When Templars and Wine Meetby Sarit Goffen | 13.10.15
Deep within the cellars below the ‘Sarona Compound’, in a 150 year old building formerly used as a Templar wine cellar, Shani and Ovad Zetuni created Jajo Wine Bar. Jajo is one of Israel’s most breathtaking bars thanks to its winning combination of architectural aesthetics and dramatic sensuous atmosphere. As you stand on the upper staircase with its amazing view of the cavern below, it is impossible to remain aloof.
Like its sister bars owned by Zetuni in Neve Zedek, Jajo at Sarona specializes in wine, with a list of over 180 wines and countless bottles scattered as décor.
Overseeing the food menu is the young and promising chef Adi Levi. Although her name seems new to the Israeli culinary scene, Levi’s resume includes a variety of positions in desirable restaurants in Israel and overseas.
Adi, whose dream was originally to become a photographer, discovered the world of cuisine while photographing food. “Until I was 20, I didn’t know how to make anything but an omelet,” she confesses.
She began her culinary journey at Eran Shroitman’s Orca restaurant, and completed the majority of her training as the sous-chef of Meir Adoni at the famous Catit restaurant. She also worked for French chef Daniel Boulud at DBGB in New York. Upon her return to Israel, a chance meeting with the Zetunis led to her decision to join: “They told me about the Jajo Wine Bar project and I thought that it was exactly what I wanted.” It took two and a half long years from their meeting until the official opening.
The menu is sensual, elegant, precise and clean – and is a calling card of Levi’s personal style. The menu straddles the line between restaurant and bar, and is a perfect complement to the dialog with wine in the magical journey into Jajo.