Jack Tree

Jack Tree
     

Reviewed by Zainab Faizal | 11 months ago

  • Interior
         
  • Ambience
         
  • Service
         
  • Presentation
         
  • Taste
         
  • Pricing
         

Halal Factors

We’ve all heard of Mango Tree and that it is without a doubt one of the top Indian restaurants in the country that whips up some incredible North Indian dishes that are a win-win for both your wallet and palate. The Jack Tree also comes under the same management, serving Thai and Chinese cuisine (the name possibly giving that away). Despite being a restaurant to have much backlash, the food was certainly delicious and I would definitely drop by again provided that my wallet is stuffed with enough cash.

 

Food

Shrimp Toast | Rs.995

I’ve tried shrimp toast before, which is why I didn’t hesitate to order this dish. This was however entirely different in terms of flavour and texture - The prawns were mildly seasoned and covered with egg on toast, which is then deep fried to a golden brown. The toast, although piping hot, wasn’t exactly crispy in terms of texture - it looked soggy but the softness of the toast and the seasoned prawns were well retained - dip it into their classic sweet chilli sauce, and everything gets better! The sudden tangy and sweet flavours from the sauce give a spicy yet smokey taste that complements the toast (thank God for the creation of dips!).

Hot Butter Cuttlefish | Rs.1150

Another dish that almost everyone in the country has tried, but only a few restaurants have mastered this complicated dish. I’d see HBC as being more of an art rather than just a normal dish - considering the effort, time, and the respective secret recipe being the tools whilst the gifted hands of the chef are the ultimate talent (not to forget quality ingredients) needed to make the HBC.

The crispy fried and seasoned calamari is coated with a lovely butter cream and chilli sauce which adds to the heat of the overall dish. It was crispy, chewy and packed with the natural flavour of the calamari and the crunchiness of the coating with the sudden spice from the chili. The portion is HUGE, with a higher ratio of calamari to spring onion/sautéed onions. Hands down, a favourite!

Chicken Cashew Nut | Rs.1125

This dish didn’t have the ‘wow’ factor, but it certainly wasn’t bad. It’s a fairly pricey dish considering the ample amount of cashew thrown into the dish at free will. This Thai dish is quite popular but all I tasted was a lot of MSG, soy sauce and salt. The chicken had been marinated with these ingredients but it was the spring onions, roasted cashew nuts and the colourful bell pepper slices tossed in chilli sauce that were the highlight of the dish.

Prawn Yellow Curry | Rs.1295

It might look mediocre, but it most certainly isn’t in terms of flavour. This prawn yellow curry had handfuls of boiled prawns that had been cooked into a coconut milk based yellow curry; it had additions of lemongrass, galangal (a special ginger used in Thai cuisine) and other Thai spices. The ginger and lemongrass are extremely strong in terms of flavour and aroma, which adds a unique taste to the dish. We highly suggest you give this dish a shot considering how amazing a Thai yellow curry is.

Chicken Thin Noodles | Rs.1295

The chicken thin noodles were fabulous! Why? Because these are the kind of carbs you need in your life! The noodles were tossed in cabbage, carrots, spring onions and other vegetables with sloshes of soy sauce (and perhaps sprinkles of love?). The greatest noodles to accompany the above dishes, and it can also be eaten alone.

 

Drinks

Shirley Temple | Rs.375

Grenadine syrup and ginger ale – what did you expect? A decent red drink which had a strong ginger ale flavour with little to no hint of the grenadine syrup except for its colour.

Chocolate Milkshake | Rs.575

Ever tasted the perfect milkshake? Well this sort of fits the bill. It had a rich chocolate sauce and a few scoops of ice cream which gives it a rich chocolatey flavour while not giving it the super thick consistency that can make one feel uncomfortable.

Peach Iced Tea | Rs.375

The peach iced tea was quite the treat considering how it was fresh iced tea. There were real pieces of peach blended into the tea, which gave it a decent, thick flavour that was sweet and peachy! We didn’t exactly detect any natural tea flavour which was disappointing as it didn’t live up to its name.

 

Desserts

Ice Cream with Chocolate Sauce and Nuts | Rs.475

Your basic Elephant House chocolate ice cream drizzled with chocolate sauce and crushed cashew nuts. It was cold, sweet and crunchy.

Jackfruit Fritters with Ice Cream | Rs.495

‘Waraka’ they are referring to here. Waraka coated and fried until golden brown and served with vanilla ice cream. The jackfruit was sweet, and the coating was extremely thin and was drizzled with honey making it delicious and refreshing with each spoonful of the cold vanilla ice cream.

Presentation

The dishes were neatly presented in plain white, modern crockery - there was nothing elaborate in terms of presentation but simply throwing loads of chopped spring onions, sliced up cabbage and cilantro for garnish. There was nothing to brag about.

 

Interior and Ambience

The Jack Tree is conveniently located down Park Road, opposite the Cargills Food City outlet in the area. The entire restaurant has a very shady feel to it, almost like those downtown restaurants you find in action movies in Thailand or China Town (if you see the exterior neon signage during dinner, you’d understand exactly what I’m talking about). The upstairs has plush, comfortable seating with mediocre looking transparent tables. It is great for privacy or a quiet celebration with a decent playlist playing in the background.

Service

One thing I enjoyed about this restaurant is that the waiting staff minded their own business, instead of hogging around us making it extremely uncomfortable. The waiters would pick up the order and swiftly place the dishes in front of us steaming hot, eagerly waiting to be served.

 

Conclusion

Finally, it is safe to admit that if you ever find yourself at the Jack Tree, ask for recommendations from the manager or the waiters for they will not disappoint you (this is also for your own good, considering how the menu can confuse you). The place is alright, the food is decent but just go easy on your wallet. 

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No. 200, Park Road,, Colombo 05 00500
Tel : 011 7 620620

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