To celebrate passing their fellowship exams — the same ones we celebrated for T at Papparich at Parramatta — D’s study group stepped away from their usual Asian fare with Lebanese food at Jasmin 1 in Auburn.
They’re there for the meat and order the Large Mashawi ($36.00) to share, with lamb skewers, kafta skewers, shish tawook skewers and garlic dip.
D particularly enjoys the juicy and tender lamb skewers with the garlic dip, although the shish tawook skewers (chicken) were on the dry side. The kafta skewers are enjoyable, although D’s not the biggest fan of minced meat. He’d return here just for the lamb, though!
A plate of pickles is included, with peppers, olives, gherkins, tomato and onion. D’s a fan of the beetroot pickled turnips that were refreshing with the salty meat.
And of course, Lebanese bread — lots of it.
To go with their meat feast, Fried Cauliflower ($9.00) satisfies their veggie quotient. The cauliflower is buttery, but with the heavier flavours of Lebanese food, D and I prefer the lighter and brighter flavours of steamed cauliflower.
I was still nursing a URTI that had lingered already for over four weeks — ridiculous! — so I opted for something lighter than my weight in meat. I also had my eye on baba ghannouj, fried eggplant and falafel so this Veggie Mixed Plate ($15.00) was a way to try everything.
There’s fried eggplant, fried cauliflower, falafel and cheese sambousek served with hommus, baba ghannouj and tabouli.
The fried eggplant was delicious — fried to perfection with a crispy skin on the outside and retaining their tender innards and flavour.
The falalfel was tasty, achieving the perfect balance between a crispy outer shell and moist and fluffy innards. There is little worse than a dry falafel. These falafel went well with the very enjoyable baba ghannouj — I would enjoy eating just these falafel with the baba ghannouj!
The cheese sambousek is a bit of a miss with an overwhelmingly cloying cheese flavour and texture, with none of the stretchy or gooey richness that I enjoy in Western cheese.
The tabouli is sorely lacking in tomatoes — expected, as cyclones in Queensland earlier in the year wiped out a massive amount of tomato crops — but the greenness cuts through the richer flavours of the dips and the cheese sambousek.
And to finish off, this is another salad with cabbage, beets, tomato and capsicum topped with crispy flakes. It’s a decent salad in terms of taste, but the dressing that comes with it is not visually appetising — it’s a grey, dirt colour that makes all the components of the salad look as if they’ve been dragged through mud.
To finish, there is Anise Tea (complementary), a common Middle Eastern beverage (hot or cold) that aids digestion. The tea smells strongly of cinnamon but is surprisingly mild in the taste, which is sweet and dominated by anise.
Jasmin 1 serves up quality Lebanese food in a casual atmosphere. We’ll be back!
Jasmin 1 is located at 22 Civic Rd, Auburn NSW 2144.