Marvad Haksamim (The Magic Carpet) is a Jerusalem institution, a restaurant around for so long that veteran Jerusalemites will sometimes reminisce about those days, not too far in the past, when Jerusalem's provincialism far outweighed its cosmopolitanism and Marvad was just about the only nighttime restaurant in town. Marvad has expanded to a couple of newer locations, including Emek Refaim, but its flagship restaurant on King George Street lives on, specializing in the traditional dishes of Yemenite Jewry, with enough of a multicultural air to include a few other traditional Jewish dishes from Morocco, Iraq and even Europe.
Diners are presented upon arrival with a frequently refilled portion of saluf, a chewy Yemenite bread, and resek agvaniyot, pureed tomato dip. From there, the choices include traditional Middle Eastern salads (hummus, techina and more), soups from Moroccan lentil to calf's foot to kubeh, and an array of hearty meat dishes, including shishlik, kebab, chicken hearts, Jerusalem mixed grill, schnitzel and more.
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