Food Review – Jandol Delights with Authentic Lebanese Lunch in Levenshulme

An update on last week’s excited preview of Jandol in Levenshulme was pretty inevitable given the massive amount of interest and delight generated by the first story on Love Levenshulme about a new Lebanese restaurant in the area. At the earliest opportunity we took the chance to try out some of Jandol’s sit down Lebanese menu and share our thoughts with you.

What’s The Restaurant Bit Like?

The surroundings are fresh and light with ornate flowers, ceramics and middle-eastern objects in yellow, green and white hues on the windows, wall and tables. Each table is laid with heavy cutlery, beautifully wrapped in lime green napkins. A nice touch.

The dining area of the restaurant space has space for around 30 covers at one sitting. There’s a really airy feel with the large floor length windows, shining natural light into the space. A few candles at night and it would be quite romantic. Romance in Levenshulme…

We picked window seats looking out to the hustle and bustle of Stockport Road on a Friday afternoon. We could see The Meating Room and Dice Lounge  across the way – recent additions to Levenshulme’s high street and helping to create a busier frontage on this stretch. The kitchen is open plan so you can see how immaculate it is and watch the chefs hard at work preparing for a busy night ahead.There’s also a deli counter with a massive selection of classic Lebanese cold starters. More on that in a bit…

How Are The Staff?

When we walked in (myself and my other half) we were greeted by a friendly looking young lady, she was very sweet and said we could sit anywhere. So we picked the best seat of the house, vista a la Stocky Road. A nice man came over and said the chef was just prepping and asked us if we would like a drink. We ordered sparkling waters and proceeded to inundate Tanya, the manager who came to say hello, with questions about the menu. All good so far, nice vibes and lots of smiles and advice on ordering.

What’s On The Menu?

It’s a pretty comprehensive full on Lebanese affair. There’s 4 pages to get through, but it’s not overwhelming and there are some familiar options like Baba Ganoush along with lesser known stuff like Labneh and brightly coloured Pickles which look very appetising.

There are three choices of soup on the Jandol menu. We went for the lentil, which was mildly spiced with the comforting flavours of cumin and coriander. It tasted of home (if home was in the middle east, but you know what we mean.) It was £2.50 and served with flatbreads and a fat wedge of lime. Let that sink in. 

There’s a full mezze offer on the menu. You can have cold plates or hot plates priced at £3 to £5. The value and choices on offer are really enticing. Obviously that means you’ll order too much on first visit like we did and have a huge platter share up. No bad thing.

We had a serving of Halloumi 5 portions (£3) which came well seasoned with a drizzle of oil and grilled on charcoal to perfection. We tried the Vine Leaves (£4 ) again perfect sharing portion of 4 packed with zesty veg, rice and garnished with parsley.  

Halloumi
Vine Leaves

Next up, came our Hummus Shawarma ( £4.90) and Oh My Days! It was wonderful. Such a decent portion. Served again with flatbreads, a big bowl of creamy homemade hummus with a series helping of freshly grilled lamb, which tasted like burnt ends, drizzled in olive oil – so much flavour. Highlight of the lunch.

Hummus Shawarma

We ordered up a side of Loubieh  (£4), green beans in a fresh tomato and garlic sauce, we had it cold but I think I would opt for it to be hot next time around.  A portion of freshly made Falafel ( £4) 4 large servings, coming out hot and fresh. These were very lightly spiced, minty and balanced by the accompanying flavoursome tahini dip. A lunch winner.

Loubieh
Falafel and Tahini Dip

That’s when we stopped our epic eating lunch fest. They’re also doing full meals as well as the small plates. Lamb Chops (£9) and other larger dishes are on the menu. They’re en route to importing a large pizza style oven direct from Lebanon to make speciality dishes to fulfil the larger menu options and breads as well. Exciting times ahead for future punters.

What’s For Dessert?

We were sadly too full to even contemplate a dessert on site. Lesson learned. We did however take advantage of their wrapping service and buy a selection of Baklava for coffee at home. Tanya just helped fill up our tray, She asked how much we’d like to spend and we randomly said £4. We couldn’t believe when our tray was being filled so high with bird nests and these little gooey date cakes (a bit like fig rolls?)  and still weighed in under £4. It was a good move. We’ve since had a couple and they are really good with a coffee, spot on.

Baklava Selection To Go

What’s The Verdict?

