Saturday, April 7, 2018

Jahazi: Dar es Salaam Restaurant Review

At the Dar es Salaam Serena Hotel is a gorgeous little seafood place called Jahazi. I loved it so much that I ended up going twice within a span of a few weeks. This review mainly covers the first visit, but I will touch on the second one a little bit.

First of all, the ambience was absolutely GORGEOUS! Very deliberately designed, and there's no mistaking that you're in a seafood place while you're there. They had beautiful pictures up on the wall - I fell in love with one, and was quite sad that it wasn't for sale!


The picture I fell in love with is the one on the left





Jahazi is the kind of place where you're brought complimentary appetisers, sorbets and bread baskets, so that's already a plus!

Their bread basket was great! First of all - who doesn't love bread? Secondly, they brought a variety of butters, including garlic butter and seafood butter. I'm incredibly impressed by the self-control I displayed in NOT polishing off the whole thing and then being forced to run laps to fit in all the rest.



They brought us a prawn starter (apologies - wasn't on the menu, and I forgot to ask the name). While I'm not a huge seafood person, prawns I do love (see my main course later), and I quite liked this one! It was tasty and refreshing, without being too overpowering, and paired well with the mango that was slightly sour.


We then ordered some starters - the crab croquette and the calamari. The crab croquette, while being a tad overspiced, was very tasty. It had some mango pickle and clove, and a hint of a butternut taste. Definitely would order again.

The calamari on the other hand, was overspiced - too much pepper, and lacked multidimensionality. Would not order this one again.



After the appetiser, they brought us some sorbet. INSERT ALL THE HEART EMOJIS! I'm such a sorbet fan (I may or may not have been known to beg ask restaurants to just let me have the sorbet as a dessert), and theirs lived up to expectation, and then some. Lovely tropical flavours and great presentation, with the magic of just the right amount of sweetness = 100% on this one. (The pictures below are from both my visits.)



Let's move on to the mains, shall we?

The first time around, I ordered the prawns masala. OH. MY. GOODNESS. Two things I can honestly say the Serena in Dar es Salaam does better than ANYWHERE else I've ever been. One is their chilli paneer (yes, truly!), and the other is this prawns masala. I may just have to wax poetic here!

It was absolutely PERFECT. In the view of my (albeit limited) culinary expertise, I can say that there's nothing they could have done to make this dish better than it was. From the perfectly cooked accompanying basmati rice, to the fluffy and delicious chapati AND naans they served, to the spicy, flavourful and tangy curry itself - this was a match made in heaven. I daresay I'm quite in love and if any of you see me looking depressed in the near future - it'll be because of an unmet craving for this dish.

EVEN THE PICTURE SPARKLES
The second time around, I had to FORCE myself not to order this again, and to try something new - leading to my first ever crab experience! I ordered the chilli crab, and again, absolutely loved it! I didn't really have a crab baseline to compare this to, but I would order it again.


Food aside, the service was friendly. The chef came to ask for feedback - and actually listened and asked questions, which some restaurants absolutely fail to do! When we mentioned our grievances with the calamari, we were promised that this would be worked on. Yes, the place is a little pricier than your usual, but in my opinion, it was DEFINITELY worth it.

So, the next time you visit Dar es Salaam, you should definitely check out Jahazi! (And maybe order the prawn masala and send me pictures hey??)

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