Magdalena, Migdal Junction, Migdal

by Sarit Goffen | 19.03.14

Magdalena is the first Arab chef restaurant in Israel, recently opened by chef Yosef “Zuzu” Hana.

The restaurant is located in the heart of the “holy triangle” – an area in the north of the Sea of Galilee (Kinneret) that is considered to be one of the most important pilgrimage sites in the world. Surrounded by the impressive scenery of the Sea of Galilee from one side and cliff of Arbel on the other side, Magdalena offers a combination of materials indigenous to Galilee and Kinneret and an emphasis on the Christian-Arab cuisine – in a modern and current interpretation.

The chef Hana, born in Kfar Rama, (who opened the legendary “Ktze Ha’Nachal” restaurant in which he cooked local Arab cuisine and Lebanese dishes), opened Magdalena with a vision to convey the transformation of the local Arab cuisine. “It is a transition from the restaurants that focus on “opening a table” with lots of salads (what the Israeli costumer refers to as “hummus-chips -salad” to a gastronomical experience. There is a new generation of cooks and chefs who give a current and interesting interpretation to the Arab cuisine”, says Hana.

Hana continues to explain: “In Magdalena I focused on the special connection between the land, the lake and the traditional dishes of the Christian-Arab cuisine. And into all of this I’ve poured my own personal content – new materials and up to date cooking techniques. I hope the result will convey a new and creative message to the Israeli diner and the tourists who come here”.

And indeed, Magdalena feels like a chef restaurant. Not only in terms of food quality but also the presentation, esthetics and the atmosphere that surrounds you once you step into the impressive spacious hall of the restaurant – the result of Zuzu’s choice to open the restaurant right at the edge of the Kinneret.

Magdalena’s menu show cases the Christian-Arab cuisine in all its glory: colorful dishes, seasonal materials, and available fish from the Kinneret, seasonal herbs and ancient, traditional cooking methods alongside the culinary innovation of Zuzu Hana.

Migdal Junction compound, Route 90, Migdal, 04-6730064, Facebook

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