Jackson & Rye Soho review: All-American lunching at this sleek NYC-style brasserie
There’s been a boom in popularity of American cuisine in London over recent years, particularly the gourmet burger. However, most establishments offering the former tend to be more casual, informal affairs. However, one venue serving US fare is offering a more formal and sleeker environment to dine in. Jackson & Rye in Soho is one of three branches (along with Chiswick and Richmond) serving high quality diner-style food, with steaks, burgers, shakes and blue plate specials on its menu.
Located overlooking the junction of Wardour Street and Brewer Street, Jackson & Rye is an upscale New York-style brasserie. The L-shaped dining room has low lighting, muted interiors and a central bar. My friend and I booked a table for a late lunch on a weekday and were given the choice of seating by the window so we could watch the world go by. The service was typically American – friendly and attentive, but without being too much.
At our 2pm setting, my friend (having been awake longer than I) was ready for a proper lunch, while I (having risen later) was ready for brunch – my favourite type of meal. Fortunately both were available from the afternoon menu. My friend opted for the very good value meal deal of Steak and Fries with a glass of wine for £12.95, which is available weekdays from 11.30am-6.30pm. The dish is a Chargrilled Rump Steak with Smoked Garlic Butter and Rosemary Fries, accompanied with a glass of Macabeo or Grenache. The flattened meat was a huge portion and my friend said was really good.
Meanwhile, I managed to avoid temptation of the pancakes and sensibly opted for a savoury brunch dish from the extensive eggs menu. I chose a variation on an old favourite – Angler’s Oak Smoked Salmon, Scrambled Eggs, Country-style Potatoes and Spring Onion on grilled toast (£8.95). I was pleased to see a generous serving of salmon – more than most brunch venues offer – and the eggs were a lovely rich shade of yellow which ensured they were delicious, light and fluffy. The square fried potatoes were a unique, but welcome addition to the dish and really more-ish. I accompanied by meal with a light cocktail perfect for lunchtime – a White Peach Bellini (£5.95).
Despite our filling dishes, we managed to find room to share a dessert – after all, Americans do them so well! We shared a Pecan Pie with Rye Whiskey Ice Cream (£5.95). The pie was gorgeous and sweet, but the sugary-ness was toned down by the refreshing ice cream, which complemented it well.
Overall, I would recommend Jackson & Rye as a great brunch or lunch spot. If you ignore the row of Boris Bikes outside, you really feel like you’re sitting in some cool Manhattan eaterie thanks to the menu and design of the place. I loved the feel of the interior, which managed to be both contemporary and warm. A return visit is on the cards so I can sample those pancakes…
- Jackson & Rye, 56 Wardour Street, Soho, W1D 4JF. Nearest tube: Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square or Oxford Circus. For more information and booking, visit the Jackson & Rye website.
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