Jandol is a great addition to Levenshulme’s high street and it should be embraced and loved by anyone wanting to give middle eastern food a blast, including vegetarians. There’s plenty of lovely, fresh choices catered for veggies here. A nice, unusual addition to the Levenshulme dining scene as well. Certain it will attract people from all over Manchester.

It would be good if the owners contemplated a BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle) policy like the hidden gem that is Alborz  further down Stockport Road. That would certainly pull in a crowd. We did imagine that the food and ambiance could be complemented by a nice glass of vino in the evening (or at lunch). The dining is top notch, great value and all in all, drinks and baklava included, it cost £27.00 so not bad for a big Lebanese share up. 

At present, it’s just a walk in and sit down joint, but if it gets busier, they may need to get a booking system to keep up with demand locally and keep on top of orders. 

We’ll return very soon.

 

 

 

Jandol In Levenshulme – Now Open and Selling Baklava, Lebanese Pastries and Food

A welcome addition to the Levenshulme’s dining scene, Love Levenshulme had a sneaky peak around Jandol in Levenshulme – the new Arabic sweet, baklava and patisserie store and was blown away with the choices on offer!

There’s also a sit in Lebanese casual style restaurant/cafe within the space and it has been furnished to a beautiful standard.

Fresh Baklava
Turkish Delight

When Is It Open?

Jandol is now open to the public, their launch on Sunday 4th of June 2017  is to welcome, friends and family to the space and allow a sample of goods in anticipation the regular opening of the store, cafe and sweet house.

Regular opening begins on the 5th of June. Check their facebook for times and additional information.

                      

Where is it?

Located on 861 Stockport Road, where the Old Packhorse pub used to reside. Now it has been transformed into a shiny, family friendly hang out,  complete with  Victorian style awnings on the high street, creating a nice visual frontage.

There’s nothing like it nearby and it certainly feels like it could be a big daytime and evening draw for the local community here!

Serving up freshly prepared in-house made cakes, proper coffee and a variety of soft drinks and teas and no doubt a ridiculous amount of hummus in the months and years to come, if they get it all right, it’s going to be a very busy establishment. 

What Does It Offer?

Jandol’s reputation precedes itself with people up and down the country regularly purchasing their famous baklava and sugared almonds for events, parties and weddings out of its established commercial unit in Ardwick so it’s a real treat to have it on our doorstep in Levenshulme and an added bonus to have somewhere with lovely seating and atmosphere to enjoy the treats.  

The Lebanese food is vine leaves, traditional humous, green beans in tomato sauce and soups of the day!

The sweet choices on offer are pretty endless and too many to describe but cover most baklava types that you can think of including delightful pistachio birds-nests, balloria and mahmoul. There’s also a plethora of Turkish delight options, fresh flan cakes and fresh fruity cream cakes that look AMAZING.

There’s also a gift wrapping and ordering service, with hampers/gift baskets to purchase and beautiful decorative trays as well. A perfect choice for an unusual treat to tale to friends house and share up! 

Gift Bag and Hamper Service

We hope Jandol goes from strength to strength. Good luck to new owners Tanya and her husband who seem to have it all in hand!Follow their facebook page here to follow updates

 

Success for Friends of Levenshulme Station – Art Mural For Platform 1

On Saturday 6th of May from 10am til 2pm Levy based artist Mark Jermyn also known as Moderate Realism is heading down to Levenshulme Market to lead a very significant art workshop with his team. 

UPDATE: The art workshop is pleased to have the honour of chilling in the Commonplace  double-decker bus on its first outing!

The workshop will deliver an opportunity for the people of Levenshulme to help inform a permanent design that will brighten up a large section of the wall on the Platform 1 area of the Levenshulme station and give passers by an idea of Levenshulme is all about!

The art mural project has been planned by Pauline Johnston who has taken up the gauntlet of voluntary art coordinator as an active committee member of Friends of Levenshulme Station.

This is the first phase of the wider regeneration efforts for and by Levenshulme Station and has been made possible with the help of funding from Northern

 

Poster for Saturday 6th May – 10 am – 2pm

About The Artist

Mark Jermyn has been a resident of Levenshulme for several years and loves where he lives. Alongside his art practice he runs a screen print and educational workshop company called One69a

He approached Friends of Levenshulme Station in late 2016 with an offer to help improve the visual impact of the station, share his passion for Levenshulme and wanted to help activate and inspire others to get creative in the suburb. The idea of the art mural for Phase 1 was born out of those discussions. 

