Peanut Butter Fudge S’mores was a sweet star
What a view! There can be few places more picturesque than the bank of the River Thames by the 18th century Richmond Bridge. It’s beautiful at any time but on a summer’s evening it’s memorable. A seat at Jackson and Rye will give you the best spot.
Richmond is the last stop on the District Line and 8 miles from Charing Cross, which by tradition is the centre of London. Richmond was founded following Henry VII’s building of Richmond Palace in 1501. Elizabeth I spent time at Richmond and passed her last days there. It’s popular with more humble folks these days. One can hire a boat, enjoy some classy shopping, stroll around Kew Gardens which is close by.
It’s a surprise but Richmond isn’t very well served by good restaurants. Jackson and Rye will be welcomed by those of us who despair of finding food over which to coo. Yes, Jackson and Rye is a chain but it’s a rather well-presented one and fits this location so well.
This isn’t a stuffy restaurant but rather one which welcomes with a smile and soothes the soul with some classic casual dishes and others that might be a little less common. The drinks are worthy and well-crafted. There are tables for couples and spaces for groups. The restaurant is blessed with an outside terrace to take advantage of the aforementioned view and to people-watch over a cocktail.
Topped with succulent prawns
And speaking of cocktails, mine was a Mint Julep with a base of Maker’s Mark, the celebrated Kentucky Bourbon, along with a veritable bouquet of fresh mint. Ice chinked in the frosty glass and this visitor was content. My guest was equally pleased with his Rosemary Tree, which was a delicate stemmed glass of rosemary-infused Stolichnaya Vodka, lemon and dry vermouth. I think there might be a dash of egg white. A great cocktail for lovers of fresh herbs.
The drinks were perfect but the food was outstanding. I ordered Buffalo Chicken Wings and it was a considerable plateful. The pile of smoked wings came with three homemade sauces – BBQ, Peri Peri and Blue Cheese. The blue cheese is a traditional accompaniment but this one was mild and creamy rather than the usual over-salty dip. The peri peri sauce was spicy and not to be missed.
Crunchy Chorizo Prawns with a mango chilli mayo was my guest’s starter. These were lollypops topped with succulent prawns which were seasoned with a morsel of well-flavoured chorizo. A light nibble with which to begin the meal.
It’s been ages since I had a good burger but I was tempted by the J+R Cheeseburger. This was a classic winner and I feel no shame in saying that a great burger is right up there with the best steak. The meat was perfectly charred, moist and garnished with smoky tomato relish, American cheese, J+R burger sauce, lettuce, gherkins – and I added crispy bacon. I also ordered a side of broccoli which was vibrant and tastefully presented, showing attention to detail.
6 hours smoking
My companion continued with a rack of Baby Back Ribs which had had 6 hours smoking, making the meat tender and full of that distinctive flavour. This must surely be the signature meat dish here. These ribs came with sides of slaw and fries which defeated the diner, such was the generosity of the serving.
I am seldom impressed by desserts but Peanut Butter Fudge S’mores was a sweet star. Graham crackers (digestive biscuit), marshmallow with a peanut and chocolate sauce combined to give a unique take on an American camp-fire favourite. I was sorry that we had decided that we should share! It was the quality of the marshmallow which rather elevated this preparation to a fine-dining pud.
Jackson and Rye Richmond was a pleasant surprise. It is undoubtedly a casual restaurant but the food is delicious and well-presented. The staff are professional and engaging …and there is that view. It was a fun evening and I’ll be back to try a glass of rye and to enjoy my own whole plate of S’mores!
Monday to Friday: 8am till 11.00pm
Saturday: 9am to 11.00pm
Sunday: 9am – 10:30pm
Jackson and Rye Richmond
1 Heron Square
Phone: 0208 948 6951
Restaurant review by Chrissie Walker © 2018