Sunday, October 11, 2015

Slow kitchen at Jambo Grill

Jambo Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Jambo Grill is a fairly large restaurant with quite a bit of Africa-inspired decor. Try to somehow go during a quieter time for a better experience and to enjoy the decor more: We went on a Saturday night and it was busy till 9pm, line-up at the door till at least 8pm, and what appeared to be a line-up near the kitchen for takeout. They take reservations, however.

We were a large party in a full restaurant, so I expected our food to come out slowly--but still not take over 1 hour and with some persons getting theirs very, very late. Pretty much all the food came cold. Wait staff were friendly and always smiled whenever they came to a table, so they were doing their best under the circumstances.

TIP: Do your Yelp check-in BEFORE ordering. The server refused to accept it and had to call over a manager to OK the free Chai at the end of the meal. ALSO, for parties of 6+, you must present your check-in at the start of ordering in order to get the free appetizer.

TIP: Masala Chai is $2.50 and BOTTOMLESS. You can keep asking for it!

Nylon Bhajia ($8) Crispy potato slices lightly battered in chickpea flour with spices and fried until golden. Served with coconut chutney.
  • Were not really crispy. Very salty.
  • TIP: Ask for a small spoon to help scoop up the chutney onto your potato.
Patra ($7) A savoury steamed leaf roll, made from arbi or colocasia leaf. Spicy, tangy, and slightly sweet.
  • Interesting to try but not that tasty.
  • There is some sort of paste (?) in between the leaves.
  • Spicy-hot aftertaste, but not too much.
Lamb Biryani ($16) Meat cooked with tomatoes, yogurt, fried onions, saffron, herbs, and spices. On a bed of saffron basmati rice. Served with a side of kachumber, an indian salsa.
  • Good sized plate, probably one of the more filling options without having to order carbs separately.
  • Biryanis are $2 cheaper on Saturdays.
  • Will probably be a different experience from what you get at any other Indian restaurant. From the small sample I got, it seemed to have a sour aftertaste. I'm too used to Indian curries to personally like this style. 
Mishkaki Choma ($10 for 5oz, $16 for 10oz) Uganda style choma (grilled meat). Tender sirloin beef marinated in tandoori spices, served with masala potatoes and salad.
  • The picture below shows the 10oz platter, which honestly did not look like 10oz of meat.
  • At the time you order, you can choose between masala potatoes, fries, or naan bread to be your side.
  • Very dry and rather tough. At least it seemed well-coated in spices. Possibly kitchen error in how dry it was. 
Ice Paan ($1.50) Betel leaf, spread with sweet rose syrup, packed with sweets and spices like fennel seeds, daal, coconut, rose extract, and betal nuts
  • Paan is apparently bad for you. See the wikipedia article for references.
  • For $1.50 you get a cold wrap of betel leaf in foil. The triangular paan is about 3 inches long. See pictures below for the paan wrapped and unwrapped.
  • I'm not good with anise, so I definitely wasn't good with the amount of fennel. I therefore found this unpalatable and couldn't sample more than a bit. The leaf itself is also bitter.
Some things have very good pricing, like the bottomless Masala Chai. Appetizers also seemed priced fairly. But mains were on the pricey side. Combined with a very slow kitchen that evidently can't keep up when the restaurant is full, and mediocre taste, this was a disappointing dinner.
2015-Oct-10 Jambo Grill mishkaki choma 10oz

2015-Oct-10 Jambo Grill lamb biryani

2015-Oct-10 Jambo Grill ice paan 1

2015-Oct-10 Jambo Grill ice paan 2

2015-Oct-10 Jambo Grill ice paan 3

2015-Oct-10 Jambo Grill wall art

2015-Oct-10 Jambo Grill men's washroom 1

2015-Oct-10 Jambo Grill men's washroom 2

2015-Oct-10 Jambo Grill men's washroom 3

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