It is the same old story – we travel to the most remote places on earth without much thought but somehow disregard what is right here on our doorstep – so a recent invitation by the Jersey Tourism Board saw me packing my bags and jetting off to the Channel Islands!
For an island of 45 square miles, Jersey really packs a punch – I came to explore a place with a fascinating history, incredible natural beauty, and some of the UK's finest food, with a high concentration of Michelin-starred restaurants and top class produce – think Jersey royals, Jersey cows’ milk, Jersey oysters and lobsters, and more!
|Jersey oysters - the tastiest you will ever try!|
But I am getting ahead of myself here – I will be writing about some of Jersey’s fantastic local produce in a separate post. Today, I wanted to share with you some of the great meals I had during my visit. So as you plan your trip to Jersey, bookmark this page and return to it to find details and to book into any of the restaurants listed.
|The Jersey War Tunnels Museum - a must visit!|
Eat Jersey Food Festival
My visit to Jersey coincided with the Eat Jersey Food Festival, which returned for its second year in November 2016. The Eat Jersey Food Festival is a great initiative by The Atlantic Hotel and other local businesses to promote the gourmet produce and fine-dining scene available in Jersey.
|Jersey's breathtaking views|
This year, a series of dinners and cookery events took place over the 4 days of the festival, fronted by the Atlantic Hotel’s Executive Head Chef Mark Jordan. He was joined by a prestigious line-up of renowned chefs from the Channel Islands and Britain including Andrew Fairlie, of the 2-Michelin star Andrew Fairlie Restaurant at Gleneagles, as well as Tom Brown from 1-Michelin star Outlaw’s at The Capital in London to name just a couple.
Where to Eat in Jersey
The Ocean at The Atlantic Hotel
It was at The Ocean at The Atlantic Hotel that I had my first taste of Jersey’s fine dining – a collaboration between chefs Tom Brown (Outlaw’s at The Capital) and Mark Jordan (Ocean at The Atlantic Hotel) for a superb 8-course dinner that blew me away.
The dinner was a real display of Jersey’s local produce and the chefs’ impeccable skill and palate. There were so many favourites – I loved Mark Jordan’s tasting of miniatures of duck – a clever dish of foie gras, scallop, duck breast terrine, duck liver parfait, nuts and brioche.
Equally stunning was his risotto of Jersey squid and cauliflower – the squid had been finely diced to resemble grains of rice, then topped with thin layers of raw cauliflower and scallops, and served in a deliciously unctuous anchovy cream.
Tom Brown’s pan-fried hake, clotted cream and cider sauce, with mussels and cabbage was also a highlight. I had not tried Brown’s cooking before but he is definitely on my radar now.
|Jersey's fantastic fish and seafood by Tom Brown|
If this Eat Jersey Food Festival dinner at The Atlantic Hotel is anything to go by, I would thoroughly recommend The Ocean restaurant to anyone visiting Jersey to try their à la carte menu.
Ormer by Shaun Rankin and Bohemia Bar & Restaurant
The Ocean is one of 3 restaurants on the island that has been awarded a Michelin star. Unfortunately I did not have the opportunity to visit the other two (something I must put right on my next visit), but in case you are planning a trip, the other restaurants are Ormer by Shaun Rankin and Bohemia Bar & Restaurant. Please see the Travel Essentials section below for more details on all these restaurants.
Mark Jordan at the Beach
Mark Jordan at the Beach, situated on the shoreline with breathtaking coastal views, was where I had a fabulous lunch and where got to try the island’s famous Jersey lobster.
A more casual setting than its sister restaurant The Ocean at The Atlantic Hotel, Mark Jordan at the Beach’s menu is uncomplicated and accessible, and I loved the food here – the poached Jersey oysters in a delectable cucumber beurre blanc were to die for, as were the free range Scotch egg with Manor Farm pork, and homemade Piccalilli.
For my main course I had the grilled Jersey lobster, which was really good – meaty and beautifully cooked, but I had serious food envy as I looked at my companions’ Jersey beef burger with hand-cut chips! It looked so delicious, so I made a mental note to order this on my next visit.
Café Zephyr at The Royal Yacht Hotel
At the Café Zephyr, situated at The Royal Yacht Hotel, I had another great meal. For me, Jersey is all about the fantastic seafood - their oysters are the tastiest I have tried anywhere, so when I saw them on the menu I hurriedly ordered them.
I was told that 80% of all the island’s seafood is sold to France, so if you are lucky enough to see Jersey oysters on a British menu, I urge you to order them. They are a tad smaller than most oysters, but are so much tastier and saltier, a real delicacy.
Just as good was Café Zephyr’s pan-roasted seabass, served with a rich lobster bisque, beurre blanc, baby vegetables, Jersey royals and tiger prawns – this had different layers of flavours and textures and the freshest fish and seafood, it was heaven on a plate!
The Salty Dog
Later that day, at the charming St Aubin’s Village, I made my way to The Salty Dog for their signature ‘Really Posh Fish & Chips’. The Salty Dog is a casual and accessible eatery with a loyal clientele; the restaurant was packed on the Sunday night I visited.
|Charming St Aubin's Bay|
Their 'really posh fish and chips' (described on the menu as tempura haddock, sole and king prawn) unfortunately had no tempura batter, but was nonetheless delicious and very crisp, served with hand-cut chunky chips and a salsa verde. I really enjoyed the variety of fish offered and the zingy, refreshing salsa. In addition, I was pleasantly surprised at the great value of The Salty Dog's food and drink offerings.
|Really posh fish and chips by The Salty Dog|
I have mixed feelings about El Tico Beach Cantina but I thought I should also include them here. The menu is simple and well thought out with some crowd pleasers and bistro-like dishes at reasonable prices.
|El Tico's stunning beach location|
|Crab Linguine by El Tico|
El Tico is situated in a gorgeous setting with great sea views, so if you happen to visit, you will probably be able to take some fantastic pictures of Jersey. Subsequently, locals told me that El Tico is rather good (the lobster club sandwich is apparently a must), so I decided to include it here.
Here in the UK, we moan how we do not do fish and seafood as well as in France, and how these are so much better over in the continent. Well, this is not the case in Jersey – the quality of the fish and seafood I saw in the island is second to none, and the standards of cooking on all restaurants I visited were overall excellent. I was truly inspired by this, and cannot wait to return to Jersey this coming Summer for more Jersey oysters, lobsters and fish!
My Jersey #theislandbreak visit was sponsored by the Jersey Tourism Board, for more information about the island, please visit their website here. The London Foodie maintains full editorial control of the content published on this site as always.
Le Mont de la Pulente, St Brelade JE3 8HE, Jersey
T: +44 (0) 1534 744101
Mark Jordan at the Beach
La Plage, La Route de la Haule, A1, St Peter JE3 7YD
T: +44 (0) 1534 780180
Ormer Restaurant by Shaun Rankin
7-11 Don Street
Bohemia Bar & Restaurant
Green Street, St. Helier
The Royal Yacht Hotel
T: +44 (0) 1534 720511
The Salty Dog
Le Boulevard, St. Aubin's Village JE3 8AB
T: +44 (0) 1534 742760
El Tico Beach Canteen
La Grande Route des Mielles, St Ouens
Jersey JE3 7FN