I can still recall when the first Jam Tree opened in Chelsea. It was almost at the beginning of the foodie boom in London and the promise of a new bar in a rather desolate part of Chelsea with a large beer garden was opening, we all got exited. Well the Chelsea crowd that is. After just a few weeks of the doors opening, I made my way across the bridge and fell in love with it. It wasn’t particularly pushing boundaries in terms of food and drink, but the food was good, the cocktails were better and the Sunday roasts were epic.
With the success of The Jam Tree Chelsea, it was only time until another launched and this time in Clapham. Located in the “old town”, right at the bottom of the high street, my first time here was actually for a Jamaican pop-up which was lovely and a second time for an Iraqi pop-up from the guys at Juma. Now I’m back again but this time to dine from its new a la carte menu. We started the evening a favourite of mine, the porn star martini and it was excellent. Leaving me and my dining companion fighting over it.
A dish which I can remember The Jam Tree selling almost right from the start is this sotong manis. A plate full of large chunks of squid, deep-fried till crispy and served with a lovely sweet and sticky marinade over it. A little overcooked, but flavour wise It couldn’t be faulted. Good value at £8.50 with plenty of it on the plate.
Another favourite was the hot & spicy buffalo wings. A generously filled plate of around eight chicken wings, smothered in a sweet and sour hot sauce and a blue cheese sauce drizzled over it. Well cooked and the sauce had just the right heat to it, warming the mouth but not burning. I’d have preferred the blue cheese sauce on the side, but otherwise I had no complaints.
If The Jam Tree wanted a dish to be remembered by, it would have to be its burger. A huge stack of smokey meat patties, covered with melting cheese, drizzled with some smoked chilli & bacon jam and served with a side of fries, though we did swap them for sweet potato ones which turned out to be wise choice. The burger reminded me a little of a Big Mac, though of course a million times better. If you want to be full and satisfied then this is the dish you need to order.
We did eat a few other dishes along the way, some good and some needed work, but overall The Jam Tree is a great little place for a catch up with friends. The food won’t exactly blow you away, but the place is fun, the food is filling and the cocktails are great. Not to mention with enough floor space to dance the night away and a garden to enjoy during the Summer, if we ever get one that is.