After reading a glowing review in the local news paper, a group of friends and I visited Hornsby’s somewhat new restaurant Jaam E Jam for a leisurely meal on a sunday evening. The place is not over whelming large, but quite cozy with that unmistakably Middle Eastern aura.
When we entered the restaurant it was not overly crowded. It could have been because it was a long weekend, and many had gone out of town or may be it was because our party arrived so close to closing time. What ever the reason, we were quite thrilled when towards the end of the night it was just our crowd and the staff inside the premises with that occasional walk-in for take away.
The food was definitely authentically Iranian. Though the staff highly recommends Doogh as a drink, I personally believe it is an acquired taste. It being rather a chilly evening all of us opted to try the hot tea ($8.00 a pot) from the drinks menu. The tea was to our taste with a hint of a difference from regular black tea.
Almost every dish we ordered came with a portion of rice. Not complaining, but we did end up with a massive amount of rice at our table. The rice as one would expect was quite dry, but as I have learnt from past experiences at similar kind of restaurants; the secret to great tasting Iranian rice is the butter you mix in with it. The butter gives the rice that much needed moisture and flavour. If you are not counting your calories, you do not have to use the butter sparingly as there is plenty of butter on offer.
Though the rice is moistened and flavoured by the butter, I do recommend ordering a stew of some sort for those who do not fancy dry rice. Out of the rice dishes we ordered, my personal favourite is the rice that comes with cranberries mixed in.
The meat dishes came quite delicious too. With the help of suggestions made by the friendly staff, we ended up ordering a large selection of meat dishes. You will need to discuss with the staff before ordering as many of the dishes with their exotic sounding names could be quite alien to you.
Each and every dish came well seasoned and cooked to perfection. My friends who are food experts on their own right were quite excited about the array of meats that were brought to the table.
The fact that all meat dishes tasted different from each other was quite unexpected yet pleasing. The lamb shank was of special significance due to the authentic taste, and the perfection of cooking The flavoured rice with broad beans that came with the lamb shank was different but one of the best at Jaam E Jam.
The highlight of the meal for me and many others who were with me definitely had to be the rosewater and pistachio ice cream. The waiting staff recommended it saying that it is the best ice cream in the world. It did come close to being one of the best I have tasted during my travels.
Having eaten at quite a few Iranian/Persian restaurants, I do have to agree that the promise of an authentic taste of Iran was certainly delivered at Jaam E Jam.
Where: shop 127/ 121-133 Pacific Hwy Hornsby NSW
Why:Authentic taste and friendly service.
Cost: Mains start from $14.00
When: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.