One of the newest restaurants to open in the largest of the Channel Islands, No. 10, is the domain of chef Joseph Baker who served his apprenticeship in his family’s popular eatery on St Brelade’s Bay, followed by stints on the English mainland, including London.
With a convenient location in the heart of Jersey Island’s capital, St. Helier, the restaurant oozes cozy informality, with varnished wood floor, simple bistro-style tables and chairs, charming fish-design wallpaper and a large, old-style hanging clock emphasizing its welcoming, airy atmosphere.
Having decided to go out on his own, this – Baker’s first restaurant – boasts a blend of flavors, both British and Mediterranean. Lunches and dinners are both served here, with succinct menus that offer diverse choice, with bounties from land and sea.
Lunch is both small plate and plats du jours, with the former including seafood dishes such as Kombu cured halibut, clementine, strained yoghurt and nori crackling; crab linguine with chilli, garlic, parsley and lemon; and Lincolnshire smoked eel with apple, kohlrabi, pickled mustard seeds, horseradish and dill. Mains include roast fillet of cod with palourdes, mustard and basil, Roscoff onion, dulse and hazelnut pesto. Meat-lovers should also be pleased, with starters and mains such as Monroyo ham on grilled sourdough, tomato, parsley and extra virgin olive oil; dry-aged beef tartare, béarnaise, autumn pickles, leaves and grilled sourdough; and 28-day, dry-aged ribeye with dauphinoise potatoes, bearnaise sauce and green salad.
For dinner, scallops came as a wonderful surprise for us, not served classically with artichoke and pancetta, but more creatively, with sea purslane, dukkah and homemade date jam. The sweetness of the dates combined with the nuttiness of dukkah and the sea-saltiness of purslane induced a perfect fusion of flavors. No. 10 is the perfect place to try truly ‘breaded fish,’ especially fresh brill from the turbot family. Grilled and bedded under a thin slice of sourdough bread, it has a curtain of young leeks, sea vegetables and tiny brown shrimps, with a dash of chicken jus. Other options include grilled octopus, aubergine, kalamata olive and miso, nduja jam, fennel and lemon; spiced Challans duck breast with beetroot, blackberry, celeriac, pistachio and shallot; and the special No. 10 burger, Jersey beef, pancetta, fontina cheese, tomato, gherkin, chips and bois boudran relish.
You’d be amiss if you left without trying Baker’s succulent interpretation of French toast, delicate home-made brioche soaked in caramelized vanilla and Sauternes baked with whipped mascarpone cheese and lemon confit. Then again, if you’re a chocolate friend, there’s always the full 70 per cent option with salted caramel ice cream, yuzu and candied pecans.
For a full, all-round evening of celebration, you might want to think about popping down to the basement bar below the restaurant for pre-dinner cocktails and leisurely post-dinner digestives.