After wandering around the remote and beautiful beaches of west Jersey it was no surprise we had worked up a bit of an appetite. Just as well then that we found ourselves in the hip modern British eatery that’s run by the local foodie super star Mark Jordan. Read on to discover what we ate and why I’d like to go back, tomorrow if I could.
When Mark Jordan isn’t creating Michelin Starred food for his other restaurant The Ocean at The Atlantic Hotel he’s letting his hair down on the beach. This buzzy happy steak and fish restaurant certainly had atmosphere when we visited. It is worth noting that this one does have a Michelin bib gourmand and two AA rosettes so it’s no slouch on the food front.
Set on the coast a little way out of St. Helier, it offers modern British plates with a strong emphasis on local (this is a small island after all). Expect poached Jersey oysters with a cucumber beurre blanc or crab and sweet corn risotto to be on the menu. We started with a few little nibbles (gluten free for me of course) and the truffled popcorn was a fun.
We chose pan-seared Jersey scallops, sticky oxtail and pea purée and M had what looked like a perfect Scotch egg. My scallops were sweet and fresh with the delicious oxtail goo drizzled around the plate elevating it to something higher up the food chain. There were no complaints and both plates were empty.
The Saturday night we visited it was as quiet as anything on the roads getting there but very lively and full when we arrived. This is a swinging place with plenty of life and chatter about it. The hard tabletops with no cloths amplify a celebratory table with no trouble at all.
Mark’s signature dish here is a pretty fancy burger. A burger you may think is just a burger but not here. Mark does indeed cook a good burger but then adds a very generous helping of foie gras and a fried egg, again elevating this humble staple to something higher. And my 30-day aged beef stew was so full of flavour it very nearly burst. It was silky and lush that only noises not words could be used to describe it properly (mmmm, ahhh, etc). Another elevation moment came with Mark’s chunky chips. We all know about triple cooking and there are many pretenders out there who can’t quite pull it off like Heston. Well guess what, Mark can, his chips are at £3.50 a complete give away, quite superb and very moreish. You have been warned.
Another test for a kitchen is can they pull off a decent soufflé? Well, they can here. I went for a passion fruit little beauty that was, well literally elevated both physically and in terms of taste. Each mouthful was like a whisper from a loved one that just melts in the moment. M had an excellent French apple tart with fanned slices on top along with some local ice cream made with Jersey cream of course.
Mark Jordan might be regarded as some sort of magician with all those tricks he keeps up his sleeve but it’s probably the ‘elevations’ he achieves so frequently and easily (it seems) that he’ll be noted for. This is fine cooking in a relaxed and casual setting that is definitely worth a diversion for. And I am thinking of booking a ticket to do just that.
Mark Jordan at the Beach, La Plage, La Route Se La Haule, St. Peter, Jersey, JE3 7YD.
Tel: +44 (0)1534 780180
The restaurant is located right on the beach on the south coast of Jersey and is just a seven-minute drive from Saint Helier and 10-minute drive from The Atlantic Hotel. It is open daily for lunch from midday to 2:00pm and for dinner from 6:00pm to 8:30pm.
Type of Restaurant: Michelin Bib Gourmand and 2 AA Rosettes Restaurant & Bar
Price Band: Medium
Insider Tip: If it’s warm get an outside table with a bay view to watch the sun go down. The truffle popcorn is also very moreish!
Reviewer’s Rating: 8/10
Neil Hennessy-Vass is a widely published globetrotting food and travel writer and photographer and one of our regular writers and contributing editor.
Photographs by Neil Hennessy-Vass