Saturday, 2 July 2011

[Restaurant - Mediterranean] Jak'd by a Guilt Trip; Jak's of South Kensington

Location - South Kensington, London [UK]

Guilt. I don't much care for it. It has the annoying habit of gently devouring away at your conscience in an effort to affect your judgement. It is essentially, the subconscious wife. For some people I would think it would influence them more than others - for me, it's just a nuisance, I usually ignore, smother. Continue not caring for. For others however, it may just force some decisions.

So, that brings us to Jak's - apparently a healthy eatery meant to purge us of the decadent evils gorged the previous evening. Bah, healthy eating..

Following what surely was one of the most extravagant evenings out ever, more in terms of tally of indulgence than volume [would have been cost as well had I been allowed to pay], wholly befitting of the fact that it was apparently in marking of the fact that the fractions of a century my age now make are immediately rather larger, it was decided to opt for the aforementioned restaurant for breakfast. Or rather, I had already had my breakfast of a Pecan bar, and was duly awaiting this "lunch", whilst my host awoke from his slumber. Much to our amazement, we were rather spiffing in the morning despite the bottle of Sake consumed at dinner and the plethora of cocktails destroyed afterwards. Well, I was spiffing, he was a bit weathered. I think. It was a while ago now. Old age and all.

The feeling of guilt was clear to see on his face. A staunch facade of horror of what had 
transpired the evening before, of what was consumed. I poopoo'd the exaggeration, as I had seen him consume far more in the past, but, he was adamant to purge. Meh, food is food, and it makes me gleeful. Plus it is a new venue, not surprising as it would only be my second Breakfast/Brunch in London.

~ Main Course ~
- Sauteed Spinach with Sesame
- Bell Pepper Salad
- Marinated Mushrooms 
- Lentil Stew
- Quinoa Salad
- "Grilled" Chicken Breast

Just what constitutes to a healthy brunch when I seemingly order enough food to make the Humanitarian Efforts in Africa jealous?! It was all on a single plate - this restaurant taking on a delicatessen-type ambience with ordering at the counter that confounded me profusely. Why aren't there any labels for the Common-sense Devoid like myself?! No matter, as I wildly gesticulated my hand at random choices, guided only by what seemed most interesting and un-Pasta/Carbohydrate rich. Yes, I am girl. First came the spinach and..whoa, hold on, surely you'll need more spinach for your customers next week, don't give me the whole tray! This would repeat itself basically for every other selection, obviously the gargantuan plate hinting at the similarly predisposed portions of food. 

Meh, as frequently told in childhood, I don't have to finish everything on the plate if I don't need to, which was seemingly a hypocritical teaching to the equally as often indoctrinated guilt trip of finishing the food on my plate that the children of Africa weren't lucky enough to have. I must've fluctuated between obese and anorexic on a regular basis. 

Tangent. As always. And for the interests of brevity - seeing as it was not a particularly exciting meal [Spoiler, not that it's spoiling anything for me, the sole reader] - I will summarise in bullet the appraisals and otherwise of this Goliathesque plate of hippy food:
  • "Bell Pepper Salad" - Crunchy, fresh-ish, ok from what I remember.
  • "Sauteed Spinach with Sesame" - FAR too salty, and perhaps sesame as well, to the point that it rather overpowered the well known profound flavours of the spinach..*Cough*. Regardless, It was not subtle.
  • "Marinated Mushrooms" -  As above, but gummy as mushrooms are. 
  • "Lentil Stew" - This was delightful; quite sweet but not awkwardly so, presumably from the tomatoes used. Hearty and earthy and could have demolished in sizeable amounts. I still had a manhole cover topped with other food to consider though.
  • "Quinoa Salad" - The healthy "Anti-pasta" carbohydrates. No joke, as it was bland as a bland thing. 
  • "Grilled" Chicken Breast" - Not quite grilled. Just looked like a sweaty piece of chicken. The size of Mars. Quite boring, and obviously just there to provide some proteins.

After having consumed the above puritan Feast of the Woodstock Clan - minus the majority of the spinach - it was obvious that the Desserts, displayed so innocently yet rather slyly at the end of the counter in a move for customers to moseying along once done with the Sasquatch-catered savoury portions, had called for me...

~ Dessert ~
- Ricotta Cake

...So I duly replied.
Confronted with a short menu, and a disproportionately comprehensive displaying at the counter, I was left deliberating on just which tasty morsel I was going to add straight to my flanks. Not actually knowing what anything was, as again, labels were omitted [maybe in the hope that someone ordered everything to try? I'd be game], I asked for assistance in Italian. Only to met with a blank stare. So. Menus in Italian, nothing looked Italian. No-one was Italian. Houdini, is this your restaurant?

The "Torta della Nonna" certainly was not such, the Tiramisu looked anything but. And a Ricotta cake was something I have made in the past, and something I wanted to sample in its unbastardised form. So, ordered. And. Uninteresting. Sure, it was sweet enough, so it satisfied in that respect. And fittingly contained its own solar system, in obvious reference to the healthy eating ethos of the establishment. However, it had no hint of cheese, was largely flavoured only by the raisins in the cake, and little else. At least it was copious, as my inner/outer/complete gluttony was tempted for a reinforcement by way of some Laduree' Macaroons..

~ Drinks ~
- Carrot & Ginger Juice

- Espresso

Run of the mill drinks, with the carrot juice not terribly sweet but quite gingery, which was just fine, and the espresso taking a honeymoon before arriving, essentially missing out on the sweet pick-up from the cake. No matter.


Painting a rather stark and chore of a meal, as rightfully deserved for our heretic, decadent ways the evening before, it was not at all terrible. On the contrary, it was a change from the norm, which unfortunately means lacking in flavour, indulgence, artery hardening and all things good with food. As was expected in other words. I cannot help but also feel slightly misled, as is happening often with a lot of these restaurants - seemingly offering a specific type of experience, down to even the man at the counter seeming to be of a nationality he either denied being of or forgot, in turn only actually being a facade. If the Italian menu inserts did not fool me then certainly the dried Pastas and other miscellaneous "Delicatessen" on the shelves certainly did. I perhaps should have inferred by the lack of hearing a single animated "Babidi Boobidi" from the kitchen. 

A delightful discovery came at the time of paying however, for whilst portions were fit for an Exodus, prices were decidedly measly. Even more so as again I was denied from paying, damn the travesty! A healthy round-off to the weekend? Well, I guess it would have been more so had I had the ability to know when to stop ^_^

No comments:

Post a Comment