Mark Jordan at the Beach – St Aubins Bay, Jersey

“Another restaurant with a ‘celebrity’ chefs name in the title. It must be good? It is…”

Mark Jordan and his duck
Mark Jordan and his duck

The Flame and I set about a short break in the largest Channel Island Jersey. A super little tome called ‘Appetite’ listed and described all the decent grub outlets on said Isle. A quick schufty soon had me planning the food for the week ahead. I’d seen Mark Jordan on Saturday Kitchen one time putting up a decent fist of getting Jersey ingredients on the map. I was bitten.

Told you it's by the beach
Told you it’s by the beach

Amidst a beautiful, four mile beach jaunt from St Aubins harbour to St Helier we stumbled upon the striking deep red exterior of ‘Mark Jordan At The Beach’. Bit of a mouthful, but the branding gets it over with a flourish of signature and contemporary font. It’s smart. I ambled in to book. As I was attired in the standard holiday fayre of tailored shorts, T shirt and Jesus sandals, I enquired on the dress code for a Friday eve. A smart, young Lancastrian called Andy suggested I would be welcome as I was, provided I didn’t add socks with the sandals later. Fine advice I thought. One for the gentlemen readers to take through life. As it happened, the inclemency of the weather on Friday meant that a longer pantaloon was selected with a full leather boot!

My tailoring advisor/front of house expert Andy, was on hand once more to welcome us in for our evening appointment. The room is light, long, narrow and bright. A super view to the sea. ‘Pebbly’, ‘sand duney’ artwork adorns the walls. We are by the beach after all. Tables are light wood with comfortable wicker seating. The option to sit outside beneath the stars was declined. Despite being the end of May it was a little too cold for that. A rather wonderful Innis and Gunn IPA had me purring with delight. Followed up by a splendid bot of ‘Dry River’ Shiraz for a mere £16. Top stuff.

Beer, butter and terrine
Beer, butter and terrine

A flurry of high tech menus came into view. The a la carte menu and the Jersey festival spring menu. It’s a British menu, using top, local ingredients. There’s a strong bias on Jersey fish and seafood, though being ‘crabbed’ out I went for meat tonight. Cheese straws with a flavoursome hummus came in as a pre starter. We munched away. For real starters I went for a cheesy crab risotto (£9.50) whilst The Flame plumbed for the ham hock terrine (£9). Whilst I thoroughly enjoyed my risotto I fear The Flame went 1-0 up. The ham hock was a cylinder of pure meaty joy, particularly when doused with the homemade piccalilli placed alongside.

Cheese straws humous, risotto
Cheese straws humous, risotto

Mains were meat based. The fish looked amazing but we had grazed on the sea all week. The flame had a wonderful medium rare Scottish rib eye (£19.50). Suspended on a trivet of sautéed potatoes and a bed of spinach it was cooked to perfection. The béarnaise sauce alongside adding the piquancy when required. I had the 30 hour cooked, Harmony Farm, short rib of beef (£18.50). It came with a flurry of watercress, pickled carrot and a horseradish mash. I wondered if perhaps the blade of bone was a prop to suspend the succulent meat, such was the ease at which my fork was able to tease the flesh from its setting. The mash was a delight too. I equalised, 1-1.

30 hour short rib,
30 hour short rib,
Rib eye, ham hock demolished, the bill
Rib eye, ham hock demolished, the bill

The flame won the dessert though. A salted chocolate tart with pistachio ice cream (£8.50). Beautifully presented with a swirl. I had the pear tarte tatin (£8.50) which our waitress informed us would be a twenty minute wait. No problem to us. This meant we could finish our wine!

Salted chocolate, pear tatin
Salted chocolate, pear tatin

Coffee arrived with a quirky selection of ‘lollipops’. We shared the fifth (a macaroon). A super end to a wonderful meal. The flame reckoned this was our best on the island, no mean feat after what we had had so far.

Petit fois, pebble art
Petit fois, pebble art

All in all the grub came in at a shade over £50 a head. Well worth it for the quality of food, service and setting that we enjoyed. The restaurant is run by Mark’s wife Magda, whilst he concentrates on his Michelin star effort ‘Ocean’. It’s a fabulous, relaxing place and has a great team. Definitely one to seek out if you visit this rugged little island.

And you can even wear your shorts! But no socks!

MARK JORDAN AT THE BEACH
LA PLAGE
LA ROUTE DE LA HAULE
ST PETER
JERSEY JE3 7YD
Telephone 01534 780180
http://www.markjordanatthebeach.com

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