Thursday, July 12, 2007

Jersey food

We had our first meal in Jersey at The Old Smugglers Inn. The write-up of the place boasts an extensive menu, traditional pub with real ale. Sounded perfect. The menu had all the usual pub food like bangers and mash, meat pies and so on. We all decided to order from the daily specials, which had a number of seafood items to choose from.

Both N and R went for the grilled mackerel, Jersey Royals (new potatoes) with a side salad (₤7.95). The mackerels were extremely fresh and therefore tasted wonderful with the simple grilling. They also loved the new potatoes but the salad (which looked exactly the same as my salad below) was just like any other English salad: boring.

My husband had the fresh Jersey plaice with Jersey royals (₤10.25). It had the same bits of herbs as the mackerel so I am guessing they were cooked the same way. My husband said the plaice was nice but fishy. I would have thought freshly catch should not be fishy?

My fresh picked crab salad (₤12.95). So expensive and yet so crap. I was expecting huge pieces of claw meat tossed over a nice green salad like the one I had at Robuchon. I couldn't be more wrong. I am still baffled as to why there was just brown crab meat? In fact some of that stuff wasn't even meat. It was like the non-meat parts you scrape off the shell to make fish stock with. I couldn't even finish it as I really didn't like the taste of the brown "meat". The name for this dish should be picked over crab salad.

After an afternoon of sightseeing in the rain we were ready for a big meal. The Spinnakers Bar and Grill looked good on the advertisement and we were determined to find the bloody place. After driving around the small village a few times (damn those 1-way streets) we found out from the local people that it's actually hidden in the pottery building.

When we entered the restaurant we were shocked. The place looked like a family restaurant/cafeteria, completed with a play room for little dinghy sailors. We were not amused. With the rain and the lack of other options in the small village we stayed put.

My husband and N decided to share the "nachos for 2" to start. I wish I've put a scaling device to show how big the plate was. It was more like nachos for 4. They loved it.

R picked something healthier: the soup of the day - split pea and carrot. He said it was excellent.

My leek and potato soup. It was actually delicious!

N's Mexican spicy beef thing. We can't remember what he ordered. It had the same salsa toppings as the nachos. He said he liked it - it was like eating nachos all over again.

Chicken quesadilla with fries. My husband said it was good, but then he'd like anything with fries.

R's chicken salad. It looked pretty good and he seemed to enjoy it.

My burger and fries. Good burger indeed. At the end we all agreed that the food was so much better than we thought it would be! Perhaps expectation is the key.
Ouaisne Bay, St. Brelade, Jersey, UK. Tel: 01534 741 510


Inside Jersey Pottery, Gorey Village, Grouville, Jersey, UK. Tel: 01534 850 850

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