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“Upscale and Different but Very Tasty” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Haj Kahil

Haj Kahil
Ranked #5 of 95 Restaurants in Jaffa
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Israeli
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Special occasions, Large groups, Kids
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Highchairs Available, Reservations, Seating, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Tel Aviv, Israel
Level Contributor
154 reviews
61 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Upscale and Different but Very Tasty”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 6, 2013

Haj Kahil has a fleet of five restaurants and fast food in Jaffa, but the one by the Clock Tower Square is the flagship of the fleet. The location is perfect, the decor is pleasant with a hand-painted tile floor and the food is excellent, large portions and fine taste. A word of warning though: this is not the usual Israeli oriental fare tailored to Western taste. The flavors are more varied and interesting, though never too spicy.
Our party skipped the mezza and took plates of stuffed pastries, hummus, tchina, and labbne with garlic and walnuts. All excellent. Main courses were different kinds of kabob, and lamb chops. Side dishes included mujadra (rice with lentils). Only natural ingredients and the flavors were unusual and exceptionally tasty.
Service was efficient and friendly. Since it was mid-week and just after the holidays, the chef had time to sit with us and discuss the fine points of the Palestinian kitchen.
A couple of notes: All of Haj Kahil's places are halal, so no beer or wine served and if you're not ready to try different tastes, go down the street to Haj Khail's place at 93 Yefet for the more Westernized Arab food.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Eli G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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275 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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    5
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Hebrew first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Palo Alto, California
Level Contributor
275 reviews
148 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 142 helpful votes
“Very good classic Arab food with upscale decor”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 13, 2013

Very good food.
Some people say to skip the mezzo, but if you are new to Middle Eastern food it is worthwhile to
sample all those vegetarian dishes in small sizes so you can find what you like and could come back for. The mezzo plates are small plates of food in square white dishes that are samples of all the variety on the menu.
There are families that come here and sit about a table dining on all the meat grill dishes, enjoying the laffa (?) bread with zatar spice that is sooo delicious.
The restaurant has a history and is nicely located when one enters Jaffe.
The hummos is very fine,and has a distinctive taste, along with the special lentil and rice dish.

My friend thought the manager or maitre'd somewhat condescending ... but it may have been an off day. My friend, a native of Tel-Aviv, thinks they have become too successful and therefore are disparaging of their customers, and says this will be her last visit.

I truly enjoyed watching the mix of customers dine in a local favorite restaurant.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank marcopolopaloalto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tel Aviv, Israel
Level Contributor
86 reviews
55 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Absolutely authentic!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 1, 2013

This is a totally authentic Arab restaurant in Jaffa, authentic to the point that unlike many Muslim-owned restaurants, no alcohol is served.

That out of the way, the food is fantastic, the servings are large, the menu extensive and the staff helpful. There is a wide choice for everyone, salads, breads, fish, meats of all kinds.

The place is elegant -- white table cloths, linen napkins, nice dishes, glasses and flatware. It is just opposite the Clock Tower, which is a place you will want to see anyway if you are in Jaffa.

Just be sure that you go into the restaurant, and not the fast food place of the same name, owned by the same family.

If you want a genuine ARAB food, and not "Arab-style" food, this is the place to go.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank marianparoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
45 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“An oasis of Humous in a sea of mediocrity”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 30, 2012

This review is for haj Khalil on 93 yafit, NOT the place with the same name near the clock tower. This one is about 3 km down the street into the less touristic part of Yafo. It's the next town square - walk able (you will pass a couple other Humous places - the competition is fierce!). I found this place after biking in a thunderstorm. Drenched, I found this amazing, simple, clean, and perfect Humous with fool (fava beans) and an excellent healthy salad with great ingredients....it was so exceptional I went back the next week to see if it was just the torrential rain that made it taste better - no - this is freshly prepared and perfect!! This place is just for Humous and salad. For $5 you get an outstanding meal. Service is quick, they even take credit cards. They seem to do a brisk take out business. People in the know come here from all over tel aviv. It's really a hidden gem!

  • Visited December 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Bensonh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tel-Aviv
Level Contributor
64 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Skip the meza”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 11, 2012

Typical mid-eastern/Arab kitchen. Slightly overrated by the locals but quite enjoyable. Meats and fish are very good and the portions are generous. When sited - refuse the meza immediately. Otherwise you'll get (and pay for) about 12 little plates of appetizers. Most of these are not very tasteful, too sour and block your appetite. You'll do better by choosing one or two first dishes from the menu. The pitta bread is superb! Service is also a little sour but effective and quick. We did not sample the desert as across the street there is an excellent ice-cream parlor.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Alex0001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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