Review: Jimmy's World bar and Grill, Wimbledon
9:30am Friday 11th May 2012 in Reviews
I am a buffet buff. I enjoy the sense of fun, theatre, and the freedom they give to try an unknown quantity in the hope of discovering a new favourite dish.
Jimmy’s World Bar and Grill (formerly Jimmy Spices) is very much set up as a family restaurant for those in the mood to pick from a range of Indian, Chinese and western favourites.
It’s designed for an evening of fun and frivolity (even the wallpaper made me giggle) where you serve yourself from a range of Indian, oriental, Mediterranean or western cuisines, while safe in the knowledge that you’re bound to like something on the menu.
And safe choices there are plenty, while very few superstar dishes steal the show.
Of the curries, the lamb rogan josh is fabulous and leaves the rest of its peers in the shade. Even without tasting it, the richly cooked pieces of lamb just look right sitting on your fork as they shimmer seductively in spicy tomato-based sauce.
What a shame the rest of the lineup fails to live up to the superstar standards, much as every pop group like Take That consists of one star performer with three or four hangers on.
So, if lamb rogan rosh is the Gary Barlow of the curries, the backing singers are chicken tikka masala (meek and pleasant), chicken korma (mild and unadventurous), served with either steamed white rice or pilau rice, or plain naan breads.
Another positive highlight was the guest dishes (which rotates every fortnight between different areas of the world), which were Indian tandoori dishes cooked by a visiting chef from India.
And it showed – all the dishes were divine and left you wanting more, whether it was tandoori chicken wings, lamb shish or chicken shish kebabs, they were excellent.
The Chinese dishes were no worse nor better than I’ve had at good value takeaways. I was expecting something a bit more imaginative than what was on offer: sweet and sour chicken (adequate), beef in black bean sauce (better than expected) and fish in ginger sauce (very nice).
I did not venture as far as the western menu, consisting of pizza, pasta, onion rings and chips – dishes which are familiar to anyone with an oven at home.
The dessert offering was interesting, lots of fun and a particular winner for any kids you may have in tow.
The star attraction here is their teppanyaki-style ice cream, in which they use a griddle to mash almost whatever you want into a couple of scoops of vanilla, chocolate or strawberry (I opted for Minstrels and M & Ms).
This is precisely the sort of theatre and playfulness which is the perfect ending to a meal of this type.
Other delights include a chocolate fountain in which to dip marshmallows and a delicious crème caramel.
While there were some memorable highlights from an evening at Jimmy’s World Bar & Grill, one comes away with the distinct impression that what they do well, they do exceptionally well.