Friday night saw the monthly Men’s Meat Night (MMN) roll into Jah Bar in Manly and it’s hard to say if we’d be back, either permitted or through choice!
Manly is buzzing these days with top quality cocktail bars and nice restaurants across every cuisine; since moving here I seem to never leave. There are some obvious tourist traps given Manly’s sex appeal to the travellers who descend on this place as soon as the sun breaks the clouds, so read reviews carefully and look for locals feedback to find the best spots.
Jah Bar itself is a Spanish tapas restaurant on the backstreet’s of Manly, it’s got a cool vibe, with indoor/outdoor seating and courtyard at the back; you can also sit at the bar and get a view of the kitchen in action. There were high hopes, the menu looked awesome when released in the MMN Facebook thread, some delicious wee morsels leading up to sticky glazed ribs!
The obligatory drinks deal included a few jugs of Jah Bar’s very own pale ale – the beer douche in me was excited but didn’t hold my breath for anything ground breaking. It was pretty average, it had some serious froth on it with no distinctive flavours; it got guzzled so we could order something else that had been spotted on the menu – Kunstmann Lager. The name of this beer was like a red rag to a bull for the boys but made for, what we felt in our slightly intoxicated states, some hilarious banter throughout the meal. These jovial moments were, however, shared with the majority of the other diners at the restaurant given our location at the entrance, leading us to assume a frosty response from Jah Bar management if MMN ever wanted to return.
During all the drinking there was also food; first up was a delicious charcutrerie board with a chicken and pork terrine that was awesome spread on the charred bread, the morcon salami was great as well; given the beers had now been flowing since around 5 these got swiftly demolished! Next up was a range of tapas dishes, sticky cider glazed chorizo and beef empanadas with almost luminescent, but very tasty, chimmi churri. Even more chorizo in the form of little mini tacos, emphasis on little and mini, and albondigas in spicy tomato sauce. I would’ve smashed 300 hundred of the chorizo tacos, the onion jam and corn salsa went perfectly in the small taco shell but there just wasn’t enough of them. Last up, hickory smoked pork ribs cooked in ale and cherry glaze; I wasn’t really sure about this dish, the glaze was almost black and tasted a bit burnt, pork was pretty tender but portions were small and I was glad of the patatas bravas on the side to finish it off.
While there wasn’t a huge amount of food there were some enjoyable bites and I reckon I’d go back but with Mrs. L&T for date night rather than in search of a big hearty feed with the boys. Give Jah Bar a crack and try ordering a Kunstmann without having a cheeky giggle.