Restaurant Review: Jika Jika, Bath

My boyfriend and I popped into Jika Jika for lunch today – it’s a funky, individual kind of place at the top of Bath, on George Street (click here to go to their website), decorated in an eclectic mix of styles. The tall hand-chalked blackboards and glass cake stands make me think of Paris, the deep leather armchairs and wooden hat-stands would be at home in any number of cosy coffee bars in Oxford, the old black and white photos and Zulu-inspired artwork displayed on the walls are highly individual and mostly defy categorisation. The atmosphere is almost always buzzing, the air is warm and coffee-scented. In short, this is a pretty fantastic place to pop in for a coffee or a cup of tea (or a milkshake – they are particularly good), but I’m afraid this isn’t going to be a rave review as far as the food is concerned.

I’ve definitely had good food here before, and although the menu had changed, when I checked it out I thought it looked just as good. I went for a pulled pork sandwich with apple and celeriac remoulade, BBQ chipotle sauce and cider bread. The bread was delicious in fact – only lightly flavoured, but interesting – and the apple and celeriac remoulade would have been a perfect accompaniment, but whatever the pork had been marinaded in was really bitter, and the chipotle sauce was so incredible fiery as to be properly unpleasant, to me anyway! I’m not usually opposed to a bit of heat but this was really too much, all the other flavours were obliterated. My boyfriend went for a steak sandwich with balsamic onions, tomato chutney, and rocket & mustard dressing, which was a bit tastier, but the tomato chutney was way too heavy on the cumin and the steak wasn’t quite of high enough quality to be served so rare.

This place has a great atmosphere, and the staff are very friendly (although with a relaxed attitude to service, so choose somewhere else if you’re in a hurry!), but unfortunately I found the food too disappointing to recommend it. Choose Jika Jika for a coffee instead and you won’t be disappointed.