A faithful homage to upscale American brasseries, with diner-style breakfasts, a lively bar and a spot-on atmosphere at night.
Few London dining rooms succeed in recreating the sleek design and smooth operation of the best US restaurants. Sitting in Jackson & Rye, though, I’m transported across the Atlantic, to the East Coast. The Martin Brudnizki Design Studio interior looks just right – a miniature ‘Nighthawks’ by Edward Hopper, only much more convivial with its well-placed central bar in an L-shaped room, flatteringly low lighting, the burble of lively conversation, the clink of glasses. The service is attentive and engaging, without being too ‘Have- A-Nice-Day’. Even the menu is a pretty good translation of the metropolitan East Coast dining scene.
The kitchen kicks off the day with a diner-style breakfast menu that includes creamed grits (a maize porridge originally from the Southern states) topped with flaked almonds, berries and maple syrup, and enough brunch-style egg dishes to keep a Boston cabbie’s blood pressure up; my baked eggs with ham and spinach were slightly overcooked, a common problem when using a cast-iron cocotte dish.
At 11.30am on weekdays the breakfast menu segues into the lunch and dinner menu (a separate brunch menu is served at weekends until 4.30pm). A Reuben sandwich was faithful to the original versions, the caraway-studded rye bread perfectly grilled, the swiss cheese melting over the hot salt beef and sauerkraut. An open sandwich of Southern-style buttermilk-fried chicken was properly tangy, the batter impregnated with hot spices, chipotle mayo and avocado completing the topping on a toasted brioche bun.
Not all dishes are so faithful to their roots. True chowder is a modestly priced bowl of soup, in one of three main styles (Manhattan, New England and Rhode Island), but our ‘chowder’ here had been deconstructed – a fillet of cod on a base of leeks, smoked bacon and clams; perhaps too liberal an interpretation. A dish improved by crossing the pond was peanut butter cookies, turned into mid-Atlantic jammie dodgers by the addition of blobs of raspberry jam in the centre, further remade into a restaurant dessert by the addition of plain ice-cream and a tiny jug of hot chocolate sauce on the side.
In one week I visited for breakfast, lunch and dinner – and evening was the best time to drop in, when the low lighting and lively bar scene is at its most atmospheric, and the best waiting staff were pressed into service (service in the daylight hours was hit-or-miss). We raised our glasses to this homage to the upscale American brasserie, here in the heart of London’s Soho.
|Venue name:||Jackson & Rye||Contact:|
56 Wardour Street
|Opening hours:||Meals served 8am-11.30pm Mon-Fri; 9am-11.30pm Sat; 10am-11pm Sun.|
|Transport:||Tube: Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus|
|Price:||Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £70.|
|Do you own this business?|
Average User Rating
3.3 / 5
- 5 star:3
- 4 star:17
- 3 star:6
- 2 star:4
- 1 star:4
J&R were able to accomodate almost 20 of us for brunch - we had booked ahead by a few weeks. They were organised and competent when dealing with such a large amount of customers, and accommodated our needs for multiple, tweaked coffee orders and our seating arrangements. They even went as far as to rush through food for one customer who had a subsequent engagement. The customer service was delightful and fun.
The decor is what I would describe as a fancy, wood panelled American diner with low lighting, exposed metal chairs and booths. The service, ambiance and quality of food certainly places the establishment beyond a diner to one of the most efficient and trendy restaurants I have eaten at in London.
Sleek interiors and really attentive staff. I went to the Bank branch and had the buffalo wings, the pesto ravioli and the s'mores for dessert. In a nutshell expect, great food, MASSIVE portions and a stellar cocktail and wine list - oh, and if you love whisky they have the largest collection of the stuff in the UK apparently. Highly recommend for lunch and dinner, and for what it's worth, you really do get good value for your money. Also if you're looking for American grub, this definitely is a stand out.
Disappointed by our visit today - pancakes were not well presented and were heavy on the lemon juice, and accompaniments severely lacking - half a banana or three rashers of streaky bacon is definitely not enough to balance the quantity of pancakes. Also very light on the maple syrup. My standard brunch choice is an eggs benedict, but I'm sorry, wholemeal toast, bacon and watercress have no place in such a dish. It's supposed to be an English muffin and ham! Just because it has a poached egg and hollandaise, does not an eggs benedict make!
I came here for my birthday a couple of years ago, and while I 'liked' the food and the ambience, I couldn't help but think it was all a bit too dear. So I tried it again last month, but went for the £12.95 lunch menu. Much better. For a steak, fries, salad and a glass of wine, you can't fault the price - especially when everything tasted really good. Definitely worth a try.
It's hard to go wrong at Jackson & Rye but make sure you don't have breakfast or lunch in preparation for the portion sizes! The service is always friendly and the food good. You can as easily grab a quick bite as stay for a leisurely meal. The miso cod fillet is delcious.
Great food, great service, and the Whiskey is top notch. It may be a little pricier than some places, but honestly it is worth the extra money. The fillet steak was incredible. Would definitely recommend if you are looking for somewhere to eat in Soho!
