the UK based Restaurant and Hotel Review
Speaking of which, do try Jamies wonderful monkfish and whole scallops, (£6.75 or £11.25 for a main sized portion). They come skewered onto a twig of fresh rosemary and served with a delicious freshly chopped salsa that perfectly sets off the sea-freshness of the fish. The blond, (AAdrian doesn't have the monopoly on blonds) had the Thai fishcake (£5.25) which was spicy enough, but the concept is no longer quite as novel - perhaps its time for Thai fishcakes to be returned to the wild
The menu is worth taking a look at, it's a little unconventional, but works well in the grazing ambience of a winebar. I had a steak sandwich which contained a tasty chunk of rare ribeye liberally coated with caramelized onion and jammed between some very fresh crusty wholemeal bread. lt was substantial and worth £8.95, and for a pound more you could have a plate of French fries. The blond had one of their Ginger Rice bowl dishes. She chose chicken (£9.95) which was equally substantial, as well as being tender and tangily flavoured. I managed to save a corner for a piece of pecan pie (£4.25), which was very sweet but not quite gooey enough. I suspect that the desserts are made centrally, which with so many branches is rather inevitable if overall quality is to be maintained.
Jamies is a neat concept: The quality of the food was good, the meat comes from organic farms in the Peak district of Derbyshire. They've just removed cod from the menu until stocks are sustainable again. The service was youthful and friendly but professional - they are making efforts to see that staff are educated in wine by sponsoring them to train for Certificates and Diplomas of WSET (the Wine and Spirit Education Trust). The decor is upbeat and the music at lunchtime was not too loud; all in all there's plenty of evidence of thought and care, resulting in useful places where you can relax, snack, or eat substantially as you please. But perhaps the best news is that you can find really lovely wines to drink at sensible prices. And of course there are lots of other bevvies to enjoy too!
Clifford Mould - February 2001
Jamies Bar, 74 Charlotte Street W1 Tel: 020 7636 2505
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