Where and what is Jasmin’s, you may ask. Well, Jasmin’s is directly west – right outside my Sydney bubble comfort zone. A bit of an institution in Lekemba, we were about to be treated to some of the best Lebanese around. And not just by anyone, but by the one and only Big Kev- the largest ever contestant to grace The Biggest Loser- WORLDWIDE!
Extra mile- 6
Budget – medium
*Scores are out of 10
Jasmin’s rating – 30/50 on a medium budget
Regardless of what we were about to eat, the dinner was always going to be an interesting one. Two trainers lining up with the big man himself – Big Kev – and his partner Julie, this could go a few ways…
Let me explain the reason for this dinner…
Although Kev was involved in the show, he has been consistently working with an extremely talented trainer and coach… NN.
I think for certain reasons we can’t talk about Kev’s success so far in terms of actual kilos lost- only one way of measuring success in a journey like his- but I can tell you this; Kev has lost more than my weight and very much turned his life around. Far from a flash in the pan – weight loss style TV show contestant – Kev is literally half the man he used to be, while at the same time being so much more.
So this dinner was a small celebration, of sorts, to mark some of his amazing progress.
Enter once again the situation- does Kev just smash whatever food he wants, given that NN is across the table? Does NN keep a close eye on her plate, knowing that Kev is most definitely doing so?
Of course these were things for them to think about, for I just went head first in; hummus, lamb shish, falafel, chicken, you name it, we ordered it. Much to the delight and reluctance of the owner. In a strange twist he was convincing us not to order so much. The hard part being choosing what to leave out, for the menu, albeit simple, all looked fantastic.
Jasmin’s is a friendly, family style restaurant and take out. Being a Friday night it was pretty popular with locals, however, we settled in, made ourselves at home and simply devoured the majority of the feast that was laid out in front of us.
I have to say that as far as Lebanese food goes, this was pretty damn awesome. I haven’t been to Lebanon, so can’t comment to that extent, but heading any further west that Balmain is essentially a new country for me anyways… (for those not familiar, Balmain is just west of the city. I am a lazy Sydney traveller, at best)
So for those of you faced with, or choosing to go Lebanese and somewhat unsure how to approach it from a more ‘healthy eating’ standpoint, here are my advices:
- Treat it like a reverse meal or sorts; sides, main, entree, appetisers
- Hold off on the flat bread initially and have some of the salad and pickled veggies first, the follow this with the big meaty stuff
- Follow this with the entrees and bites such as hummus, labna and Lebanese flatbread
- Then, if it’s that time of the week that allows for a more relaxed meal, have a baklava
Yeah there’s heaps of breaded starters, carb heavy chickpea dishes, and I’m not saying don’t have them- definitely do, it’s some of the best stuff there! But ensure that you limit it and not just gorge and fill yourself on this.
Pretty simple really. How did we do it? Somewhat different, but then this was a more relaxed meal for us, and Big Kev, who to anyone wondering (IMO) is absolutely killing it.
NN, I’m sure you’ll have something to add…
Fully, sik food, brah! Ok, that was my best (and potentially bad taste) Lebanese impersonation… But seriously, that food was well worth the journey!
As MC mentioned this was a mini-celebration of all things achieved this year with Kev and his partner Julie. They know that we are total foodies, and as such wanted to share with us, this hidden treasure.
Lebanese food is one of my all time favourite cuisines; I love all the pickles, meat, dips, falafels and pita bread. It is also of the healthier take away options available, hence when Kev suggested we go there I welcomed the chance.
Whenever a PT goes out for dinner with their client there is always that awkward ‘client watches PT, PT watches client’ kind of situation going on. It is entertaining to see who will break first and dive straight into the food, and on this occasion, it was I. I left all graces at the front door as I single-handedly took on both the generous amounts of food, and Kev. In fact, once everyone was over the initial PT/Client role awkwardness we settled into some solid, joyous eating.
The owner told us that he would charge us double if we didn’t eat all of our food, luckily for us, we got through everything (although I was a little disappointed at this as I wanted to take a doggy bag home).
Overall Jasmin’s delivered amazing Lebanese food, and even the dinky little restaurant décor contributed to the experience had.
A great night out, with great people at a great restaurant! Thank you Julie and Kev!!
Yes, thanks again guys! – MC