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.
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.
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.
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.
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.