The family behind said they wanted to have a quiet opening on Jan. 31, but the community would not let it happen.
“We opened without advertising,” said owner Haiym ‘Howie’ Tsadok. “It was pretty much word of mouth.”
After a few days, he said, word of mouth had spread and the eatery started to receive plenty of business. Now, many customers come in on a daily basis.
“It was not slow,” Tsadok shouted with a big smile. “They killed us,”
Avi, Haiym’s son and restaurant manager, said that many customers have come to the restaurant, at 1326 Peninsula Blvd. in the Peninsula Shopping Center in Hewlett, for the authentic Middle Eastern food.
Grinning, Haiym said his repeat customers claim an addiction to the eatery’s Yemenite soup, joking that it is his fault for their weight gain.
“They’re crazy about the Yemenite soup,” he said, which they make with chicken, beef or calf leg. It’s served with daily-baked kubbaneh bread.
Haiym also boasted about the delicious Ahuva’s Special Steak, which is broiled with lemon, oregano and house seasonings and sliced and cooked in a special oven and then served sizzling on the plate.
At a recent dinnertime, repeat customer Jacob Kalman brought his daughters to Ahuva’s.
“The food is excellent here and authentic,” he said.
Rafi, also a frequent customer, echoed his remarks.
“There is excellent food and excellent service,” she said.
Haiym’s wife, Ahuva, is the restaurant’s head cook.
“That’s where the name comes from,” he explained. He said she does most of the cooking with two assistants.
Ahuva said she comes to the restaurant at 6 a.m., cooks until noon, rests in the afternoon then comes back at 6 p.m. and cooks until it closes at 9:30 p.m. She learned her skills working since the age of 12 at her parents’ restaurant in Israel.
Together, she and her husband opened a small Manhattan eatery that was successful, but burned downed several years ago. She has been the head cook at both of Haiym’s glatt kosher restaurants.
He came to the U.S. from Israel 38 years ago when he was 21, moved in with his sister in Far Rockaway and for the past 25 years he and his wife have been raising a family in Woodmere.
Haiym said lovingly about his wife, “She is my chef all the way.”