I was invited to Jazzgir last week for their VIP press evening and what an experience, upon arrival we immediately were greeted by friendly hosts with a glass of champagne, which is always delightful. What a great venue, the décor screams of fine dining, open planned seating, opulent lighting, a beautiful view of Canary Wharf and the river Thames. A live jazz band were playing in the far corner of the room, which perfectly complimented the atmosphere.
The head chef-Samuel Tineo, who had been tireless working his magic in the kitchen, was introduced and explained the menu and what to expect from tonight. Whilst we waited, mini burgers were presented to us to nibble on. The burger was a prawn burger and was glazed with chilli sauce at the bottom of the bun. The chilli was mild, which made the burger that more enjoyable, the burger wet my appetite but I was ready, to begin with, the tastings.
To start, a pink ice-cream stick was presented on a plate, and to be honest, I was a little confused! – I was sure that I ordered starters. Slicing the ice-cream stick, I was amazed to find out that it was actually hummus, made from grace, pomegranate and rose. I would find out in the latter that this seems to be a common trend with Jazzgir, with their dishes appearing to be a mystery, and not actually, what they seem to be. The hummus is savoury, but you can still taste the sweet notes of rose. However, I would have loved some warm pitta bread to go with this dish.
Another starter arrived, in the form of the mandarin fruit, which once peeled was filled with chicken liver parfait, which is rich in flavour and texture. Although, I could not help wonder how Tineo managed to get the chicken liver parfait into the mandarin.
My final starter was cured salmon, which happened to be my favourite starter, as the presentation alone was beautiful. The salmon appeared to be sitting on a bed of blue sea; the idea of presenting the salmon in this way is so unique and was a great experience for me as a first-time diner. The salmon is dry cured, drawing out the liquid from the fish, but remains slightly salted. Salmon is one of favourite choice for seafood, so I thoroughly enjoyed this starter.
The highlight of my night was one of the main dishes-The Jazzgir Cuban cigars. The Jazzgir Cuban cigar is a slowly cooked lamb shank with wild mushroom duxelles wrapped in filo pastry, served with truffle ash. If you order anything from the menu, then this is the absolute must-have dish! The idea behind this innovative dish is that the consumer is eating an edible Cuban cigar. The lamb shank is smoked but still tender, and melts in the mouth, tasting the mushroom aromas. Samuel Tineo nailed this dish, including the supposed ash, which is an edible truffle.
Because I am a gin lover, I ordered Jazzgir purple haze, made from Portobello gin, crème de mure, rosemary syrup, cranberry juice lemon and fresh blackberries. A dark but fruity way to enjoy a gin cocktail. However, if you prefer vodka then order their classic pornstar martini. It just happens to be one of the best pornstar martinis that I have ever had! Strong but sweet! For the non-alcohol drinkers, why not try their virgin cocktail- the virgin garden with elderflower, cucumber, lemon, apple juice and soda water. A cool, refreshing but sweet cocktail.
The mains are quite small at Jazzgir, so another main was ordered. Slowly cooked ox-cheek with marrowbone and sautéed wild mushrooms, quince and ginger puree, presented within the bone. The Ox-cheek is well seasoned and fell apart in my mouth, which I loved as I do not like when the meat is too chewy or tough.
TIP: Smother the Ox-cheek in the quince and ginger puree to add extra flavour
I ended my night at Jazzgir with the chosen dessert of egg royale. Imitating the traditional American brunch dish, cutting into the egg-shaped dessert, a yellow liquid formed, which was to represent the yoke of an egg. However, I am not a sweet tooth and the dessert quickly became sickly for me, but I did appreciate the idea.
Overall, I loved the theatrics and peculiar chose of dishes that Jazzgir have to offer. This is a great restaurant to bring out of town guests that want to experience a new style of dining.
What to wear: Smart
Ambience: Experienced bartenders serving amazing cocktails and fine dining, serving innovative dishes.