Jam Street Cafe – Whalley Range, Manchester

Pros:  The finest German beer.  Amazing food.  Imaginative menu with two or three choices that change every time you visit.

Cons: a little bit scruffy for a 32-year old PR dandy who has become used to expensive Michelin starred tastes.  Probably fine for “young” people.  Maybe public school boys from Charterhouse, with subscriptions to The Spectator  might feel out of place.


The review


Everyone thinks Chorlton is the food capital of Manchester, but actually there are several weaknesses to this argument as I have illustrated in previous blogs.  In summary, prior to Ostara, there were ZERO top grade restaurants in Chorlton.  Lots of good places to eat, but no five star luxurious dining to be had.


Jam Street Cafe is not a top grade restaurant either, but it is a place where the food is imaginative and served with love.


Tonight I took my lovely lady as company.  We tucked into Dortmunder Union beer as aperitif (is there a better beer other than that brewed under Reinheitsgebot?)  I shall now fast forward our small talk and deliver you to the main course.  My main course.


I had a squid and chorizo salad with chick pea, roasted onions, tomatoes and fennel.  The many legged beast was marinated in lemon, thyme, garlic and oil.  The squid was plated with gay regard to portion control and flame grilled to get that delicious char-grilled flavour.  The chorizo was used with restrain.  Some sausage lovers might have wanted a more generous serving, but it was spicy and diced in a way that meant a little went a long way.


I can’t be bothered in telling you about my lovely lady’s dish other than it was a pork chop and what a cut; it was exceptional.  Served on hearty bed of bean stew.


As for the Jam Street concept, everyone bangs on about Jam Street Cafe’s breakfasts as being the pinnacle of this eatery.  And it once won an Observer Food accolade for its Petit Déjeuner but I was underwhelmed when I had mine.   You must also remember that Chorlton has more Observer readers than anywhere else in the country so this voted for accolade is hardly representative.


 Also, having lived in Bristol, and dined at the Bristolian in the Montpelier area of the city, it came a not very close second.  However, the real’ tresor’ is to be had at Jam Street in the evening.  Every night is different I tell you! Every single night a different menu.  Great concept!


The other thing to remember when eating here is that if you are a carnivore, then please don’t rule out the vegetarian offers.  I think that their vegetarian dishes beat some of the under seasoned dishes I ate at Green’s, Didsbury – supposedly a shining light of vegetarian fine dining.  I’m a raving mad carnivore but when I come to Jam Street I do go veggie more often than not.


In summary,  I like the (very )scruffy environment of The Jam Street Cafe, but it won’t suit everyone.   Not one for Tory Boys me thinks.   However, forget the shabby chic styling and what you get is, pound for pound, the best food in South Manchester. 


p.s.  My friend Lu Lu loved it also


© James Crawford’s PR and Media Blog.  2009

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