Polite and quick service, great food, fantastic range or rye whiskey, reasonable prices... What more could you wish for! Great for all occasions!
Met a friend here for Sunday brunch today! We both really enjoyed it - very New York diner in style, fabulous menu, and even better one that made us laugh! I pondered over the 'avocado royale' liking the sound of all the ingredients bar the mention of avocado - only to realise though it's in the title it's not listed as part of the dish in the description below it! A check with the waitress confirmed the dish does live up to it's title. I had it minus the avocado and really enjoyed it. Buzzy atmosphere, eclectic mix of clientele and good coffee. I'll definitely be going back.
Went for dinner last night and there is such a great choice of food! I had the most incredible truffle macaroni to start and a cooked to perfection striploin steak. The waitress was super friendly and service was amazing. It is a little pricier than usual, but for a celebration or special occasion this place is perfect.
One of the worst experience of service I have ever encountered. The manageress was horrifically rude and totally unaccommodating. I can safely say I will never set foot inside this place ever again and would recommend the same for anyone one else considering making a visit. Awful!
Food is absolutely fantastic. Have been here several times and have never been disappointed. The side of mac and cheese goes with everything, even brunch! Good cocktails and service is very good considering how busy it can get. Must book!
I found Jackson and Rye whilst wondering through Soho with a friend and we have both been regular visitors since.
The décor beautiful, with a classic southern US charm. Its a great place for breakfast/brunch- I love the buttermilk pancakes served with maple syrup and banana cream!
The staff are also fantastic, they are both extremely attentive and professional- we were even given a complementary bottle of fizz on a recent birthday visit!
Loved it! Great menu for brunch. Amazing scones! Honestly, go. You will not be disappointed. Also our server Rolph was superb!
Meh. I was left hugely underwhelmed. Sure, the decor is nice, but only if you haven't been to places in the US that do that kind of thing much better. The food was distinctly average (especially for the cost), and arrived barely warm. You could get the same stuff at better quality and for less money in other pretty close by. The drinks list was good, especially the lovely unfiltered beer (although three of the glass mugs we had ours in had leaks or semi-lethal chips in). Plus, as the place is so big, is there really any need to cram so many tables into the front parlour bit so no one can move.
My girlfriends and I went for dinner and drinks on a Thursday night. We were unable to get a table booking but were able to walk in and get one straight away. Our waitress was very attentive and was quick to get repeat drinks. We just ordered mains, one of us had the sea bass which she said was fantastic. A few of us had the lemon and rosemary chicken which was a good sized portion and tasty. I'd have to agree with other reviewers that the shoestring fries were disappointing though, a bit overcooked and not very warm. I think it's a nice bar and I'd definitely go for drinks again, not sure I'd rush back for dinner though.
Our service was good (apart from the two hour wait for a table), but I really have to agree with the other reviews below. A very disappointing meal.
I ate at Jackson & Rye tonight and was incredibly dissatisfied with the food, especially after such a glowing review. I ordered the Reuben and was surprised and disappointed with the sandwich I received. First, the salt beef only covered about two thirds of the bread, leaving a good portion of the sandwich completely without meat. Second, the salt beef was so thinly cut that, where there was meat on the sandwich, it was overwhelmed by the cheese so entirely that I can't even comment on the quality or taste of the meat itself. If this were a ham and cheese sandwich I would merely be annoyed, but this was supposed to be a Reuben. If you have ever eaten a proper Reuben, or even seen a photo of one, you can understand my disappointment with the meagre portion of meat in this particular version. The bread was tasty and nicely toasted, and the sauerkraut pleasant, but these did not make up for the fact that this was not a Reuben at all, but a fairly expensive toasted cheese sandwich masquerading as one. It's not as if I have nothing to compare it to - I have eaten better (and cheaper) Reubens in America, in Canada - even in an Australian airport, not a location known for either food quality or value. There are also better Reubens to be had in London. I also tried the shoe string and regular fries, both of which were very average, and after that was not interested in testing the dessert menu. I can't speak for other dishes on the menu, but if you go and order the Reuben, don't make the mistake of expecting anything but a pale, insufficient imitation of the real thing.
Had dinner at Jackson & Rye last night and was really disappointed. The Garden Salad and Shrimp & Grits starters were nice enough, but the mains we had were downright bad. Steak was tough, shoestring fries were hard and stone cold, and the cheeseburger was really bland. The desserts looked quite nice, but by that point we were so unimpressed we got the bill and left. Agree with the reviewer below about the decor… and Satsuma too!
Had a quick pre-theatre dinner here last night. The decor is a little try-hard and felt a bit like a Disneyland theme venue. The service is poor and staff seemingly very inexperienced. The food was mediocre at best. Very disappointing overall - bring back Satsuma please!
We had a lovely LONG lunch there on the 16th. Service was brill and everyone very friendly. Espresso was cold but upon saying this they whizzed them away and took it off the bill (plus we got some hot ones). Loved the interior. Perfect for a girly slow afternoon to escape the crowds.