LONDON | Following on from the success of the Chelsea site is The Jam Tree’s second site, nestled in Old Town, Clapham. On the outside it looks like any other gastropub but step through the fancy automatic doors and look a little closer – it offers much more. The spacious eatery has walls decorated in kitsch Andy Warhol-esque art, a swanky bar area with fluorescent lampshades, a heated beer garden that’s open all year round and there’s even the quirky 120 capacity Bookcase bar cleverly concealed behind an actual bookcase.
There’s a simple but delicious menu, a true fusion showcasing the Jam Tree’s British-meets-Caribbean gastro dishes which caters for all sorts of foodies with meat, vegan and gluten free dishes. The extensive wine menu consists of some of the finest wine from across the globe but the main attraction is the cocktail menu. It’s one of the most creative drinks menus in terms of impressive names and concoctions, from the butterscotch, popcorn and vanilla vodka laden ‘Netflix & Chill’ to the saccharine ‘Wham Bam Thank You Jam’.
In terms of food quality, The Jam Tree is an unexpected treat. First up, a very generous portion of the Sticky Squid – sumptuous, fatty chunks of squid glazed with a tangy sauce, delicately battered and indeed, very sticky. The Jerk Chicken skewers are just as moorish – tender pieces of chargrilled chicken marinated in jerk spice and served with a small pool of roasted sweetcorn and plantain chutney. One thing we picked up on was how beautifully presented the dishes were, kudos to The Jam Tree on that detail.
Next up, the mains where we opted for the ‘Big Plates’. The St. Lucian style seafood curry is an excellent choice – a smoky, sweet and punchy dish including lobster, fleshy prawns and squid. The vegetarian short rib chilli – a jam packed plate of pulled jackfruit, plaintain, tacos, smoky chipotle, bell peppers, rice and guacamole, is more style over substance. As a self-proclaimed plantain connoisseur, the texture here is disappointing – a little on the ripe side with a hardened chalky taste. A rare miss in an otherwise outstanding meal full of hits.
Dessert was fresh chunks of pineapple fingers with a scoop of a creamy pineapple sorbet which made for a what at first was an overly sweet dessert that somehow went from good to great as the bites went on.
Overall, The Jam Tree is a hidden gem, great for a catch up with mates, after work drinks, an informal date spot and even a boogie in their beer garden. Be sure to catch their Bottomless Brunch on the weekends. It’s the perfect hangover pick-me-up with all the classic brunch staples such as their sweet eggy French Toasts, Eggs Benedict to Ackee & Saltfish Cakes and nine mouth-watering versions of The Bloody Mary! I think I’ve just found my new favourite brunch spot.
The Jam Tree
13-19 Old Town
London SW4 0JT
Telephone: 020 3397 4422
Sun: 10:00am to 11:00pm
Mon – Wed: 12:00pm to 11:00pm
Thu – Fri: 12:00pm to 12:00am
Sat: 10:00am to 12:00am