Now I work in the Toon a few days a week I seem to be eating out in the city centre less – I’ve been visiting a lot of super local Northumberland restaurants lately and also heading to eateries in Jesmond and Gosforth. One such venue is Jam Jar, where I headed a few weeks ago at the venue’s invitation after a change of chef.I’ve never actually been to Jam Jar despite several attempts to visit – awkward things like catching colds kept curtailing trips at the last moment. I’d heard mixed reviews but approached the table in the relaxed looking Osborne road venue with an open mind. Jam Jar run a few specials on different nights, so we’d already scoped out the menu online and were a bit disappointed to find the nights were not as advertised on the website and we needed to make another selection. It was in fact steak night – where you can get two steaks for £15, which is a pretty good deal. The website has since been updated so the correct days are now showing for the right deals and there’s some snazzy photos on there too.
However, my dining partner and I didn’t think it would be too insightful if we both ate the same thing, so he asked for a burger while I chose the steak. We also selected one of the seriously jammy drinks from the cocktail menu – I had a Tea Time Jam and he opted for a Mexi Jam.
It’s probably worth mentioning at this point that Jam Jar has a bit of a backroom, which was filled out with a rather large birthday party. There must have been around 30 dining in total and it’s always tricky for a kitchen to cater to such a high volume at once. With this in mind, we did have a bit of a wait for our food, though we were happy enough to sit and sip our drinks as there was genuinely a nice atmosphere I was pretty taken with my cocktail. As someone who still regularly drinks wine and spirits out of mugs (much to my mother’s disgust), I’m a fan of sticking drinks in jam jars – whether it’s trendy or not, it’s a good size glassful for me!
When our food came it did look good and my steak was a decent size and cooked perfectly to medium rare. Unfortunately the burger wasn’t quite as good – the patty itself was well done – rather than the medium rare we were expecting. It was also quite hard to track down the smoked cheese sauce that had us salivating when we first read about it. It was however a plentiful plateful and the fries that came with the meals were also an ample portion. Looking around the other tables our portions seems to be the standard and we certainly did not go hungry. If I was being picky I would say some of the fries were a little overdone – all crunch and no potato, though they were well seasoned and presented. Jam Jar do run a limited desserts menu, but we were already feeling pretty full, so we chose to share an alcoholic milkshake instead.
The milkshake really hit the spot as a replacement pudding and I probably stole more than my fair share. Overall we felt that Jam jar was a place with a nice ambience and decent drinks, it’s not necessarily somewhere I’d choose just for dining but I will definitely call in for another drink while our burger was not perfect they did have a large party to battle when we were in and maintained good service levels.