I really enjoyed my visit to Jackson & Rye’s first restaurant on Wardour Street in Soho, so when I heard they were opening a second one in Chiswick (where that awful Jamie Oliver pizza restaurant used to be) I thought I’d pop down – if only Chiswick wasn’t such a faff to get to eh!
As it was a really warm evening, we decided to sit outside which was a pleasant, if not a tad uncomfortable spot for a bit of people watching. We soon regretted doing so however as it took 30 minutes for someone to come and take even a drinks order – no one seemed in control. Before getting our bottle of plonk we were brought another table’s bill which confirmed that the staff didn’t have a clue what they were doing. I also felt a bit cheated by the paper napkins – inside had linen so why couldn’t we?
Food on the whole was entirely edible but not particularly exciting. Scallops with creamed peas (Â£8.75) could have been more plentiful for the price – they were sliced very thinly. The chopped raw tuna (Â£8.75) was fine but totally lacked seasoning – there was just a dusting of fiery paprika.
I’d had the shrimp and grits at the Soho Jackson and Rye and loved them; plump juicy prawns in a bowlful of hearty grits. Here, they looked like the credit crunch version; gone were the fat prawns and instead tiny little ones which lacked flavour. There wasn’t enough of the grits either – at Â£8.50 I felt short changed.
For mains, the word ‘fine’ kept popping up. The chef’s salad (Â£11.95) – fine, the blackened roast chicken (Â£13.50) – fine. What wasn’t fine however was my 10oz rib cut (Â£18.95), which was dry and chewy. It wasn’t even over cooked so I have no idea how they managed it. For a rib eye there was no where near enough fat either which perhaps explains the lack of flavour. The peppercorn sauce (Â£1.95 extra) was the best thing I ate all evening.
With Richard Caring as its backer (he sold Cote Brasserie for ten trillion pounds) I’m sure Jackson & Rye will do just fine, sitting on every high street across the land and filled with people that don’t know any better. But it’s a shame, it really is, because I thought it was going to be so much better than that.