desserts were very tempting but our host, Daniel, the evening bar tender/waiter, wanted us to try a very fruity, nut-filled granola cookie square (4 NIS). Chef Kedar wanted us to try the lemon tart (18 NIS), attractively presented and served with a yogurt swish on the side.
Although this restaurant is a bit quiet in the evening, it is crowded during the day, showing off the original recipes with a fresh, natural style of presentation. Hearing how good it was from us, a friend even had them cater a women's luncheon--and it is easy to understand why she raved about it afterward.
The author and photographer were guests of the restaurant.