Michelin-starred Israeli chef opens his first restaurant in Arab city

Moshik Roth, known for his combination of classical and molecular cooking, launches low-priced eatery in Baqa al-Gharbiya

Jessica Steinberg covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center.

Restauranteur Moshik Roth (left) cuts the ribbon on his latest branch of Eight, his chain of eight-shekel restaurants, now in Baka Al Garbiya (Courtesy Eight)
Restauranteur Moshik Roth (left) cuts the ribbon on his latest branch of Eight, his chain of eight-shekel restaurants, now in Baka Al Garbiya (Courtesy Eight)

Celebrity Israeli chef Moshik Roth, known for his Michelin-starred restaurants in Amsterdam, opened his first restaurant in the Arab sector as part of his chain of eateries called Eight.

All menu items at Eight, a chain of kosher sandwich shops, cost just eight shekels ($2.25). This latest one is situated in Baqa al-Gharbiya, on Al Quds Street, the main drag of the northern city.

“I hope other chefs follow in my footsteps,” said Roth at Tuesday’s opening. “I’m happy about the opportunity that was given to me to connect between people and cultures with the help of interest in food.”

Eight, which has branches in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa and Beersheba, as well as in smaller cities like Hadera, Afula, Ashdod, Netivot and Ashkelon, has a menu of mostly burgers made from beef, lamb, duck or chicken, as well as meat-free options like omelets and portobello mushrooms. There are also salads and the usual side dishes of onion rings, fries, mashed potatoes and wings.

Roth came up with the low-priced concept after noting the huge size of restaurant portions often left half-eaten.

Moshik Roth and one of his eight-shekel offerings at Eight, his chain of low-priced restaurants across Israel (Courtesy Eight)

He kept the sandwiches relatively small at Eight, looking to offer reasonable prices, and, as he wrote on the restaurant website, fighting the culture of excessive consumption, and placing emphasis on quality, novelty and keeping the consumer’s freedom of choice.

Customers can order three items plus a drink for NIS 26 ($7.4), if they need a little more, and there are kids’ meals that include a main dish, fries and a drink for NIS 18 ($5.14).

Roth, sixth from left, with the staff at his latest branch of Eight in the Arab city of Baka Al Garbiya (Courtesy Eight)

It’s a very different direction for Roth, who moved to the Netherlands with his Dutch wife (whom he met in Eilat). He gradually trained as a chef, opening his first restaurant, Brouwerskolkje, which earned two Michelin stars in just over six years.

Roth’s &samhoud restaurants in Amsterdam, opened with entrepreneur Salem Samhoud, also received two Michelin stars, and are noted for their combination of classical and molecular gastronomy techniques.

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