Jimmy Spices: Fresh Food And Fun

Liven up your evening on The Broadway

If you're in need of an evening to spice up your senses, then a trip along The Broadway to Jimmy Spices will offer the perfect treat.

It's certainly a restaurant with a difference - they call it a "multi-cuisine offering", where you eat as much as you can manage from a serve yourself buffet.

The open kitchen, with islands of chefs cooking Chinese, Thai, Indian and Italian dishes, is part of the whole experience and is not for those looking for a quiet night out.

As the food is cooked before your eyes it's put into buffet containers for you to pick your own portions. Or you can ask the chefs to cook what you want from the ingredients in front of you.

To make it even easier, there's one charge depending on the time and day of your visit. The most expensive rate is £15.99 per person on a Thursday-Saturday evening, falling to £7.99 on a Monday-Friday lunchtime.

The friendly and helpful staff give every encouragement to make repeat visits to the food islands, and the available dishes are side plate size. We managed three visits each for the savoury courses, and one each to the dessert counter. But I'm sure some diners had many more trips!

So what did we eat? Well, the beauty of Jimmy Spices in Wimbledon (pictured left) is that you can create your own plate and no-one will question your combination.

Most diners were in larger groups (there was just two of us) which was perhaps more fun because there was no-one left alone looking after bags/coats while a partner made their choice. And as this was our first visit, we were both ages making our initial selection.

Still, this didn't hamper our experience. It was a different way of eating. And my first plate was certainly an unusual combination - grilled white fish in a caper sauce alongside herbed potatoes and aloo gobhi. The fish had a lovely, lemony taste and I liked having the spicy taste alongside it.

My companion went for a spicy tofu cheese dish, with vegetable spring roll, Chinese noodles and a chilli sauce. It was certainly a chance to try a little something of a dish you'd never previously tried - the spicy tofu being a perfect case in point.

Both plates were soon polished off and we were back for more visits, with our other choices including fried fenu creek, onion bhajis, dimsum and peanut sauce, egg fried rice, prawn crackers, samosas, fried fish, olives and a selection of poppadums. We didn't even touch the Italian section of the kitchen, nor the salad bar. The whole choice was just too much for two small stomachs!

We were sitting near the dessert kitchen, so we could see how good the dishes were and made sure we left some stomach room for our visit there. This was the one area where there was a slight queue for the chef as he created individual ice cream portions. You selected your flavour of ice cream and he added whatever you wanted to it from a variety of nuts, fruits, sweets etc. Your dessert was finished when he pummelled the lot together in front of you - which was a much yummier experience than it sounds here!

The dessert kitchen also included a multitude of treats and fruits - including brownies, cheesecakes, jelly, apple crumble, and that's just a small sample. We couldn't resist the chocolate fountain and marshmallows to round off our evening on top of our custom-made ice cream.

Drinks are not included in the set price and I noticed several dinners treating themselves with some colourful cocktails. We had a couple of 175ml Pinot Grigio Rose and Australian Chardonnay wines each. These bought the final bill up to £47.54, which we felt was excellent value for a whole Saturday evening's entertainment and this included the restaurant's unique atmosphere, which was definitely part of the attraction.

Do you agree with our review? What's your top Wimbledon restaurant/pub? Why not comment on our forum?

Sue Choularton

November 6, 2011