English is as English does. The Jackson Plan along Duxton Hill is a 6-week-old British gastrobar established by Italian restaurateur Beppe De Vito and i’m in love with it.
Entering via the wooden patio on the side of the establishment, you’re greeted with a bright yellow wash and all I could think of was ‘Yellow Submarine.’ Named after Lieutenant Philip Jackson, an engineer who drew up Singapore’s first city plan in 1822, it’s gotta be a tribute of sorts. PS. I only know this because of the establishment and not from Social Studies.
The interior features vintage flower design tiling [which I would so wish it to be translated onto a well-cut shirt], mis-matched wooden chairs and table against deep green washed walls that is some part sterile, inviting and quirky. Being the first diners in the space, we were overwhelmed by the cavernous emptiness and the over-eager wait staff. For some 20 mins, it felt as if we were being watched and about to be killed without anyone knowing. Yes, I admit it must be the result of an overactive imagination but be warned on arriving before 8pm.
We moved on to the Saltmarsh Lamb, Irish Champ Chard which came highly recommended, with great expectations only to be left slightly deflated. The mash was unbelievable but the star of the dish did not leave me wanting as the gamey flavor permeated my palette, the meat was dry and could not be remedied with generous dollops of the too-sweet sauce. I can’t say to be an expert in British grub but it did not go down as well as i hoped for my taste buds. A serving of this will set you back SGD28.
The stunners of the night were the desserts. Stuffed as we were, we cleaned and polished our plates of Sticky Toffee Pudding and Burnt Custard, Toffee Caramel.
I’m a huge sticky date pudding fan and I thought my find at Artichoke was THE ONE until I sunk my teeth into the Sticky Toffee Pudding at The Jackson Plan. Chewy, sticky pudding soaked in rich toffee sauce blended with an cool blend of vanilla ice cream was worth every last cent of the SGD11.00. I smiled.
Not a huge creme brûlée fan, I sinked my spoon gingerly into the dish only to turn a convert. The vanilla custard was not overtly rich and just perfectly fragrant with a smooth consistency reminiscent of the best bean curd. What won it for me was the contrasting layer of hard caramel that spoke of such skill and dedication that I was instantly won over at the first mouthful.
With our tummies bulging, we drained our glasses of Prosecco and headed to the outside patio to further enjoy the space, the night and to taste their cocktails which looked magnificent.
Settling at the barrels and high stools, I declared my desire to take a barrel home to be placed at the entry way of my home to toss my keys, cell and other knick knacks atop as i kick off my shoes. Of course, I didn’t manage to wheel one home.
An order of Queen’s Cup and the Jackson Punch was placed as we leaned back on our high stools and enjoyed the natural breeze that our little island offered. What’s impressive are the serving portions of the cocktails/ punches – filled to the brim in wide, deep glasses, the drinks were well worth the prices comparative to the standard minimal servings at other pubs and bars in Singapore.
The Jackson Punch is a crowd pleaser made of gin, campari, orange, strawberries, lambrusco for a sweet drink with a kick.
The Queen’s Cup on the other hand proved to be too much of a surprise – a mix of vodka, tomato, cucumber, lemon and masala, it was far from my expectations for a refreshing drink and I tried my luck requesting for a change of drink despite the sips I had taken. This is where The Jackson Plan sealed its status as a must return venue for me. The Assistant Manager inquired after my expectations of The Queen’s Cup and I admitted that it was my fault as I did not expect the masala to be so strong and all I was seeking was a sweet, refreshing drink to end the night. Smiling, he took my glass and promised to return with the elusive drink I seeked.
Presenting me with The Duxton Punch – a mix of gin, pineapple, orange, morello cherry and nutmeg, I was beyond pleased and I expressed my satisfaction. Such personalised service is rare in Singapore and I was floored by his gesture. In addition, my original order of Queen’s Cup was not added to the total bill and I must say, I’m never going to kick the service standards in Singapore as long as The Jackson Plan stands. And oh, that morello cherry is the bomb.
I am determined to return and introduce this gem of a find to my crowd, and it is my sole ambition to try every item on this menu. Till then, stay tuned or let me know what you have tried.