[Rusholme, Manchester] Jaffa (2023)

Virtually everywhere we go to eat these days, we look round the room and realise we’re now old enough to be almost everyone’s parents. Not Jaffa, though. That’ll be grandparents here. It’s a popular spot with young Asian folk and, more generally, with students. It’s always busy with folk getting takeaways or eating in at one of the tables spread over three floors. I’ve been coming here for at least 15 years, when it was amongst the first places that wasn’t South Asian to open on the Curry Mile. Now, South Asian places are a small minority and I always think of this stretch of Wilmslow Road now as the Kebab Kilometre, rather than Curry Mile.

It’s one of those places that we only come to once or twice a year and our order has rarely varied over that time. So, there’s a plate of lamb shawarma. A generous serving of shreds of tasty meat, moist with the right amount of fat. It comes with a handful of chopped salad, dollop of houmous, a little fiery chilli sauce and a flatbread. And a mixed mezze plate – houmous, cacik, chickpeas in yoghurt & tahini, chopped salad, potatoes in a spicy tomato sauce, olives and pickles. With a couple of canned soft drinks, it’s a feast for fourteen quid. Now, last summer, that was just over £11 so quite a big increase but still a bargain lunch.