Address: Malan 42, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel
Tel Aviv-Yafo

“A favourite of mine and a staple of Tel Aviv home cooking is Julie’s, a ramshackle place tucked away at 42 Malan, between the Yemenite Quarter and the Shuk, serving hearty Egyptian fare. It used to sit on Shabazi in Neve Tzedek, until the eponymous owner was priced out of the area by ever-increasing gentrification.

She is renowned as quite a cantankerous character, so I can imagine her landlord wore riot gear for that rent negotiation. I walked past the old location a while ago and it looked like a bomb had hit it. Don’t mess with a 76 year old Cairene pasha’s daughter.

I have first-hand experience of her sharp tongue – when my uncle insisted he wasn’t that hungry so would just order something small, and she replied “if you don’t leave my restaurant full, I kill you!”. We think she meant it, and he didn’t take any chances. Besides which, she nearly got him with the heartburn-inducing mincemeat-stuffed artichokes.

Julie is also a fan of telling you what you want to eat. You definitely want a lot of garlic and you are a fan of piles of herbs and and you like dried fruit with your meat. Yes you do. Smell it. Now taste it. In fairness, she is usually right. It’s like a culinary tarot reading, with similar amounts of yarn-spinning in an exotic accent and dramatic hand gestures (usually with a ladle), culminating in a conveniently satisfying outcome.

In all, a good place for a filling plate of honest Egyptian food, and an earful of tall tales from an absolute legend of a proprietor.”

Written by star guest writer Michael Freedman. To become a guest writer at Secret Tel Aviv complete this form.


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