Posts tagged Flatbread

Like a Pizza, But Not: Just Man’oushe, Sydney CBD

Review of Just Man'oushe by Sydney Food Blog Insatiable Munchies

I have something to admit: I’m not much of a pizza person. I mean, I like it as much as the next person, but I don’t live for it, like some people do. Heresy, I know.

The thing is, I enjoy a good flatbread more than the pizza as a whole, and it needs to have the right amount of chewiness, the right amount of pull, and the right amount of crisp. And this is where Just Man’oushe comes in.

IMG_9290Raw beef and cheese man’oushe

Man’oushe really refers to the flatbread, and is usually served with some melted cheese with a smattering of dried herbs like oregano and thyme. But like all delicious things, there are always variations, and it has evolved to pizza-like proportions, with a huge variety of options to choose from!

I know, #firstworldproblems right?

03Beef sujuk and cheese man’oushe

The biggest difference to me between man’oushe and pizza, is that there isn’t a sauce requirement to go over the base. But really, with a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of chilli flakes, it does not need it! We tried the Minced Beef and Cheese, which involves seasoned raw beef mince warmed on flatbread, and it was super addictive. The mince was laid on thinly, and wasn’t as chunky as the beef mince that you’d get from the store, making it more saucy than mincy, if you’ll excuse my uh, scientific terminology here.

If you’re not as adventurous, the sujuk and cheese – a spicy beef sausage and a light covering of cheese – also works as a delicious variation on the classic pepperoni pizza. But really, try the beef mince. It’s amazing.

The service has also been delightful, all owing to the young pizza chef. He clearly loves his food, and is always at the ready with helpful suggestions and explanations to create the best experience! We went there after a rainy afternoon one day, and he was the only one to notice that the seats were wet, and came out of the kitchen to get us dry chairs. Very thoughtful.

I’m looking forward to working my way through the menu at Just Man’oushe, and if what I’ve had so far is any indication, it’s going to be awesome.

This meal was independently paid for.
Just Man’oushe
4-6 York Street
Sydney, NSW
Phone: 02 7901 2403

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Of flatbreads and pickles: Jasmine 1, Auburn

Large mixed plate from Jasmine 1 in Auburn

A quick Google of Jasmine 1 in Auburn turns up very conflicting results: no one can seem to agree on whether it’s actually part of a chain, whether there’s an affiliation between the different locations, or even whether it’s spelt Jasmin or Jasmine (why did I not take a closer look at the sign when I was there).

But what they can agree on, is that the food is good.

A bowl of Foul: broad beans simmered with lemon juice and garlic, finished with olive oilFoul, $8

Pronounced “Fool”, Foule consists of broad beans simmered with garlic and lemon juice, and topped with a fruity olive oil. As Anthony Bourdain once said of another dish, it “sits like a bag of quarters” in your stomach, but it’s so worth it. A thick stew of tender broad beans are lifted with the sour tang of lemon juice and served with soft Lebanese flatbread.

Well, the flatbread comes with every meal, so I’m assuming that I can pair the two together.

Fried Kibbeh: Seasoned lamb mince enclosed in burghul, shaped into an oval, and fried to a crisp.Fried Kebbeh, $12

And as soon as I saw the word “kibbeh” (kebbeh?), the words “raw lamb” immediately come to mind. And I rarely see restaurants serve this, because of the risks involved in serving people raw, minced meat. Steak tartare is hand-cut, and so’s the Korean yukhoe, but mincing, requires a machine, and that can be an absolute breeding ground for bacteria if not properly maintained.

Unfortunately, my dining partners weren’t quite up for ordering it, so we ended up getting Fried Kebbeh instead!

Fried Kebbeh

These divine oval parcels involve seasoned lamb mince stuffed into a burghul shell, and deep fried into golden brown deliciousness.

Fattoush: Salad of tomato, capsicum, onion, cabbage, mint, and parsley, dressed in lemon juice and olive oil.Fattoush, $8

And we got a salad. Because, EAT YOUR VEGGIES. But no, really, I never realised how INSANELY AWESOME it is to have crunchy bits of deep fried flatbread sitting on top of a salad so well-dressed it’s ready for the Oscars. Maybe it’s not the BEST fattoush in the world – I wouldn’t know really, since I’ve been distracted by it’s greener cousin tabbouli all these years – but it was tasty, and fresh, and one of the more enjoyable salads I’ve had in a while.

Large mixed plate from Jasmine 1 in AuburnLarge Mixed Plate, $36

And then the main event. A Large Mixed Plate, $36, to share. 3 chicken skewers, 3 koftas, and 4 lamb skewers are served with a plate of pickles, and endless flatbreads. Oh, and a garlic sauce that is garlicky enough to repel a bad tinder date, but not quite enough to keep you safe from vampires, a la El Jannah. The kofta was fantastic – and reminded me heaps of the Persian Koobideh, which also involves seasoned minced lamb cooked on a stick – and the lamb kebab was well seasoned and had just the right accents of fat. And I adore lamb fat.

The chicken, not so much, but I’m not a chicken person, much less chicken breast.

The service – which some think is a bit spotty – was actually pretty good when I went – they had a few customers in the restaurant, promptly brought us our menus, and took our orders in a timely fashion. They also served up complimentary cups of hot sweet black tea, which ended the meal on a light, sweet note.

Not that it stopped us from dropping by the amazing bakeries on the way back to the car to get some desserts in!

Jasmine 1
22 Civic Rd
Auburn, NSW 2144
Phone: 02 9643 8426

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