Any men out there who have ever wondered where all the women are? I have discovered the answer – having lunch at Jak’s cafe in South Kensington. The owner of Jak’s (who is actually called Val, it’s a long story) invited me there to have lunch last week. The place was absolutely packed and it was full of women. I could only count two or three men in the whole restaurant.
Female friendly salads
I can see why a place like Jak’s appeals to women. All the food is appetisingly displayed behind big counters so you know exactly what you are getting. Most of what is on offer is organic and pretty good for you as well with salads and juices both being best sellers. The salad selection is fantastic. I tried a mixture of tabbouleh, Greek salad, quinoa salad and a spelt pasta pesto salad which was served with a splodge of creamy hommus and some warm bread (£9 for a selection of five salads). They were all light and bright and exactly the sort of thing you would want for lunch.
There are also more substantial mains on offer including lasagnas, soufflés, pies, fish and chicken. The vegetarian lasagna (£8.50) is served as a huge slab and stuffed with roasted carrot, peppers, zucchini and aubergine with a gooey cheese topping. This was a better choice than the fish pie which was a slightly stodgy mixture of salmon and potato flecked with parsley. I think I prefer fish pies when they have a more creamy base with the potato left as a topping rather than mixed throughout the pie. Jak’s is licensed but at lunchtime at least most people seem to stick to the juices which are all £3. A combination of oranges, strawberries, melons and apples is a winner every time.
If you don’t want lunch or dinner then there is always the coffee and cake option. The coffee is on the weak side but “Jak’s cheesecake” (£4) is unmissable. It has a really creamy almost silky texture. Jak told me that American customers always compliment him on the cheesecake and everyone knows that Americans know their cheesecakes.
If you are in the area (say after a spot of shopping down the road at Harrods) then Jak’s is a great option for home style cooking and if you are wondering where all the women are, now you know.
Details: 77 Walton Street, South Kensington SW3 2HT (Ph 0207584 3441) Tube: South Kensington
If you liked reading this you might be interested in some other good lunch options around town. I love Ottolenghi in Islington and Notting Hill or try Manicomio in the city.
Gourmet Chick was a guest of Jak’s and received complimentary food and drink on her visit.