Jackson + Rye

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Dear Londoner,
I've got to hand it to you. Not only do you contend with the routine horrors of the Tube during rush hour day after day, but somehow have the stamina to go out after work; on a weeknight for god's sake. I mean, if it were me I'd be slumped in a half stupor on my couch with a cup of tea in hand come 6 o'clock. So well done, for leaving nothing to chance and booking everything weeks in advance. It's a killer of spontaneity for sure, but I'd rather be eating where I want thanks very much. The mental picture of oneself wandering the streets hungry, cold and clutching a paper cone of chestnuts (or worse, McDonald's) for sustenance is alarming to say the least. It really is survival of the fittest, and the fastest walkers (I was warned). 
Yours truly,

Swan past too quick On Wardour St and you'll miss it! Credit: Jackson + Rye

Thankfully, this time round one of us had the savvy to book online (and yes, punters were being turned away as we walked through the door). Jackson + Rye has been bitten by the hype bug pretty hard and it's still going strong after opening in Soho late 2013. It's premise is rather on-trend (darling) being an American style bar and diner seeking inspiration from 1920's New York. With suitably stylish interiors by Martin Brudnizki, Jackson + Rye looked like the place to be in and by that, I mean it was LOUD. Now I'm not a huge fan of shouting to communicate with my table companions but apparently, c'est très cool. Ugh.

This is it, you're pretty much guaranteed a full house 7 days a week. But look how happy they are! Credit: Jackson + Rye

The menu in all its cardboard glory falls just short of encyclopaedic. My head was spinning at one glance, I hadn't even reached the drinks menu yet. So I basically did what I always do,  and ordered a special. Can't go wrong, right? J+R seem to have forged a reputation for their steaks, a great option to please the lads who are looking for a slab of meat and no veg (well, almost). What's nice about the whole dealio is that the menu is all-day, they are literally open from 8am till after 11pm most days which is kind of nifty. But dinner service is where it's at ;)

Mesdames et messieurs, entrée is served...

Truffled mac & cheese with light parmesan sauce. The sauce was indeed very light, nigh unnoticeable. If I was at home, you'd be able to see that parmesan all gooey and sticking between tendrils of pasta, dammit

Shrimp & Grits: hot shrimp, chilli, garlic, spring onion. Excuse my ignorance but I was a bit perplexed here...what are grits?! Ground corn according to wiki - a feature of Southern American cooking. Well, there you go. I found the 'grits' to be quite gluggy, perhaps that was the desired effect but who knows...

And then for main:

Market fish: grilled swordfish with green beans, tomatoes and new potatoes. A very homestyle kind of dish but boy was the swordfish tasty. Gorgeously cooked and super succulent, delicious!

All up in my grill...200g of grass fed beef fillet. Yes, it looks rather sad and unloved on the plate but it also came with a house sauce of your choosing, fries and smoked garlic butter (that's better). By all accounts the steak was cooked well. The asterisk grill marks look great by the way (kidding)

DOLCE (= party time)
Why not do the obvious and order one of each? Duh?!

Baked cheesecake (left) and frozen white chocolate, raspberry soufflé (right). The general consensus was that the cheesecake was the best dessert (we have a winner!). The cheesecake itself was light and fluffy and when combined with the berry compôte = dynamite. The soufflé was a NOT a soufflé, don't make the rookie error of not reading the fine print. It is essentially a semifreddo moulded into a ramekin. I was wishing for Messina at that point...

In complete contradiction to my mostly kind words, Marina O'Loughlin from The Guardian gave J + R a proper ribbing describing the food as "bland and forgettable". Scathing. Our experience at the restaurant was a rather pleasant one, it looks as though a lot of the initial speed bumps have been ironed out now. The service that we received could not be faulted actually and the food was fairly decent. One day, I'll come back and order the grilled lobster (bring out the big guns). Yeeeaah :)

I think now is the time for some sage words from Apu, "Thank you come again!" Credit: Jackson + Rye

Thanks for reading!
Jackson & Rye on Urbanspoon


  1. Aww so disappointing about the souffle. The cheesecake sounds awesome though!



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