Jazzgir, Canary Wharf, London
Theatrical cuisine, live jazz, top cocktails: that’s music to my ears. Jazzgir restaurant and cocktail bar brings an affable sense of poise and whimsy to the burgeoning evening scene of Canary Wharf. The name Jazzgir means ‘spoilt girl’ and were left feeling just like one. At this cosy, and stylish venue Jazzgir delights audiences with cosmopolitan, forward-reaching cuisine magic. There are few flat notes making for an all-round enchanting evening to remember.
Jazzgir is a somewhat recent addition to the towers and waterfronts of the lovable Canary Wharf, having arriving in the heart (or should that be heat) of this year’s summer. Canary Wharf has always been a nice corner of London that might feel intensely corporate by day, but then dissolves into a solemn and quaint hub for the evening. If there’s one spot changing the flavour of the area, it’s Jazzgir. There is a live jazz soundtrack playing most nights that provides a haven for the soulful. The drinks are a touch of heaven as well. The rosemary-berry cocktail we had was absolutely superb.
We were already sold on the menu style, but what dances on our tables and delights on our palates is something quite more. Some of this is more successful than others. We were enamoured with the first bites of the contemporary Ostrich and Prawn burgers. So much that we requested more. This was then followed by foil of a very different dish. The comical ‘Autumn orchard’ is a recreation of a pumpkin orchard featuring beetroot soil and micro vegetables. I liked it alright but it wasn’t a table favourite – there’s a bit too much ‘stuff to dip’ and could have done with more ‘stuff to dip with’: the freshly baked focaccia was a delight. Very big.
A similar execution was seen in the hummus ice-cream. Interesting enough concept, but something more homespun seemed like it would be a better fit for such a dish. The flavours of the hummus were excellent though, a bit sweet with the sauce.
Our ears, as well as our tastebuds, were treated just as much over our time at Jazzgir. The performances are top notch and it’s a right decibel to enjoy a balance of everything else that was happening. Our next dishes excelled on balance too and these formed some of our favourites for the night. The salmon is beautifully presented with caviar on a blue sea salt brine plate making for enviable plating. Even with all the visual zeal, the quality of the salmon shines through.
I was in love with the theatre of the signature Jazzgir Cuban cigars. These are actually filo-wrapped lamb shank with mushroom. Food should be fun. This is fun, in a stick. Presented with a dome, smoke releases uncovering the cigars in a thematic truffle ash. This also alludes to the truffle arancini we had earlier in the evening which are also wholly worthwhile. Rob joked his cigar tasted a little dry, but perhaps that’s because we thought we were eating cigars. I liked the ash too. I felt like that was something to mention.
The lobster ravioli was a successful venture for my two seafood-loving friends. Served on a bed of bisque sauce and sea foam this is one of the more classical executions for the night. I’m sans seafood so that’s me without an opinion here.
We thought we had seen it all, and we had seen the best, but the surprises kept coming. Our absolute gold star for the night goes to the Slow Cook Ox Cheek. Marrow and wild mushroom, quince paste and and ginger puree are served with this dish. Three giant pieces. Three melt in your mouth bites. Three very happy people. This was the standout dish for the night: tender, flavourful, interesting and with restraint. The best for last, right?
But our final dish for the evening was the ‘Eggs royale’. Our host Leroi denoted that our time will be full of amazement, things will taste -and be- completely different to what we’d expect. This was true of everything we had so far. And this dish was no different. What looks like a salmon benedict is in fact a tropical dessert. A mango ‘salmon’, with coconut notes on the ‘hollandaise’ on a cake-like base. With the quantity of food my dining companions were already spent, so I got to enjoy this final treat on my own.
We had such fun this night at Jazzgir. They have some clever, thoughtful ideas. Some dishes were more successful than others just holding that right level of mystique and magic. Supremely good service, and the bar is in some very good hands. There’s something of a movement here at Jazzgir. It’s one that we’re fans of, and we can’t wait to see where Canary Wharf goes from here.
Note: author dined at invitation of the restaurant