Jackson & Rye is the latest Richard Caring backed restaurant and it’s the creation of the guys behind Grill Shack – which I loved. This too is an all day dining affair – it’s open 7 days a week from breakfast to late night dinner offering American comfort food. As that sounds right up my street I was super excited to be invited along for brunch.
The inside was far bigger than I expected with two main areas to sit; the front by the bar which seemed really buzzy and the more subdued dining area out the back which is where we were seated. It had a touch of the Balthazar about it – just without that orange glow. It was an attractive place with the perfect atmosphere for a spot of relaxed weekend brunching.
From the appetisers section I started with the shrimps and grits (£8.50). Grits are a South American staple – a ground corn porridge concoction. Here they could have done with a touch more seasoning but a generous dribble of chilli oil added a good and necessary kick. The plump and juicy shrimp were cooked perfectly.
My gentleman companion liked his truffled mac and cheese (£6.95). It was unlike your normal mac and cheese however; there was no golden crust and it was topped with rocket leaves. I didn’t think I’d like it but it was actually really lovely and the aroma of truffle filled the air as it was placed before us.
My 10oz grain fed rib eye (£18.95) was really tasty – it reminded me of the one I had recently at Ape and Bird; juicy and moist. It was cooked medium rare as requested and it was brilliantly tender. The bearnaise sauce (£1.95 extra – I think they could have included it for free) was a tangy little number and cut through the meat perfectly.
My gentleman companion opted for the buttermilk fried chicken (£11.95) which was gargantuan in size. The chicken was impressively moist and covered in a greaseless and crisp batter which was delicious. The accompanying fries were seasoned perfectly and a good portion size too.
The white chocolate and raspberry frozen soufflé (£6.25) was less a soufflé and more a simple ice cream – a delicious one at that but it could have done with a lighter and more moussey texture. I really enjoyed the peanut butter cookies with milk ice cream (£4.75). There was a bitter-sweet chocolate sauce which helped bring all the flavours together – I wolfed the lot down in a matter of seconds.
I have no doubt that Jackson & Rye will do thoroughly well especially with it’s location on busy Wardour Street. There was nothing not to like – lovely staff and tasty comforting food all in attractive and comfortable surroundings. I’m looking forward to going back already.