Two new dining companions and a suggestion to try Jim's - Steve and I were up for this particularly as it had been described to us as "lots of meat" and "good fun". So after a few TFI Friday drinks we went to meet Jim. There was warm welcome and we were shown to a small square table in the middle of the front dining room. A few nods and grunts later we and the bringing of glasses for our BYO wine and we were pretty satisfied that we'd be fed. What we would be eating was still a mystery but how we hoped for some fried cheese!
We started off with a loaf of warm bread and a plateful of dips - tsatziki, baba ganoush and taramasalata as well as some octopus. Great start as like seagulls we descended on the bread. The tsatziki was sharp and fresh, the baba ganoush garlicky and the taramasalata not overly fishy.
Next came the wonderful saganaki - a golden, gooey wedge of fried cheese laced with lemon juice and oh it was a delight. The calamari was delicious and the perfect consistency - not rubbery and tasteless. We also had some fish fillets which were soft and sweet. Thoroughly enjoyable start to the meal and this was all accompanied by a Greek salad to lighten things up!
After such a hefty start it was a relief that our main courses weren't overly huge. We had two beef skewers and a slow cooked lamb dish as well as some potatoes. The beef was tender and still pink with a delicate marinade that was garlicky and lemony and the slow cooked lamb fell off the bone and was tender and moist.
Dessert was baklava and a cinammon custard pastry. The baklava was a touch too sweet for me but then my tastebuds feel that way about all baklava so it's not a reflection on Jim's version. Steve really enjoyed the baklava and he's more the expert. I preferred the custard as it was lighter.
We tried to make a getaway but we were stopped by the waiter who shouted at us to stay seated for some free coffee. His shouting was jovial but laced with an edge so we stayed put and waited for the coffee. The coffee was thick, black, grainy with a sediment and was pretty nasty. I'm sure it was very authentic but not to our tastes - reminiscent of the Chinese herbal medicines my mum used to force me to drink. So we surreptitiously and as inconspicuously as possible made our way out to safety!
Our impressions of Jim's place was that it is a boisterous, rowdy and family style place. It's warm and homely. We enjoyed seeing what other people received to eat. Service is quick and undeniably of that old school slightly scary, as in you do what you're told but the waiter still smiles at you and you laugh with them out of fear. Yes it's somewhat manic and there is little room for romance but there's still a lot of love