Kosher, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern
Chef-owner Ahuva Tsadok offers a compelling repertoire of Yemenite-Israeli dishes that both ignite and soothe the palate.
11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-sunset Friday; closed Saturday
Shakshuka, appetizer combination platter, kaufta kebabWebsite Add an event Correct this listing
Whether you observe the Jewish laws of kashrut or simply view life as one giant flavor quest, Ahuva's Grill, a glatt kosher restaurant in Hewlett, beckons. Here, chef-owner Ahuva Tsadok ignites and soothes the palate with a compelling repertoire of Yemenite Israeli dishes.
Gratis dips, served with warm pita, change regularly. Past highlights include a lively cabbage salad and an herb-flecked egg salad. A must is an appetizer combination platter that includes a first-rate hummus, or chickpea dip; babaganoush, or eggplant salad; tabbouleh, or cracked wheat and parsley salad and bright herbal falafel, or fried chickpea balls. Not to be missed is a side order of warm lafah, a flaky, house-made bread I find preferable to the heavier whole-wheat kubbaneh.
My bowl of savory Yemeni chicken soup contained about a quarter chicken. A rich lentil soup, ignited by a dash of Yemeni hot sauce, was equally satisfying. But the kitchen was off when it sent out a burned, oily pancake called malawach, minus its promised accompaniments of hard-boiled egg, hot sauce and crushed tomatoes.
A hot appetizer of kibbe -- three crisp, delectable fried ground beef balls -- amounted to a carnivore's version of falafel. Shakshuka -- poached eggs in a spicy-sweet tomato sauce -- would make an ideal brunch dish, especially with a side of lafah.
Because the restaurant doesn't yet have a rotisserie, a flat-top grill was used to make the shawarma, highly seasoned turkey strips grilled with onions. It worked well with grilled vegetables and a side of house-made sweet potato fries. Fluffy steamed Israeli couscous with chicken featured whole, bone-in pieces of boiled chicken. Good, but I would have preferred a crisper-skinned bird. A thorough success, though, was the kaufta kebab, spiced ground beef sausages that oozed when cut. Juicy, too, was baby chicken shish kebab, boneless marinated dark meat with a side of rice and grilled vegetables.
A dessert surprise was an appealingly bittersweet store-bought chocolate souffle cake. I hear that a house-made chocolate souffle may soon debut at this ambitious new spot.