It’s fair to say that we didn’t get off to the best of starts with Jardin. We’d booked online ages back, on the recommendation of an e-friend. Then, a couple of weeks before the booking, we got an email from them saying they were changing our time from 8pm to 7.30. No explanation or apology. Then, on the afternoon of the booking, they phoned to say they were not offering their usual menu that evening and were doing a Canarian show, with food, on their terrace. We could either have that, or change to another night. We changed.
The restaurant itself is an overblown tart of a place . Nothing left undecorated and everything fussy in a sort of Art Nouveau chintzy style. And, for some reason which beats me, every dish on the menu is named after a film. Heaven knows why – this isn’t a movie themed restaurant. So, that’ll be a ”Bridge over the River Kwai” and a “Postman Always Rings Twice”, followed by an “Always” and a “Finding Nemo”. Any wiser? Nope, thought not.
What’s actually on the plate are crispy langoustine parcels. Think Chinese spring rolls – with a good contrast between the crisp pastry and the soft filling. There’s a few shreds of vegetable and a spoonful or two of a sweetish seafood sauce. There’s seafood in the other starter, in the form of a scampi cocktail. It sits on what the menu describes as a “papel de tomate” – a thin tomato jelly which is pleasant enough and something of a twist to the classic cocktail preparation. The salad is dressed with a vinaigrette rather than the usual cocktail sauce and is all the better for it.
Ribeye steak, accurately cooked as requested forms the centrepiece of one main course. There’s a few dabs of sauce squiggled across a rib bone which decorates the plate (it’d have been great if had been filled with bone marrow). The potato is quite an arty affair and we weren’t quite sure how the kitchen had achieved it. It’s presented as a spiral of pencil thickness spud dipped in an oddly sweet tempura batter, deep fried and topped with a dab or two or mayo. It all needed a lift from a side order of mixed salad. The other main course featured grouper, cooked almost perfectly but, if I’m nit picking just a tad overdone. It sat on very thinly sliced octopus and what the menu described as “black potatoes” but seemed just like ordinary new potatoes to us. The fish was topped with long cooked onions which, like elements of the other dishes, added a somewhat incongruous sweetness.
We didn’t fancy dessert, so just got the bill. Service had been excellent throughout, right down to asking if we needed them to ring for a taxi for us.