Me reviewing Jardine is a little bit like Barry Ronge reviewing Avatar. Well, instead of a fat gay man I'm actually blindingly handsome and instead of blue people I'm talking about food but you get the point. Everyone knows about Jardine. Everyone knows how good the chow is. But those places are always worth reviewing. Hear me out. You see...sometimes that can be the worst thing for a restaurant. If people arrive expecting awesome food then you are under real pressure to deliver it. Thankfully, Jardine does. Every single time.
The reason for my visit was the introduction of lunch at Jardine on Wednesdays and Fridays. I wrote a post about it here and after hearing good reports I went along to check it out for myself. The menu is surprisingly simple. I say "surprisingly" because...well...I like saying the word. No, not really. I say it because I was surprised at such relaxed, bistro-styled food being served in a place that I had always associated with fine dining. There was a choice of four starters, three mains and three desserts. I had steamed mussels in lemongrass, ginger, garlic and coconut milk (R45). They were served in a wax paper bag and were sublime. Plump, fresh, tasty and beautifully seasoned. I would've loved a bit of chilli thrown in there but other than that they were hard to fault. The Queen had oysters served with a shallot dressing (R60). I would've liked to report back on how they tasted but they disappeared before I had to chance to start negotiating for one. So, assume they were good. For mains we both had yellowtail served on squid ink risotto (R85) and, along with the meal I enjoyed at iCi, it was one of the best fish dishes I have had for a long time. The fish was moist and light and worked extremely well with the velvety risotto, which actually stole the show. The dish could - in fact - easily have been called "squid ink risotto topped with linefish." Micro-herbs topped it off. Sensational.
We skipped dessert and walked out having paid R125 and R140 per head. To me, that's a good deal. Yes, I know it's not cheap but it's all relative. For that caliber of food you could easily be paying more. Look around you. It's Jardine.
I take my hat off to Eric who has taken over as the man in charge while George is away working on his new venture at Jordan wine estate. From what I've seen, and heard from others, he is doing a top job. My next visit is for dinner.
Call Jardine on (021) 424-5640.