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Now reading Maganda Restaurant

Maganda Restaurant

Incredibly good chicken—and foie gras.

maganta

Location

Rabbi Meir Street 26
Tel Aviv, Israel

What to order

foie gras shashlik, Yemenite chicken soup

In Hebrew, their name sounds elegant: pargiyot, which translates to baby chickens. They’re what fancy chefs call poussins and busy line cooks call pouss, but in almost every kebab shop (or shipudiya) I’ve been to in Israel, they use the term pargiyot. The best come on skewers, marinated in onion and garlic, salted and paprika’d, and cooked about an inch over blazing charcoal.

Maganda Restaurant, in the Yemenite Quarter of Tel Aviv (conveniently located within striding distance of Shuk Ha’Carmel, a market that sells absolutely everything), is known for their al ha’esh (“on the fire” or grilled) dishes. Their pargiyot—so tender and fat, stained with spice and sweetness from the lingering charcoal smoke—is so incredibly delicious, you would never believe it’s just thigh meat cut into small pieces.

It’s a particularly good move to go there and order both the chicken and the foie (yes, you heard that right—foie gras shashlik, aka foie gras on a stick). And since it’s Yemeni-owned, you should probably have the Yemenite chicken soup, hummus, and a round of the salads called salatim.

Service is always friendly, and the space, while not terribly formal, is no longer just a living-room parlor like it was when my father used to eat there in the ’60s.