After panning Jacksons in my last review for a non-working website, I have since returned twice; once for a pre-theatre meal with friends which unfortunately are always rushed, and lately for a more leisurely meal with 10 family and friends. Both times the service and food was excellent, but the second occasion deserves more of a mention. The meal went as follows:
1. Bread – the four free breads with two types of butter and a kind of olive/aubergine pate, is beyond anything else in Hanoi; and initial drinks - espresso, peppermint tea (in a pot), Mexican corona beer complete with lime wedge, cokes for the kids and water throughout the meal.
2. Starters – a seared tuna salad seared to perfection and the star of this meal - stuffed quail. The quail was imported from France (the local version deemed not good enough), stuffed with walnut, celery, chicken, egg, cream, parsley, shallot, white wine and breadcrumbs. Served on a bed of creamed potatoes, caramelised onion, broccoli floret and julienned fennel and set off by pureed carrot flowers. How do I know this? I asked for the recipe!
3. Mains – the superb beef and ale pie that has just a touch of French about it; barramundi on creamed potatoes; my usual New Zealand sirloin medium rare on a bed of mushrooms and with a rosti of potato and onion and a beef jus (not one of the no doubt excellent sauces as I want to taste the steak); and Wagyu (meaning Japanese) steak burger for the kids with a fried egg.
4. Crepe Suzette including the cooking class with all ten of us gathered around the head waiter as he prepared it. This time we asked for less butter as the full French amount of butter is too much for us.
The French chef is really accomplished as can be seen by the quail special; and I really love the steak knives that remind me of Provencal farmers pruning knives. We also met the second ‘maitre’ who is as professional and welcoming as the other one we already know.
The whole meal for ten cost 4.6mill dong or $250 including the drinks. I don’t know how another reviewer paid $100 for a steak as I cannot remember one for that price on the menu.
What more can I say? Jacksons climbs back effortlessly to my number one restaurant in Hanoi for food excellence, quality of produce, service and overall class.
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