Jermyn now plans to lead a community participation workshop on the community stall at Levy Market for all ages on Saturday the 6th of April 2017 at 10am. Jermyn and his colleague Sally will hold creative play sessions with live screen printing and tote bag design. As well as this, concept sharing on large art boards. These boards may even find a home at the station alongside the finished piece…permissions pending from northern of course! 

Jermyn will be asking participants to express their best feelings of the area with words and images. He’ll be asking questions like “Why do you like Levenshulme?” and “What are the best bits?” to help gather inspirational ideas.

Jermyn, has previous experience of large scale public art projects. His most recent work was commissioned for the transformation and re-branding of The Refuge (Palace Hotel) and included permanent and temporary exhibits in his unique geometric style.

Jermyn’s work at The Refuge on Oxford St

 

The final work is due to be completed at the end of June 2017, will set Levenshulme station apart from other stations in Manchester, putting Levy on the map as a unique destination, reflecting the nature of the area and the creative, vibrant and urban outlook of Levenshulme’s residents.

Pauline Johnston of Love Levenshulme and FoLS says: 

“I can’t wait to see the outcome of the community workshops and how that will inform the artists final version for the space on Platform 1. We want everyone to come down to the stall and have a go at the workshop and share their creative thoughts. I know Jermyn is keen to gather as much inspiration as possible from people locally.

I also hope that by doing such a public event we can get more amazing artists and creatives involved in the process at different stages of the Levenshulme Station transformation. Come on down, get messy and creative.” 

What Next For Levenshulme Station?

The next phase which is led by Lorenza Casini who’s the current chair of Friends of Levenshulme Station, is the installation of a multi-level Pocket Garden on Platform 1. This will begin in late Summer 2017.

It will include a variety of handmade raised bed planters in the gated section of Platform 1, with sensory plants and evergreen foliage. This phase has been made possible with thanks to Community Interest Company Levenshulme Market who are constantly seeking ways to support the improvement of the amenities nearby and help local community groups fulfil their goals. 

Ian Ford who is the current secretary of Levenshulme Station has also created a great annual report for 2016/17 which will be printed for the station to see how we have been developing as a group this year. Keep a look out for it.

How Do I Get Involved In Future Projects?

Some pictures from The Street With No Name Action Day in April 2017.

 

If you are interested in taking part in any of the Friends of Levenshulme Station activities and meetings, keep an eye out on the new notice boards in the station and on Stockport Road. You can also drop a line to levystation@gmail.com to join the mailing list.  The next meeting of the group is at Levenshulme Arcadia on 17th of May at 6:30pm. All welcome.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Blue Bell Inn in Levenshulme Wins CAMRA Pub of The Month Award

It’s truly a hidden gem in Levenshulme and it’s a pub for everyone in the truest sense so it’s no surprise to us that it’s being honoured with the Campaign For Real Ale Pub Of The Month Award by Stockport and South Manchester’s branch on Thursday 27th of April at 8pm

Margaret O’Brien from SSM CAMRA said 

It’s really at the heart of the community with a variety of groups using the pub. Events are held to raise funds for community projects to improve local sites and walkways, there are other regular events, a quiz night, a knitting club and trips out. There’s always a warm welcome from Mark, Mary and their staff.

This well deserved award will be presented on the night of Thursday 27 April. We hope to see a good crowd along to celebrate the success of a pub in an area where so many others have failed. “

Where is The Blue Bell Inn?

Nestled between two parks, Chapel Street Park and Greenbank Park and very close to the soon to be transformed Levenshulme Old Library it’s on Barlow Road, just off Cromwell Grove if you’re heading there from Stockport Road.

There’s been an Inn on the site of The Blue Bell Inn for over 700 years, with legend stating the famous Dick Turpin used to frequent it. According to local history website, LevyBoy the current pub was built in the 1930’s and sustained some bombing damage during the 2nd world war! 

 

Picture of The Blue Bell Inn circa 1910 – photo courtesy of Manchester Libraries
The Blue Bell Inn Now _ Courtesy of SSM CAMRA
Location of The Blue Bell Inn in Levenshulme

 

What’s The Offer?

The brewery behind the Blue Bell Inn is Tadcaster’s finest export Samuel Smith who own the equally delightful Sinclair’s Oyster Bar in Manchester city centre. It’s stocked exclusively with Sam Smith beers, lagers, ciders and sprits. Even the soft drinks and moreish crisps are own brand. This means it is great value with a quality pint only costing an average of £2. Pretty unheard of elsewhere in Levenshume!

