Posted by: mikeydude | December 16, 2009

Jumpin Jays Seafood Restaurant Portsmouth Review (6/10)

A Shuck for a Buck!

After a magnificent feast at Legal Seafood in Boston Harvard Square the night before we decided to follow it up with another seafood restaurant in Portsmouth New Hampshire. This one was recommended by our hotel and was packed on arrival during a cold weekday night. I was even more pleased to find out it was “Shuck a Buck” Tuesday where all their fresh oysters are $1 each (bargain!). Unfortunately it became quite clear that such enthusiasm for a meal is often met with disappointing results. Here’s the report.

As per previous nights service was almost flawless with waiting staff fully aware of produce and keen to recommend favourites. The wine list was a little on the expensive side, with the same bottle of wine as the previous night being over $10 more expensive. I therefore opted for a beer instead.

Bread was fairly bog standard white crusty bread served with what seemed like chilled creamy butter. There were also olives with garlic which served well as an appetite stimulant.

Starter #1: Crab Cake

Nicely textured, well seasoned. Taste wise I don’t usually order these ‘fishcakes’ because I feel it rids the natural texture and to some extent the flavour of the fish. However this dish was a good choice and the creamy sauce served with it gave it some welcoming sourness without being overpowering. Not bad at all.

Starter #2: Fried Oysters

I only tried one of these, but they were deliciously crispy and fresh. In fact I enjoyed almost as much as the freshly shucked ones! The sauce was the same as my own crab cake starter which wasn’t a bad thing.

Starter #3: Oyster Platter

Nice fresh oysters although I was still unable to differentiate between the different types. However the lack of wine compromised the whole experience a bit compared to the night before at Legal but for $1 this is an absolute bargain! Be wary of the horseradish sauce; it packs a real kick in the nose!

Starter #4: Escargot

I was pleasantly surprised by this after a rather disappointing dish at London Bridge’s Magdalen about a month earlier. This was a much more generous serving with a less rubbery texture. It was also well seasoned and served with a rich flavoursome seafood sauce. It has rekindled my faith in eating slimey shelled mollusks again 😀

Starter #5: Clam Chowder

I was starting to get sick of chowder at this point and must confess never been the biggest fan of it to be honest. The Mrs talked about Boston chowder for months before we went to the states. I just consider it a creamy seafood broth with some croutons. This one tasted no different to the others.

Main #1: Extra-Rare Yellow Fin Tuna

Nice generous steak of fresh tuna. Nicely seared rare, but I prefer it completely raw at this level of freshness. The accompanying sesame sauce made it slightly oriental tasting. I wasn’t sure what to make of that.

Main #2: Clam Linguine

This was an everest of creamy clam pasta and way too much in my opinion. I found it rather bland and overcreamy even though the pasta was cooked nicely. Perhaps if they were more generous with the clams then the sauce would have packed more flavour. Disappointing.

Main #3: Opah

Our waitress described this as a cross between tuna and cod, although I think it tasted more like the latter. This rather confusing combination of tastes wasn’t to my liking at all. The flakey texture of cod just does not go with the powerful tastes of tuna.

Main #4: Cod

I didn’t try this dish but it was cooked well according to my father-in-law.

Dessert #1: Brownie Ice Cream

This consisted of a generous slab of warm chocolate brownie topped with vanilla ice-cream. The brownie had a nice soft consistency which combined excellently with the ice-cream. The girls of the party loved it.

Dessert #2: Sticky Toffee Pudding

I can’t remember the last time I ordered sticky toffee pudding; usually opting for more chocolatey options, but this was rather impressive. I really enjoyed the soft sponge with the almost caramelised sweet toffee sauce. The ice-cream again gave it a slightly refreshing taste.

The overall cost $223 for 5 including drinks excluding service. We still had a great time and the food was not bad by any means, but it just didn’t stand out like the previous night. The shuck for a buck offer is definitely the star attractive feature of the place.

Contact:

150 Congress St
Portsmouth
New Hampshire
USA

Tel: 603.766.FISH (3474)

Opening Hours:
WINTER HOURS

(from Columbus Day to Easter)

Monday – Thursday
5:30pm – 9:00pm

Friday & Saturday
5:00pm – 10:00pm

Sunday
5:00pm – 9:00pm

SUMMER HOURS

(from Easter to Columbus Day)

Monday – Thursday
5:30pm – 9:30pm

Friday & Saturday
5:00pm – 10:00pm

Sunday
5:00pm – 9:00pm

http://www.jumpinjays.com/index.htm

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