Jajoo is a relatively new opening in Didsbury. Of course, when I say “opening”, I mean that it’s not actually open due to the lockdown. But it is one of a number of restaurants that deliver to our address via Deliveroo. During lockdown, we’ve swapped our weekly restaurant night for a weekly home delivery from a restaurant.
I probably should have been warned off by the Tripadvisor reviews. Several first time posters saying how good it was – and we all know not to trust first time posters with such claims, as they are probably fake. And, by contrast, a couple of longer term contributors saying how awful it was. We probably should have just stuck to other local South Asian places where we know the quality but, nothing ventured, nothing gained as they say. Well, we didn’t find it awful. But we did find it just not at all good and not one to use again.
Both our starters were dishes we’ve eaten many times. We know what good versions should be like, so they make for a reference point for any new place we’re trying. These were not good versions. Seekh kebabs tasted fine but were dry in texture. They advertise these as coming with onions, peppers and chutney dip but all of these were missing from the dish. It meant there was just big lumps of meat on the plate – frankly not at all appetising. Samosa chaat again tasted fine, except that the usual tanginess from tamarind chutney was missing and the samosa pastry wasn’t at all crisp, meaning important elements of taste and texture had been lost…
For one main course, there was “Punjabi mixed vegetables” – potato, peppers, peas, tomato, carrot and green beans in an inoffensive quite dry sauce, in which chilli was the dominant spice. It was fine and much better than the Hyderabadi chicken biryani. That was a matter of playing “hunt the chicken”. Nope, there really wasn’t more than half a dozen or so small pieces in amongst the not very flavoursome rice. And like the kebab starter, the advertised accompanying curry sauce didn’t turn up, so this was another dry and quite boring plate.
We also had a tandoori roti and a laccha paratha, neither of which were good versions. The former had none of the little bits of crispness and the latter little of the flakiness that you expect.
I have been loath to criticise restaurants that have tried to keep going in these difficult times. They need our support. But this one just doesn’t cut it.