It’s probably clear by now to my readers that I’ll do almost anything for a free meal. And that I also fall pretty easily for a good name. So when the editor of West London Living asked me to review The Jam Cupboard, I immediately agreed based on a novel name and a free meal.
My guest was equally keen. After all, a South Kensington address isn’t to be sneezed at. We both, however, turned out of the tube station the wrong way. That is, towards Bailey’s Hotel and the swish end of Gloucester Road. Realising that the street numbers and my nose were not aligned, I made an about-turn and soon found Rydges Hotel, 61 Gloucester Road SW7.
The press release (kindly sent to me by the PR) describes The Jam Cupboard as ‘stylish’ and ‘laid back’. An odd description for a restaurant with such a cute, cozy-sounding name, I thought. Anyway, it is neither. In fact, it lacks any atmosphere, style and, if anything, feels stiff and uptight.
Determined to have a good time, my guest and I ordered a cocktail. An apple and cinnamon martini for her and a dirty one, as usual, for me (£9 each). Seeing as the waiter had little to do other than take our order, we pushed on and made our choices from the uninspiring menu. I started with warm asparagus tart (£8.50) followed by slow cooked beef cheeks in red wine juice with mash potato (£16.50).
To be honest, the food was fine. It certainly wasn’t a disaster but, if ever this is a true sign, I am desperately trying hard to remember anything remarkable about it as I write my review. And absolutely nothing springs to mind. I am wondering whether the morgue feeling in the restaurant (I should add that it was a Tuesday night) had an effect on the taste of the food?
We shared a dessert, a sticky toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream. And it followed suit. We could have been anywhere eating anything and if Rydges Hotel want anyone other than desperately hungry, time-pressured business guests to eat in their recently refurbished utterly soulless Jam Cupboard, they need to make a much bigger impression.
The Jam Cupboard 61 Gloucester Rd, SW7 020 75848100