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Jai: Can't Get Enough of Exotic Flavors of Asia
Finally, yes, I did it! I'm trying Jai because honestly, to date, I didn't hear a single negative review about the place.
To start with, Jai is a delivery kitchen down on Hamra Street cooking Asian cuisine, south Asian food, a mix of Thai, Indian and some Indonesian dishes with a pinch of Vietnamese.
One single round table welcomes you inside, as well as a wooden bar outside, come enjoy the open kitchen, the busy beehive working, preparing, a space full of the fresh aromas of grilling and things coming to life.
A warm colored space, stainless steel filling the room, a drinks fridge and clear food boxes. I loved the fact that they have both Coke and Pepsi.
The food is exquisite:
- Shrimp summer rolls LBP10,000: A fresh, crunchy roll filled with shrimps, white noodles, lettuce and herbs. I loved the crunchiness, the chewiness of the wrap and the real feel of every ingredient; a roll that doesn't need any sauce. As you may have noticed, I don't dip, I enjoy things as they are, to feel them and not cover their flavors with sweetness, spiciness and saltiness.
- Thai fish cakes LBP10,000: A fried ball that's tender and soft and most importantly doesn't taste of oil, but of fish and lemongrass, lime leaf and ginger. An equilibrium of flavors mixed together and guaranteed to make you smile. A great first impression.
- Chicken satay LBP11,000: Grilled chicken skewers covered with a mountain of spicy peanut sauce and crushed nuts. Each skewer hosts three chunks of grilled chicken with their charcoal flavor alongside slices of grilled onions and some love. Tasty and addictive skewers.
- Spinach and peanut sauce salad LBP15,000: Spinach, lettuce, green onions and a crispy noodle topping in s spicy peanut dressing. A generous mountain of salad filled with fresh vegetables cut in small pieces with crunchy noodles for an enjoyable texture. I loved the sauce, loved the colors, enjoyed the tomatoes and carrots... It's Asian, but it feels light.
- Raita and poppadoms LBP 9,000: Ultra thin, almost transparent fried chips, crunchy like fire, full of life and flavors with two dips on the side one sweet, that's the mango chutney, and the other yogurt with mint. Beautiful!
- Thai beef salad LBP18,000:Also a generous mountain, lots of lettuce, marinated beef, sesame, herbs and spices. That's yummy! Fresh cucumbers, rich cold spiciness, a superb acidic touch and a great beef. That's a recommended favorite for sure.
- General Tsao chicken LBP19,000: A cocktail of colors and flavors, slices of cooked capsicum and crunchy carrots bathing in a smoky soy sauce with jasmine rice. I loved the battered chicken chunks, juicy and flavorful, moist on the inside... Lovely indeed.
- Butter chicken LBP20,000: What I first said was "très bon, très très bon". That's really tasty. A smooth mix of tender chicken with cubes of melting potatoes and a light crunch of cauliflower. A very flavorful yogurt sauce, but beware, when you start, you can't stop. I loved it!
- Green curry LBP25,000: Thai cuisine in a bowl, a creamy coconut base sauce with ginger and lemon. Cooked vegetables, tender shrimps, basil and freshness. It is spicy indeed, but that enjoyable spiciness I love.
- Pad Thai LBP19,000: Classic Thai noodles with egg, shrimps and crushed peanuts. The signature renowned plate the world knows is a Thai dish. Creamy and very heavy and surely a meal on its own. We should have started with it not ended with it.
- Even though it’s a delivery kitchen, the plates used are nice, some metal, others simple white.
Good to know:
- They don't sell alcohol but they would love it if you bring your own bottle with you.
Dessert is only for dine-in:
- Ginger beignet with coconut and lemon grass cream: Uufff! Oil-free fried dough, fluffy and airy and crunchy in the outside, covered with sliced almonds and topped with powdered sugar. I loved it, really loved it! I've rarely eaten a donut that's as good as this one.
Wow! I'll be coming back over and over again... Believe me when I say that the food was exquisite. The experience has to be repeated and you should consider it soon. I've never had Asian food that good here in Lebanon.