Well January has come round again. Everyone has given up the mounds of cheese and chocolate. And of course it’s raining.
I like the new start to the year, but lots of resolutions are just a bit too mean and self-punishing. We need something to cheer up the grey of the month. So even if you have vowed to a January of abstinence, you need a cosy all-day restaurant to escape the weather of London at some point.
Jackson & Rye saved us from the downpour on New Year’s Eve day. It’s newly opened at the bottom of Wardour Street, open from breakfast until late every day (one of the backers is Richard Caring, soon after Grillshack nearby on Beak Street). The menu’s all American – grits, burgers, corn bread, chopped salad.
We started with the sweet sticky bar nuts (£3.50) and the completely addictive truffle popcorn (£1.95), with a couple of glasses of the great value French sparkling wine. But word of warning – a sip of this after the truffle of the popcorn as rather strange (a little non food/wine pairing for you). The cocktails were excellent, especially the Breakfast Sour (Buffalo Trace, lemon, peach bitters, egg white and apricot preserve).
From the starters, we shared the crispy squid (£6.95) with an excellent chipotle mayonnaise. The batter fell off a little, and I think I prefer non-battered squid, but tasty nonetheless. I loved the shrimp and grits (£8.50), with my highly scientific explanation to the others as grits being corny porridge. The prawns on top had a good chilli kick.
I was recommended the buttermilk fried chicken by friends who had already been, and it was some of the best I’ve had. It was really tender meat with crunchy batter and a perfect tangy, light slaw on the side (£11.95). The cheeseburger (£9.75) was deemed good and apparently made by the extra slab of bacon that came on the side, before being crammed in the burger.
M had the ham and eggs, part of the bar menu, which is made up of lots of sandwiches too. There’s a shrimp roll with avocado, the fried chicken in a bun and a salt beef Reuben (some sandwiches sub £5). There’s a wide choice on the menu, and it’s all really reasonable.
Jackon & Rye’s a relaxed, all-day addition to Soho, and I’m sure I’ll pop back in for brunch for another Breakfast Sour and the buttermilk pancakes with ricotta and maple syrup (an excellent start to the day in dreary January).