Monday, May 10, 2010

Review: Jah Bar, Manly

I live up in the Northern Beaches area and the rest of my friends either live on the North Shore or somewhere down south or out west. What does that mean? Well it means that we rarely ever dine out near my area which subsequently leads to me driving far far away for outings. This particular night however, JTC and WF were going to be in the area and so we decided to choose a place in Manly to satisfy the growling of our stomachs.

We had no preference for cuisine, so the criteria were merely anything which tasted delicious and was bearable for our wallets. Jah Bar was what we ended up with. Situated in a small laneway right opposite a large carpark which has free parking at nights, it was bustling with people by the time we arrived. The restaurant itself was separated into three sections with a couple of tables out the front, the bulk of tables out the back and a bar in between. The diners here ranged from couples on romantic dates to large group bookings all eating and drinking under an area lit dimly by a string of Christmas lights. 

Being a table of boys, we were pretty much starving by the time we sat down and made swift decisions to order. Not long after, we were graced with the complimentary presence of sourdough bread and olive oil. Nothing particular special but always a nice way to start a meal - and to keep us munching and distracted while we waited for our main course.

The first dish that arrived was the Pizza Margarita with Tomato, Basil & Buffalo Mozarella, sliced neatly for us to share. I'm a big fan of the crispy crust which seemed to be achieved with oil at a bare minimum. The tomato was deliciously juicy and surprisingly did not affect how crunchy the base was. I felt quite happy with my slice of pizza and not at all unhealthy. Sometimes it's a nice change to eat something so delicious and still feel unburdened by oil and fat!

Pizza Margarita $16

I think I failed to mention that when we made the orders, both JTC and WF looked straight at me and had little input except with the serving of prawns. Naturally, I picked dishes that I loved and the Seared Scallops & Morcilla with White Bean Puree fell right into that category. I have many friends who aren't big fans of seafood and don't like the slightly chewy texture of scallops but I beg to differ. That texture is beautiful, flavorsome and when seared ever so lightly and dipped in that beautiful puree - it was brillant...that's what my tastebuds told me anyway, so don't take my word for it!

Seared Scallops $14

Chorizo is a dish which has brought upon both pleasure and pain since I was first acquainted with it. In Hong Kong, I've experienced the spiciest, most inedible chorizos I have ever tried but in a general sense, has actually brought great joy to me. This particular variation accomplished the latter but with most chorizos, my only complaint was I had to share with the other guys on the table. Yeah, yeah...I know that sharing is caring...but sometimes taking such a small bite doesn't quite satisfy my eager taste buds. 

Chorizo $8

This was quickly followed by an assortment of mushrooms which had been sauteed with garlic and a squiz of vingagre de jerez. Mushrooms in home and at places that I have dined at, are usually complementary to many dishes, mixed in to add that tangent of flavour. As a feature dish, the different types of mushrooms with a side of bread was delicious - absolutely loved the juicy crunch in my mouth. Meanwhile, the waiter had delivered our King Prawns & Sobrasada cooked in Spanish apple cider and just judging by the small dish, the prawns had definitely soaked up all the flavour. I'm not generally a big fan of prawns, especially the 'take-my-shell-off-with-your-hands' variety. I'm a bit lazy to do it usually and I find that all the flavour is lost once you remove the shell. It was, however, quite yummy so don't let my personal laziness put you off from ordering this one!

Assorted Mushrooms $11

King Prawns & Sobrasada $13.50

Of course, you'll rarely ever catch me finishing up a dinner out without dessert so these Spanish doughnut sticks were a given. Ask me to dip anything into a pot of melted chocolate and you'll be greeted with a smile - a perfect way to end a splendid dinner out at Manly!

Churros $8

Jah Bar
Shop 7, 15 Central Avenue
Manly, NSW 2095
Tel: (02) 9977 4449


  1. oh yum the gooey cheese on that pizza looks fantastic!

  2. Yum! Scallops and the chorizo look so good!

  3. Chorizo sounds pretty sizzling. And those seared scallops look fatter than a Northern Beaches wallet. Don't know why you wouldn't appreciate scallops...sigh

  4. Those scallops look wonderful! My husband and I have eaten here several times now and love it. Next time scallops are on the menu!

  5. Scallops are awesommee as long as they are done right and in this case they look mighty fine. Shall have to hit this up sometime!

  6. Love a good pizza margherita in all its simpleness. Seared scallops are great too, esp when paired with chorizo!

  7. oh that cheese pizza looks like it would fix a pizza craving for sure! Scollops look lovely.

  8. Mmy, those scallops do look good, but the weather outside is screaming for some of that hot, gooey churros! I wish some could deliver to my office desk!

  9. have you ever been to catalonia restaurant in kirribilli? the food looks so similar.. even the plates and clay bowls!

  10. chocolatesuze: and it was fantastic! not too oily :) makes the health-conscious happy!

    missklicious: indeed they were. in my mind though, scallops are always delicious

    the ninja: completely agree. scallops = awesome.

    anonymous: they are beautiful! don't forget to order it!

    ffichiban: i can see the trend in scallop loving people now...i have friends!

    mademoiselle délicieuse: simplicity can be great nowadays and the mashing of flavours...good times in the mouth!

    renita: yeah, and it's not too heavy either!

    forager: haha, i'd love to just have an in-house kitchen/chef? :P best place to work for!

    cathy x.: haven't been yet though is there another branch somewhere else? it sounds familiar! will definitely give it a try sometime! thanks for the recommendation!