Restaurant Review

Written By: The Lowdown - Sep• 30•00

Eating OutJaylin

Finished, at last! The pressure of putting the last issue of the Lowdown together was over and now it was time to unwind, at least for a day or two, before I started thinking about this issue. But, I had a house full of ten-year olds, who all needed to be fed and watered, and I had neither the energy nor the inclination to start thinking about food. So, I needed a restaurant that was not too far away (except where I live, everything is far away). Feeling brain-dead, I also needed a restaurant where I wouldn’t have to tax my small share of braincells too much when deciding what to eat and where I was pretty sure I wouldn’t have to argue with the waiters over bad service. So, out came the last issue of the Lowdown, a quick flick through to the Restaurant page and we settled for the Jaylin. The Jaylin, is one of the older restaurants in Lusaka, started operations during the early 80’s, in what was the dining room of the Lusaka Club under the management of the owner, Jeff Maclean.

The entrance into the restaurant is through the main entrance into the Clubhouse, having parked your vehicle in the spacious carpark. It was pleasing to note that there were numerous security guards patrolling , who all appeared to be awake and alert, and none of whom suffered from SGS (see page 17) . Unfortunately, the entrance does not reflect the atmosphere of the restaurant and anyone going there for the first time, would be fully justified in turning around and going elsewhere, although the guard who mans the entrance desk is always friendly.

Nevertheless, once you get into the restaurant, your doubts about whether this was a good choice are dispelled. Patrons are met by a smiling member of the management and quickly shown to their table, where drinks orders are taken immediately and served promptly. After that, their extensive menu is presented and this is where the problems start – should you have one of their delicious starters, what will tickle your fancy for a main dish – Chinese, Indian, seafood or something from the grill?

For starters, we decided we felt like Prawn Cocktail, but it wasn’t on the menu. What to do? This was no problem at all. Our cocktails, specially prepared, arrived together with the other starters, nicely presented and extremely tasty as well, covered with oodles of dressing,. For the main dish, we deviated from the usual Pepper Steak (they serve delicious Pepper Steaks) and chose a beef curry and sweet and sour pork. For the children, they have a Kid’s menu, and they chose their usual chicken and chips. But before the main course arrived, it was time to sample the salad bar. Whilst this is not extensive, they serve two or three good salads, which are always tasty. Usually, I ladle mayonnaise or mayonnaise-type dressings on my salads (and my other food), but there were none available. Despite this, the salads were delicious and were thoroughly enjoyed. The main courses were served quickly and the curry had the usual accompaniments as well as a selection of Rivonia chutneys. The children decided that they wanted chocolate ice cream after their meal and we rounded the meal off with a couple of French and Russian coffees. Suitably relaxed and having had a reasonably priced, tasty meal, we made our weary way home.

From the early days when the restaurant first opened, the Jaylin is still popular. Having arrived early, just after 7, it was full by 8, with people waiting for tables, so you would be well advised to make reservations (Telephone 252-206, closed on Monday), both at lunchtime and in the evenings. You will also be assured of seeing old friends who like us, wanted a good, nothing-fancy meal.


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