Kubeh serves Eastern Mediterranean meze style cuisine with a menu is inspired by the chef’s Israeli-Iranian family recipes and time spent in kitchens with Syrian, Kurdish and Iraqi women. I had the Labneh (a strained yogurt) with cucumber and zahtar, the cauliflower small plate and the Brussels sprouts special. All three dishes were excellent but the cauliflower really stood out. It appeared to have been coated and then fried, which gave it a crunch, and was served with sea salt, parsley and lemon. Get the cauliflower and dip it in the Labneh.
Kubeh is known for its namesake Kubeh soup. Kubeh are a type of dumpling that come in a variety of styles. Sometimes they have an outer dough-like shell and an inner filling; sometimes the ingredients are ground together into a ball or croquette; and sometimes kubeh is prepared in layers like a pie. Kubeh can be fried, boiled, baked or served raw. Kubeh are now a staple of Israeli cuisine, but originated in Kurdish, Iraqi and Syrian cuisine and was brought to Israel in the 1940s and 50s.
The Dumplings: Kubeh specialize in the boiled version of kubeh served in broth. Their kubeh selection includes Kurdish Siske – filled with slow cooked beef, Iraqi Vegetable – filled with mushroom, Syrian Fish – filled with cod, cilantro, tomato and cumin, Syrian Lamb – ground rice, lamb and mint. I tried the Iraqi Vegetable Kubeh in Hamusta soup which is a vegetable broth with Swiss chard, zucchini and lemon. The kubeh have a wrapper that is stiffer than boiled Chinese dumplings and slightly crumbly, which my dinning companion likened to being made of matzah ball dough. The kubeh were filled with chopped mushrooms that were surprisingly, intensely flavorful and complemented the light bitterness of the Swiss chard in the soup. There are three kubeh per serving and the Iraqi Vegetable ones are vegan.
The Soups: There are four choices of soup to go along with the kubeh; Hamusta – swiss chard, zucchini and lemon, Selek – beet, celery and herbs, Persian Chicken Soup – chickpea, carrot, and dried lime, Tumia – tomato, fennel, mint and arak. All the soups except the Persian Chicken Soup are vegan.