The Fresser

Eyal Shani set to open second kosher restaurant in Manhattan

Malka will be joined by a kosher branch of pita-based chain Miznon


Eyal Shani at his restaurant Malka in Tel Aviv ( Ariel Ephron photography)

Eyal Shani is set to open his second kosher restaurant in New York in less than three months when he converts one of four existing Miznon outlets in Manhattan to a certified kosher operation.

Mika Ziv, CEO of Good People Group, Shani’s hospitality brand confirmed (in the New York Jewish Week) the informal Israeli eatery already offered only glatt kosher meat and was dairy free. The kosher-style restaurant will, on Sunday January 21, look to secure full kosher certification from licensing authority, National Kosher Supervision after being fully clean and koshered.

Shani’s pita bread-based dishes will, for the first time, be on the menu for kashrut-compliant New Yorkers. The decision to turn a Miznon kosher was taken on the back of the huge success of Shani’s first kosher New York restaurant, Malka.

“We always knew there was a need and desire for people to eat our food” Ziv told the New York Jewish Week, adding “there has been such a beautiful welcoming to New York” [of Malka] which she said is doing “amazing”.

Malka opened only weeks ago, in November 2023 on the Upper West Side with the sabra chef flying in (between helping with his country’s war effort) for the grand opening of what was his 41st restaurant and first kosher outlet outside of Israel. He currently operates two kosher restaurants in Tel Aviv — the original Malka and Dvora, in the Debrah Brown Hotel.

At the time of opening the New York Malka, Shani had told New York Jewish Week that his goal was to create a kosher restaurant that does not feel like most kosher restaurants adding that he had done so because he saw that kosher consumers were ‘craving’ his food but could not eat it.

“These people are part of my nation. Part of my people. How can I make food without letting half of my people eat it?”

If the Big Apple’s Malka is anything like its older sister, it’s no surprise that the crowds have come. I visited the Tel Aviv original in 2018 not long after it had opened. It was, without doubt, the coolest kosher restaurant I’d ever eaten at. Not just for the showstopper dishes that included whole baked fish — large enough for the entire table to share — that arrived in a huge roasting tin still steaming from the oven; crisp schnitzels with comfortingly smooth mashed potatoes and platters of flavour-filled vegetables with smooth tahini and crunchy nuggets of falafel.

The nightly buzz came also from food served on sheets of brown paper laid directly on the table, from the banging music, cool cocktails and flaming torches on the bar giving nightclub vibes.

Ahead of opening this US Malka, Shani had told the New York Jewish Week: “I had a dream one night that the food would be so good that even non-kosher people would go to the restaurant,” said Shani, “and kosher people would come to eat and at the end of the night they would dance together in the bar.”

Speaking to The JC when he opened Dvora, he said it was a vision that had originally led him into cooking.

Perhaps the world-famous celebrity chef will opt to bring one of his kosher creations to London, to join the two branches of Miznon and upscale restaurant, Lilienblum.

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