Lamb Shawarma with bread (top). Lamb Stew with white beans and rice (bottom)
Lamb shawarma plate - great salad too.September 2011
Excellent shawarma and mixed mezze.
One of us tried a special today - the lamb and beans with rice (top). Good honest food but a pretty plain stew - needed some chilli heat or perfume of herbs. Though at £5 with a big pile of rice was decent value The salad and lamb shawarma really stand out here - certainly in terms of tantalising the taste-buds.
Finally a chance to have a go at the fatayer and mixed mezze plates. Very enjoyable meal of small mezze plate, two lamb shawarma, a cheese and spinach fatayer and two drinks came to £15 - can't really grumble and it was an excellent feed. The shawarma was its usual tastey best, the mixed mezze added interest and the fatayer (being akin to a pizza)served as the exciting fresh bread element, which is usually lacking due to the packet stuff they serve with the sharwarma. Jaffa is a welcome change form the more generic kebab places.
Our first outing found Jaffa to be, like many ‘west Middle-East’ places, not amazing on the kebab front – but with many other areas of interest. However our future visits have been focussed on the proper lamb shawarma, which is pretty rare and very welcome. If you’ve never had it, it’s a bit like eating a plate full of the rich, juicy, crispy bits from the edges of a leg of lamb. It was even delicious enough to forgive the thin packet bread, which they referred to as kuboos – although other places call it naan, presumably to fit in with the other eateries in Rusholme. The bread is not all that tasty and can’t compete in flavour with the stuff fresh from the tandoor but its crispness is appropriate with the rich meat. If you’re into mixed salads, mezze and general pick and mix type things then Jaffa might be a good venue for you – the salad is very fresh and the mix mezze plates look excellent, as do the fataya. For a straight ahead bread and meat feast (possibly after a few pints) Jaffa probably isn’t top of the list – the portions aren’t big enough for some, there’s no slathering of hot sauces and no enormous steaming fresh bread, but it’s still good. This is somewhere we'd definitely return to but not for a huge, cheap meal.
Scores out of 10
Meat 9.5 (for lamb shawarma)