outsideI’m an obsessive. Not the dangerous kind, but when I find a restaurant I like, I go there a lot. Jasmine is the first place that I’ve ever visited twice in one day.

I decided to try Jasmine, a restaurant specialising in Middle Eastern food, after it was recommended to me by a friend. My first visit was for lunch, and I was so impressed by the food that I persuaded a friend to come with me that same evening and my partner to accompany me the following day. This blog-post is, therefore, a combination of three visits in the space of two days and a perfect example of what happens when my obsessive side is given free rein.

The Hummus Shawrma, tender slow-grilled lamb in the centre of velvety hummus, was a very tasty alternative to plain hummus. The Chick Peas Fateh – a soupy mixture of cooked chick peas; crispy, roasted bread; tahini; pine nuts; and yoghurt – was surprisingly good. By that, I mean that it wasn’t something that I would normally order, but I was glad that one of my more adventurous lunch companions did. It’s a sour and savoury dish that won’t suit all tastes, but it’s different to a lot of the standard fare you’ll find in Middle Eastern restaurants.

Don’t be fooled by the Potato Kibbeh. It looks unappetising, but it’s delicious: savoury lamb mince inside a well flavoured coating of mashed potato. I ordered it on two of my three visits. Grilled Hallumi is a usual suspect on Middle Eastern and Mediterranean menus. Jasmine’s version of this dish is the best grilled hallumi that I’ve had so far.

Jasmine has a wide choice of main courses, but after trying the Shish Kabab, I couldn’t bring myself to order anything else. It was incredible. The lamb was delicately seasoned and tender beyond belief. There was a choice of rice, salad or bread, and I went for rice. I usually try to order something different on each visit so that I can comment on a broader cross-section of the menu, but the draw of the Shish was too great. However, if the other main courses are half as good, I can’t wait to try them in the future.

Jasmine is somewhere to visit with friends. The food lends itself to sharing, and you can cover more of their amazing menu that way. The prices are reasonable, and you can bring your own booze for no extra charge. Would I go back? Only a restraining order would keep me away…

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