The Jam Tree Chelsea is a neatly packed away gastro pub located on the top end of the king’s road, lingering between Chelsea and Fulham, very near the Chelsea football stadium, far too near if you ask me. For a gastro pub in London beer gardens in SW6 are rarity but the Jam Tree boasts a good sized, sun trapped hangout lingering over the railway, inclusive of outdoor BBQ used to make their well known Friday hog roast (which is amazingly FREE!!), as long as you buy drinks of course.
I have been to the Jam Tree more times than I can remember and mostly had a good experience, Sunday roasts are a particularly favourite of mine, the pork belly is to die for. This time round the food was mixed, unfortunately, not quite as good as I remember it, but still good. Starters came out and were a real mixed bag. Prawn summer rolls with Malaysian salad and spicy dipping sauce was one of the blandest dishes I have had for a while, I know it’s meant to be a simple dish but this was just too plain.
Sotong manis, which is a sweet soy battered sticky squid was accompanied by a chilli and garlic dipping sauce, I order this dish on a regular occurrence and always thoroughly enjoy it. The light batter, which is extremely crispy is soaked in a sweet soy sauce while the chilli and garlic adds a kick and freshness.
For me the best starter and best value was the cola glazed old spot ham with deep fried pickles, chipotle mayo and tomatillo salsa with bread. Firstly the portion was huge and would be an ideal meal in itself for lunchtime. The sweet cola crust and thick ham are great with the salsas while the deep fried pickles are my favourite part, crispy and succulent.
On to the mains, and started with the most adventurous dish on the menu for a gastro pub, or so I thought. Marinated lamb cutlets with saffron and cardamom rice, chickpea, tomato and coriander salad, vegetable samosa, onion bahji, mint jus and raita, there is a lot going on with this dish. The lamb cutlets were cooked well, pink and juicy, but came out cold, while the rice was nice the onion bahji and samosa were lovely.
The burger arrived at the table on a wooden board, huge and eye catching accompanied by some fries. I’m a big burger fan if you haven’t already noticed so was looking forward to this. Unfortunately, I was let down, a lovely glazed bun stuffed with a overcooked Pattie lacking in seasoning that had to be chewed through and was topped off with pickles, Salsa and cheese. The fries were nice.
The summer tart of Cornish brie, piquillo peppers, artichoke hearts, yellow courgettes and onion puree with smoked tomato and rocket salad had a light and fluffy pastry, too much olive oil and an excessive amount of ingredients, a simple tart with a couple of ingredients would have been substantial.
I really love the Sunday roasts at jam tree and adore the pork belly but good meals here can be far and few between, the service here is often poor with late dishes and drinks, but most of the time the food makes up for this. When the jam tree gets it right, it’s truly worth a visit so make your way down. They also have a branch in Kensington, Clapham opening September so keep your eyes peeled.