We're Not Entirely Won Over By The Menu Makeover at Jackson + Rye
French-American fusion brasserie, Jackson + Rye, has had a menu shake-up and we are giving it the all-important taste test. Things kick off with a Garden Gin: Beefeater gin, cucumber, elderflower and tonic. It’s a refreshing, delicately sweetened cocktail. We order a second round.
For starters we try the beetroot and goat’s cheese salad, and the fried calamari. The hearty chunks of roasted beets are sweet. Served with generous helpings of creamy goat’s cheese and candied pecans, the salad is near-orgasmic; it’s not often we’re so enthused by salad. The salt and pepper squid is tasty, enriched by the sesame and lime dressing. Things get off to a promising start.
For the main course, we try the butternut squash risotto and the king prawn linguine. Both dishes are substantial; the portions definitely take inspiration from America, not France. The butternut risotto is mildly sweet to taste, though the texture is wet and gloopy. And yet, we quite like it, but don't see everyone sharing the same opinion as us.
The prawn linguine is overcomplicated and confused; a plethora of tastes and textures that lack cohesion. We mistake the crab meat for tinned tuna; perhaps it’s the meat’s dull grey colour or perhaps it’s the distinctive lack of flavour. The prawns are no less inspiring; we have difficulty believing they are fresh. It’s a disappointing dish that goes largely untouched.
Our side dishes continue in a similar vein: the tomato salad is pedestrian - a selection of insipid tomatoes — the broccoli is hard, and the creamed spinach has a disconcerting fishy flavour.
The portions may be generous, but our main course leaves us unfulfilled. Fortunately, pudding holds promise in the form of a much-loved, often-overlooked delight: banana split.
The retro dessert is hard to mess up: sliced bananas, three scoops of ice cream and Chantilly cream. The pudding more than impresses; the caramelised bananas and toffee sauce elevate our childhood favourite. It’s a lifesaving swerve to a near-car crash ending.
Jackson + Rye, 30 Old Jewry, EC2R 8EB
Last Updated 27 February 2018