Lunch is a very a meal dictated, in its entirety, by convenience. Unlike supper, which people are more than happy to travel across town for; unless you’re meeting (clients) or celebrating (your day off), during weekdays Londoners very rarely see their Oyster Cards between 12 – 2pm. So the fact that I live and work in Haggerston doesn’t conjure many natural opportunities to lunch in Soho. Having previously worked there, the suggestion of returning for lunch brought back rather ghastly memories of having to decide whether to punish my body with fast food, punish my body with supermarket food, punish my wallet with restaurant food or punish my patience with the rabble of marauding tourists that dominate Soho’s midday streets. But Jackson + Rye in Soho has a lunch menu with sections for steak & buttermilk pancakes so once more to the breach I went.
Jackson + Rye is an all-day New York style diner, café, restaurant and cocktail bar that promises to deliver an authentic meal that transports the diner to the famous diners of the Big Apple. The site is divided into a few distinctive areas that are almost purpose build, depending on the occasion. There is a bar and café area that occupies your first impression and two further (more formal) dining areas in the basement and back of the restaurant. The menu has far from reinvented the all-day dining cuisine scene but has all the classics you would associate with the legendary American diners (or at least any film or TV show you’ve seen set in one).
THE FOOD AND DRINK
Those that have dined with me will willingly support the fact that I’m the most indecisive food-orderer in existence. If it was appropriate (or not heroically expensive) to order everything on the menu, all the time, I’d be laughing. Unfortunately it isn’t and Jackson + Rye might just be the most harrowing experience for the indecisive – such is the vastness of the menu. But that’s a compliment – everything looks good. There are sections for (take a deep breath) THE TABLE (incl Jalapeno Corn Bread 3.75), APPETISERS (incl Chargrilled Half Lobster 12.95), EGGS & PANCAKES, STEAKS & GRILLS, SANDWICHES (incl Shrimp Burger 12.75, Toasted Reuben Sandwich 9.25 & Buttermilk Chicken Sandwich 7.50), BUTTERMILK PANCAKES, COCKTAILS, WINE, JUICES, and a shed load of main courses. On the fifth time of asking, I was ready to order and went for the Crispy Duck Salad 6.50, and the Buttermilk Fried Chicken 11.95 (crispy chicken breast with spicy slaw & Cajun sweet potato fries). Faith in lunch fully restored!!
THE LAST WORD...
All in all Jackson + Rye is a great spot. I had a fantastic lunch in a very warm and cosy setting. The staff are very friendly and patient (put to the test with my 45 minute menu perusal) and the portions are very hearty. The menu has such food-envy inducing depth that multiple visits is almost compulsory but delicious enough to leave you more than satisfied with what you’ve ordered. And the icing on the cake is you can actually make a reservation – none of this queuing malarkey.
MORE ON JACKSON + RYE SOHO
Venue Page Here - for more details, opening times and menus