FOOD & DRINK
Out of A
modern building on the outside suddenly transformed to something out of Africa as we walked through the door of the Jabula. We were instantly received by Annmarie the owner and chef of the establishment which has been functioning for 9 successful years on the bank of the Manchester ship canal. On friday nights they have African drummers playing and the film Jumanji swiftly came to my thoughts and I was half expecting a stampede of wild animals to come bursting the walls an any given minute. Once seated at our table we ordered drinks from the waitress and were shown the menus of what we has pre-ordered. For a more notable evening I strongly recommend you to pre-order off the platters menu. The starters came along which comprised of Crocodile, Frikkadel (small meatball in Sheba sauce), goats cheese and creamy mushrooms. Tentative at first, I started with the crocodile and you know how every unfamiliar meat tastes like chicken? Well crocodile does! The frikkadel was wonderful on the pallet which the other guests that I was dining with all agreed and ended up fighting over the last morsels left on the centre plate. By this time the drummers were in full swing and the restaurant was starting to get very busy with a couple of
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birthday parties attending which the staff at the Jabula duly paid their respects by singing happy birthday in English and also a traditional African song. Time for the mains now which entailed Boboti-South African casserole (mince beef dish, yellow rice with raisins and a mix spice flavouring), this is a popular South African dish which if you like cinnamon then you will love this! Pot luck-chicken fried with vegetables in a magnificent rich sauce served in a three-legged African potjie pot, (this main was my favourite, I even looked in the other guest’s pots to see if they had any left). And finally a taster of other Game on the menu that includes Ostrich, Kudu and Springbok which was set in the middle of the table on a huge plate with rice and vegetables. Before the deserts came out we were asked to take part in playing the drums so Melissa, Richard and Victoria readily obliged and went to the corner of the restaurant to get some practise with the professionals (for anyone thinking it’s easy, it’s not!) Few more drinks later and the deserts were on the way, which again, were placed in the centre of the table and empty plates were placed in front of us to help ourselves. By the way I forgot to mention that every time the plates came out they are adorned in different colour sauces in tribal images that complement the meal to be served. The puddings
were to die for and once again I think I got short changed by the rest of my party in the sharing’s. You might think that going to a restaurant is all about eating a 3 course meal with friends or family but at the jabula it doesn’t stop there. One of the drummers then taught Melissa to do a tribal dance in the middle of the restaurant much to the other diner’s amusement and then it was time for a bush tucker trial!! A rectangular plate with three upside down cups was conveyed to the table and positioned in front of Melissa. She was then blindfolded while the rest of us where exposed to the contents. A giant African ant, 3 crickets and a lugworm where hidden. Once the blindfold was removed, Melissa was given the choice of which one she wanted. Under cup number 2 which she picked was the lugworm! Quite possibly the vilest one she could have picked, but it didn’t matter, she had to eat them all anyway which she did in pure Ant ‘n’ Dec style. Not just in my estimation but in everyone’s, this restaurant will go from strength to strength in the years to come and it won’t be before long that you have to book months in advance just to get a table. Personally I will be dinning here again in the near future but this time I will bring the kids just to watch their eyes widen in disbelief!! Where life gets interesting.