It’s child friendly, dog friendly, cat friendly, gay friendly, grumpy lone drinker friendly, hipster friendly, senior friendly, dirty boots worker friendly hence its well earned reputation as a pub for everyone.

There’s a regular quiz on Tuesday nights. An ideal meet up space for community groups and regular social gatherings. The one thing it doesn’t have is music…but with the amount of people doing chit chat, it really doesn’t feel lacking in atmosphere without it.

The pub’s landlord Mark Dunn and his wife Mary have been a staple of the Blue Bell Inn for years and have overseen the refurbishment of the pub in 2006 which has created the warm, clean atmosphere it is known for now. They also pushed for cask ales, thanks!

They are renowned for their community spirit and it shows how much pride is taken in the beer garden round the back and the general good upkeep of the building.

They Do Sunday Roasts?

Yes! Big Sunday roasts are a staple of the pub, but when they’re gone, they’re gone so get their early to avoid disappointment – from 12pm. Simple, hearty week day food is also served daily from 12pm – 2pm.

So it’s no wonder the pub is yet again been celebrated as a great place to relax and enjoy the company of others. Well done to all at the Blue Bell Inn. 

Make sure to get down and help celebrate this fine family pub in Levenshulme some time soon. 

 

 

Happy Easter Levenshulme – Our List of Easter Egg Hunt Action This Weekend

They are popping up everywhere and this is no bad thing! The Easter Egg Hunt is a staple of children’s learning of the meaning of Easter and a modern symbol of the Christian Festival. It’s also really egg-citing to find chocolate eggs hidden behind trees! 

Here’s a little run down of some of the best local Easter activities with Easter Egg Hunt action involved in the mix:

Levenshulme Market – Friday 14th April – 4pm – 9pm

As ever, Levy Market are innovating the hunt with a bit of digital love. The idea is, come along to the market, find a handmade (paper/card) egg and do a selfie with it. Then you’ll be selected to win some food from some of the traders on the night! How very modern. Plus did we mention they have live music and tons of food traders too?

 

Nutsford Vale Easter Egg Hunt  – Saturday 15th April  – 11:30am

Local group Friends of Nutsford Vale have lovingly organised an Easter Egg hunt. Get there to register at 11:30am! 

 

Levenshulme Youth Project –  Crowcroft Park -Easter Sunday 16th – 1pm onwards.

Great Places in association with Levenshulme Youth project are out in Crowcroft Park, hiding the eggs and dishing out rewards for all the Easter revellers (8Years +)

 

Last but not least…

The Klondyke – Saturday and Easter Sunday 16th

 

A chance to trial the new PIZZA OVEN, but also bouncy castles, hot dog stands, egg hunt and an outside bar. Party time for kids and big kids alike. 

 

Winter (Tarn) Is Coming – Egg-cellent Levenshulme Market Trader Stands as Independent MP Candidate

Here at Love Levenshulme HQ, we always stay well clear of local politics as the murky, murky waters and ill feelings involved can be counter to the positive vibes this site is here to instil and support for all of the community…However, sometimes we make an egg-ception to the rule, even for a NON LOCAL candidate.

 

Two BIG players on the Levenshulme scene – two local community interest companies and local champions have pledged their support for an egg-straordinary candidate for the Gorton By Election. Pay attention, this is interesting stuff, not ‘cheesy’ at all.

 

 

 

Levenshulme Market CIC and Levenshulme Inspire CIC are delighted to jointly announce our official endorsement of Jeremy “the cheese man” who is running as an independent candidate in the Gorton by-election.

 

Helen Power, Director of Levenshulme Market said,

 

“Jeremy has been a long standing trader at the market, selling cheese, butter and his famous “jumbo eggs” (not from elephants). I know he has the right values, experience and determination to be an excellent MP for the people of Manchester Gorton and has Levenshulme Market’s full support.”

 

Ed Cox, Chair, Inspire and Director of IPPR North added,

 

“Gorton is a diverse community and I can think of no better medium to create community cohesion than dairy. Cheese is a great leveller and Jeremy offers plenty.”

 

Tom Cheesewright, local resident, and applied futurist, will act as Jeremy’s campaign co-ordinator, a role that some have commented he was destined to fulfil.

When Can We Speak To Winter Tarn’s  Jeremy?

Jeremy will announce his policies at a special launch event today at Levenshulme Market. 10am – 4pm.

They are expected to include increased funding for bovine herds in the South Manchester area and subsidies for high street dairy merchants. Jeremy is said to be against a hard Brexit, preferring a soft boiled br-egg-sit approach.