Our esteemed host (and manager) of Jajoo mentioned that the Birmingham restaurant where he worked gained notoriety that week after being visited by Tom Cruise.
Brilliant. I had an angle for my review. Well-placed puns and tenuous links between cruise movies and Indian cuisine, this could be my best work yet! But then we started to eat and I knew immediately that my word count should be devoted solely and solely to the description of the food.
New to Hale, Jajoo is an Indian street food restaurant founded by Dr Jajoo; his wish to offer an authentic Indian culinary experience with “healthy, often vegetal and tasty” dishes.
We started our Jajoo journey by sharing food from the Street Eats section. Think “tapas”, the dishes arrive as they are cooked, providing strong sensations at regular intervals.
We ordered the Gunpowder Gobi (cauliflower florets marinated overnight in yogurt, garlic and ginger, sprinkled with gunpowder spices and served charred), Tandoor Aloo (potatoes, peppers and onions marinated in masala spices) and, my favorite of the three, the Jajoo Momos Chicken (spicy handmade meatballs, golden fries and served with a Schezwan dip).
All the ingredients are fresh, the dips are homemade, and the items cooked to provide the perfect bite and heat when needed.
Some Indian restaurants seem to aim to smack you between the eyes with a mixture of spices and fire until your eyes cry and beg for mercy. Not here. The flavors have a platform to shine with the heat rising slowly, surely but never wildly in the background.
Then the ‘Roadside Curries’. Nalli Gosht is an impressively sized lamb shank that has been marinated and cooked slowly. I will quote the menu directly because it tells the truth: “packed with layers of flavor, a delicious thick curry of ground spices, fresh cilantro and Kashmiri peppers”. The lamb really fell off the bone and practically melted in your mouth, amazing.
We also shared The Doctor’s Daal which has been described as Dr Jajoo’s favorite dish (and ours as well). Jajoo black lentils cook slowly for 36 hours, resulting in a hot, smoky, creamy and ultimately comforting dish.
The manager told us that if a restaurant can pass their Daal, everything else will follow. True story.
Lucky enough to live in an area where an ever-increasing number of restaurants are vying for our attention, opening a remarkable restaurant here can be a “risky business.” Jajoo has proven this ‘mission, possible’. Oh yes.
Address: 151 Ashley Rd, Hale, WA14 2UW
Reservations: Call 0161 924 0033 or visit jajooindianstreetfood.com