Jai Jalaram Khaman – Sandringham· Restaurant Reviews
Dec 3rd, 2011 | By Corin Haines | Category: Restaurant Reviews
It was Friday night at the end of a long week. She had just had a bath and posed the question of going out. I was just in the door and feeling tired. Fighting the desire to do nothing I suggested something local. She suggested Jai Jalaram Khaman, and I am so glad she did.
Jai Jalaram Khaman is a vegetarian Gujarat restaurant in Sandringham. Nestled amongst the other restaurants, dairies and food stores, it stands out because of its pinky orange exterior. However, you could be forgiven for passing it by, as little from the outside indicates the great food inside. A true suburban corner shop style ethnic restaurant, once inside the diner is greeted by a small space, with formica tables and kitchen chairs. This place is not about atmosphere, it is about good food.
We chose to have a shared dining experience and order Dahi-Puri, Bhel-Puri, Papdi-Chaat and Dabeli. The Dabeli arrived first. The burger on one plate, nicely cut in half at our request, and a plate with the most amazing swirl of sauce and chutney to dip the burger into. Dabeli is a vegetarian burger filled with mashed potato, spices, peanuts, onion and raisins. It is great on its own but with the sauce it was amazing. It is refreshing to be reminded (I so easily forget) of the amazing flavours and taste sensations that traditional cultures have created when dealing with food that does not rely on meat. This is something I will be having again.
Next the Bhel-Puri arrived at the table. This is a bowl filled with a mixture of rice bubbles, crackers, sev, onion, peanuts, mashed potato and chutneys. Rice bubbles I hear you say? Don’t mock, this is seriously good and was the standout dish of the night. It is interesting in presentation, mouth sensation and flavour. I have a suspicion I have just found my healthy fast food! The crunch, giving way to the softness of the potato and flavours from various chutneys is quite distinctive and amazing.
Finally the Dahi-Puri and Papdi-Chaat arrived together. If I did not know better I would think someone out in the kitchen was structuring the meal. If you have never had Puri before, you really do have to try them. Puri are a small round piece of unleavened bread which is deep fried. Combine this with amazing flavours and toppings and you really do have a taste sensation. As one Wikipedia article notes about panipuri, “Traditionally, panipuris are eaten by placing the entire puri into the mouth in one go and biting into it. This releases a barrage of tastes”. This really does describe what is going on with these two dishes above. Both dishes provided great sensations and flavours.
By the end of the meal my mouth was just simmering warm but not overpowered by heat. This may have been helped somewhat by the delightful Mango Lasi, which kept me company during the meal. Jai Jalaram Khaman is not licensed, but when one has a lovely Lasi, that does not seem to matter.
Jai Jalaram Khaman gets 4/5