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Jasmin1 Lebanese Restaurant - Leichhardt NSW

Cauliflower delight - crunchy, yummy and tastes better than it looks.

I must say  up front that I love the way Jasmin1 prepared and served their veg creations.
I particularly like their eggplants, cauliflowers and salad mixes.

I can see that Jasmin1 is a family favourite.  There was a sizable birthday gathering the day we visited, with a long table full of little girls and a another half table seated by little boys. This created an atmosphere of homeliness and together with cuisine inspired by homeland traditions, the restaurant echoes what is is special about greater Sydney - no lack of choice, ability to saviour cooking styles from around the world and absorb in other cultures. I noticed the stained glass Moroccan lanterns and the geometric panelling of the decor.

Lebanese coffee, Turkish delight and Baklava are of course made to accompany a menu structured into sides, mains, dips, sweets, salads, mixed plates and Mashawi.  The latter refers to the barbecued meat and poultry that are skewered or in Kebabs.  It is  a collective term for core soul food in Arabic society and can be found as street stalls or in cafes or restaurants.  They are normally in beef, lamb and chicken versions, often accompanied by salads, rice or eaten just on their own.

Pickle bright, palate teaser.

The salad mix I like had Oregano, cucumber cuts, rocket, capsicum, parsley, radish slices, onions and tomato slices drizzled with a lovely pomegranate juice  - the Fattoush.  It was refreshing and also good for vegans.     The lentil salad mix turned out to be rewarding, with a variety of flavours and it was not over spicy.

Aubergines are served char grilled, served in a mash with Paprika, olives, lemon juice, Tahini paste, garlic, and coriander. We had this as starters and goes well with the breads or on their own.   It can be on the strong side in experience, this Baba Ghanoush, but worth trying!  Jasmine1 also has a meat version of the BG.

I did find the fried cauliflower better, light on the palate, with texture on the bite and simply clean cut delicious - and I normally do not eat this veg!  Served with a Tahini sauce.

When it comes to dips, I have a bad habit of just thinking about Hommous, Labneh or yogurt with cucumber.

At Jasmin1, I had my eyes opened with sampling garlic flavoured puree, lifted by olive oil and lemon squeeze.   This turned out to be less bold than the Labneh, which has yoghurt dressed with Za'atar  ( a blend of herbs, sesame and salt) and olive oil. 

There is both indoor and outdoor but covered seating.The restaurant is in a  quiet part of Marion Street and not far walking to the Marketplace.   It was rather semi dark and not to my preference, in the inner section of the dining hall  - so do try to get a table at the front portion if you can.  I phoned twice after 10am on the Sunday morning we decided to visit but no one picked up the line.   

Fortunately our group of nine had Ely and Ray to organise the food orders.  I did find our attending waiter not giving any suggestions but I reckon that is just his style. In contrast, the staff at the payment counter was welcome to feedback, which is important in a business. To me, communicative staff enhance a dining experience.

Juices, like blood orange or orange and mango,  are mostly from pre-packed bottles, although the restaurant has its versions of the salted yogurt drink Ayraan (more dilute than the Indian version), a berry flavoured refresher called Toot and grape molasses served with date and rose water  (the Jallab).

Jasmin1 is generous with servings of the Lebanese bread, fluffy, light and welcoming. To me they are like appetisers, especially when eaten with the variety of dips.  On the run, there are lunch time wraps  - Lamb with Hommous;  Tawook with tomato, pickles, rocket and  garlic;  chicken Shawarma;  Kafta with tomatoes, pickles, Hommous and rocket; and Falafel with Tahini, pickles, tomatoes and rocket.

Clockwise from 9 o'clock - dips, the Fattoush, the chicken Kabseh and the Baba Ghanoush.

Our group focused on the chicken Kabseh instead of skewers that day - this comes with flavoured rice.   We did find the chicken a tad salty this occasion, although I like the accompanying almonds and yogurt. The lamb at Jasmin1 is my preferred meat, whether in shanks or skewers, but not minced!

My impressions of Jasmine1:
Ambiance: 3 out of 5
Customer Engagement: 2.5 out of 5
Culinary Delight: 3.5 out of 5
X Factor:  2.5  out of 5
Overall:  2.9 out of 5

Recommended menu choices:

Baba Ghanoush

Fried cauliflower
Lamb, either as Kabseh or as Shish Kebab skewers.
Lebanese ice cream with roasted pistachio, sesame Halawa, choclate and cinnamon options, amongst others.
Chocolate Samboosik, with a choc and cream filling inside hand made pastry, drizzled with chocolate, accompanied by cut strawberries and dusted with icing sugar,

Jasmin1 Lebanese Restaurant is located at116 Marion Street, Leichhardt NSW.
Opening hours are from 4pm form Mondays to Wednesdays and from 1130am on other days.
Delivery is available within a 3.5 km radius and catering orders are welcome.
Contact+61 2 8084 2692

Jasmin1 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 


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