Following the success of the already heaving Soho branch, I ventured to the brand new Jackson + Rye on Chiswick High Road.
This was my first taste of dinner at J+R, so I was looking forward to seeing the new space and equally the vibe in the evening.
Chiswick High Road is wonderful and drenched in places to eat, it almost feels like you’re abroad when taking a wander on a summer night. The restaurant was packed when we arrived, the space being similar to the soho branch but slightly smaller. It has a great, buzzy feel to it and although busy, it’s really relaxing.
I went for the drink special – Strawberry Daiquiri. It had freshly crushed local strawberries and tasted incredible. Sweet and fresh, a perfect start to the evening. My guest went for the virgin Mojito. Not strictly on the menu, but definitely should be, the bartender has got some serious skills. The blend of mint and lime makes you feel like you’re on a health kick in Thailand. It’s definitely a thing of beauty.
For starters we chose the Chopped Raw Tuna and the Sea Scallops. For me, starters are always the most exciting dish of the evening. I think that’s because you don’t really have them at home on a daily basis and also it’s when you’re most hungry so you appreciate the flavours more.
The tuna was fresh and utterly sublime. It had a kick of heat to its dressing and the consistency and taste were nothing short of perfection. It was presented beautifully and the taste of the fish was so representative.
The scallops were a very good choice. They were pan-fried and doused in a creamy, buttery sauce with peas. The quality was clearly evident and they were cooked so lightly, just a dusting of bronze on the surface. It truly melted in your mouth and the sauce was the ultimate sidekick.
I’ve had the chicken burger before but really wanted to see how it held its own without the brioche shoulder to lean on. This is a huge portion. Two massive beaten breast fillets coated in some seriously tasty batter. I honestly don’t know how the chicken is so, so soft. It’s beyond delicious and clearly the signature dish. When something simple is done to perfection there really isn’t anymore you could ask for.
The sweet potato fries were intoxicatingly good, a blend of spices marinated over them and fried with the fluff inside intact. With their garlic mayo the ‘pick, dip, munch’ ritual was in full swing.
Obviously having become incredibly full at this point, we decided to have a bit of a breather. Savouring this wonderful meal and acknowledging that this is one of the few places that isn’t a full-blown chain, serves great food at incredibly reasonable prices in a really awesome setting.
After this reflection we decided to share the peanut butter cookies with milk ice cream and chocolate sauce. Ok so the milk ice cream is one of the most insanely delicious, palate cleansing, un-guilt-tripping desserts I’ve ever encountered and with the decadent chocolate sauce this really is a complete dish already. My one piece of criticism is the peanut butter cookies. They look fantastic and to taste have a little shortbread feel to them but the peanut taste wasn’t strong enough for me and they didn’t have that, for want of a better word, more-ish appeal to them.
One thing I really have to comment upon is the service. We had the most attentive, positive and naturally accomplished waitress that I’ve had in a long while. Her name was Frankie. She knew her stuff and was excellent at recommending dishes, had clearly gained knowledge of all the dishes on offer. She was eloquent, well spoken and not only was spot on with her timings, but also never came across as invasive. She was charming and positive and honestly made the evening what it was. It’s rare to have such talent on the floor and she really is just that. All the staff came across as well-trained and well-managed and it’s a testament to management that this is so apparent.
I had a truly magical evening and it’s a place that serves well for all kinds of occasions. Thank you for coming to West London, we need more like you!
Jackson + Rye
217-221 Chiswick High Road, W4 2DW
Follow them on Twitter @JacksonRye