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Jazzgir – Bringing the world of jazz and refined Mediterranean cuisine to South Quay
September 22, 2017
The warm afterglow from La La Land must be having an effect on the London dining scene with the opening of Jazzgir in South Quay. It combines live jazz music nightly along with some exquisite Mediterranean dishes. The restaurant is in a very residential part of the Canary Wharf area close to South Quay DLR station with prime views of Millwall Inner Dock.
The venue has a warm, glistening feel in part due to the abundance of filament light bulbs on the ceiling and the golden panels on their wall. The light brown-coloured seating has been designed for maximum comfort so that you can savour hours of sultry singing from their entertainers whilst sipping on their fine cocktails.
Their cocktail list does have a very strong gin focus, especially supporting local gins like Portobello and Sipsmith. They are not only beautifully presented, but thoughtfully executed with well-balanced ingredients. For example, the bitter heaven marries Sipsmith gin to a dreamy concoction of solerno blood orange liquor, grapefruit juice, honey and ginger syrup, lemon and basil.
The food is arguably the most underrated part of the Jazzgir experience. The presentation by head chef Raffaele Biancarddeu is as decadent and slick as the surroundings. Their charcuterie, vegetables and cheese boards are the ideal starters to share with fellow diners. The board of fine meats that we ordered contained the very best of Italian offerings including the likes of San Daniele ham DOP, bresaola IGP, spicy spianata and salami rustico. The prosciutto San Daniele had a unique, sweet and delicate flavour and the dish came with spongy focaccia bread and wafer-thin pane carasau.
For our main courses, we tried an expertly-grilled stuffed squid, which came with a green herb pure?e that had a real vibrancy and a zingy lemon vinaigrette. There is added crunch from the pickled peppers and pine nuts, whilst tropea onion all’Amaretto and tomatoes added some sweetness to the dish.
It’s rare to see chefs prepare a courgette velouté, which is a surprise considering the popularity of this fruit; but it paired supremely well with the crab tagliolini. It had simple garnishes of spring onions and cherry tomatoes, but as we all know the best Italian dishes are the simplest. Portions are on the petite size here, but the tasty nature of the dishes mean you are always longing for more.
Desserts are limited here with only tiramisu, lemon posset and baklava; however, if you want your perfect caffeine hit along with luscious mascarpone cheese and cream then do save some room for the tiramisu.
Do check out their roster of live performers nightly. I can highly recommend The London Belles who creatively put a post-modern twist on contemporary pop hits. They even managed to give Justin Bieber songs a jazzy makeover. Jazzgir might not be the most centrally-located jazz restaurant and bar, but they are well worth checking out.
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