4th July is upon us and as such, means we should all indulge in a bit of a US-inspired feast. Our friends at Jackson and Rye are putting on a limited edition set menu to help you do just that.
I’m afraid this really isn’t one for the veggies, as there’s just one starter and some sides for you folks to pick from – default to the main menu for more veggie friendly goodies!
Here’s a quick rundown of what’s on offer this week. Note: most of these dishes also appear on the main menu but not at the set menu price.
For starters you can select from:
- Buffalo chicken wings – a signature dish from Jackson and Rye. Five crisp and crunchy chicken wings, made with smoked chicken which gives a serious depth of flavour. Garnished with celery sticks, peri peri and blue cheese dips, they really are a dish that has a flavour to suit anyone and a hearty portion to boot
- Truffled mac and cheese – again, quite a signature dish for the restaurant but not one for those with who prefer blander flavours or have smaller appetites as the truffle in the dish packs a punch and try portion size is pretty hefty for a first course
- Smoked St Louis rib – this was my favourite starter taste-wise, the meat is really slowly cooked then glazed with a sweet and sticky sauce and served with an apple ketchup and slaw. Genuinely delicious and recommended but beware, the portion size is much smaller than the others as you just get one large rib, so if you want to load up, pick one of the other two dishes
Onto the main event
For mains, again there’s the choice of three dishes, you then get to pick a generous two side dishes to go with your meaty choice.
You can pick from:
- 18 hour smoked brisket – cooked low and slow as all brisket should be, but this is the best of US home style cooking, simple and tasty
- Backyard fried chicken – these chunks of juicy chicken breast are buttermilk coated and fried. Light and crisp, not greasy at all, they are a real treat and a high grade fried chicken option
- Cajun Vein-end steak – this type of steak not only sounds pretty awful, but we had never heard of it and there is very little evidence of it ,being a thing online’. However, as best we can piece together, it’s a type of striploin, or sirloin. Whatever the origin, this steak was so scrummy (sorry but that word has to be used right now) that I couldn’t stop piling it on my plate, ahead of my usual favourite of fried chicken. It’s juicy, super tender and really nicely flavoured with soft (not hot) Cajun spices. I would recommend this any day to a true meat lover!
A bit on the side
To round off your main you can pick two from the following:
- Homemade triple cooked fries – quite surprisingly from the triple fried reference in the name, these were more like normal fries than the deep crunch you usually get when chips have been cooked multiple times. So classic but not all that exciting
- Cajun spiced sweet potato fries – again these were quite basic, not heavy on the Cajun flavour but it’s there and it’s not necessarily bad that something is tame when it’s a side
- Baked sweet potato, creme fraiche and bacon crumb – I have to say that this was the least favourite thing I had all night. The baked potato was so cooked it was a squishy mess and adding in the dairy too, it felt like I was eating baby food. I would dodge, unless you’ve been to the dentist that day, or you have a weird hankering for some baby food
- House slaw – a nice mix of veggies and gherkins in a dressing that isn’t heavy with mayo. This one’s a winner for me!
- Chargrilled cauliflower with seeds and dressing – this is the only dish on the menu we didn’t get to taste, so while it sounds great, we can’t comment
And the finale
To complete your stars and stripes set menu, there’s puddings too.
- Apple beignets (ben-yay) – for those who have never experienced these little delights, a beignet is a bit like a fritter, deep fried pastry or dough. Despite having French origins and a French name, it’s really popular in creole cuisine (New Orleans) and has become a firm favourite stateside. J&R’s are nice and fluffy little balls with a hint of apple within. They come with a custard that may just blow your socks off, when they say boozy, they really mean it!
- Cookie sandwich – this was an insane stack of chocolate chip cookies, vanilla ice cream, peanuts, walnuts and white chocolate sauce. It’s a sugar overload, completely over indulgent and messy, but oh so satisfying! A favourite of our non-dessert person Jack, I think for its sheer ridiculousness
- Peanut butter and chocolate pie, with caramel ice cream – this was my favourite but several others found it too rich. The filling is silky smooth, encased in a crumb and softened by the ice cream, which has a delicate caramel note, the whole thing is, again, overindulgent, but satisfying
All of this comes in at an amazing value for money £20pp for two courses or £25pp for all three. Get in there quick!
Beyond the food
Jackson and Rye is a great place to sample real American style cuisine. It’s not tasty but good value too. If you love your drinks too, then check out the cocktail menu and also the list of whiskies, there are dozens to pick from! The atmosphere is cosy and simple and it’s a good environment for family meals, city workers or a casual catch up with friends. The service can be a little on the slow side in some branches, so make sure you aren’t in a hurry. But hey – feasting should take time anyway right?
Jackson & Rye Restaurants – Soho, Kingston, Richmond, Guildford, City (Bank) and Chiswick