Situated on Jersey's south coast, Mark Jordan's restaurant serves simple food, cooked exceptionally well, in a relaxed setting. Lisa Jenkins reports
Mark Jordan at the Beach is in a beautiful location, literally on the beach on the south coast of Jersey, close to St Helier and a stone's throw from St Aubin's Harbour.
It is owned jointly by Patrick and Treena Burke (owners of the Atlantic hotel and Michelin-starred Ocean restaurant) and Mark and Magda Jordan. Mark Jordan is executive head chef across both restaurants, and his wife Magda is the restaurant manager.
Jordan has worked with Keith Floyd and Jean Christophe Novelli, who inspired him to create food of a Michelin star level at the Atlantic hotel. He has worked at various acclaimed restaurants and hotels, including Gordleton Mill in Lymington, Mallory Court hotel in Leamington Spa and the Pink Geranium restaurant near Cambridge. He took his first head chef role with the Atlantic hotel in Jersey in 2004, gained a Michelin star in 2007, before setting up Mark Jordan at the Beach in 2011.
It took the partners a while to find La Plage, the building chosen for the new venture, but it was, according to Patrick Burke, a natural move for the Atlantic hotel for guests and locals alike, with both groups supporting the project.
"The ethos mirrors that at the hotel - exceptionally high quality produce cooked simply, partnered with attentive service in a stunning location," explains Burke.
You feel relaxed - like you're on holiday, the minute you walk through the door, which is exactly what Jordan hoped to achieve. He wanted it to be the sort of place he would visit on his day off, for his favourite meal: a burger.
All the tables in the restaurant offer a view of the bay and there is a well-designed al fresco dining area allowing 30 extra spaces for lunch and dinner. Original sketches by local artist Nick Romeril adorn the walls and pebbles from the beach have been steam cleaned to decorate the tables as butter dishes.
The décor is clean and simple, reflecting the natural light and providing a stage for the magnificent sunsets, while the tables are solid Jersey oak, with placemats made from natural stone.
The kitchen is small but perfectly managed by head chef Carlos Tarjani, with a brigade of just seven including Jordan.
Jordan's menu changes regularly, depending on the seasonal produce available. A summer salad of Jersey vine tomatoes, feta cheese, black olives and shredded basil £7/£15) and Jordan's twist on a tuna niçoise salad (£10.50/£18) are the most recent additions to the menu.
Best-sellers include crab and sweetcorn risotto (£9.50); free range Scotch egg, Manor Farm pork and home-made 0 (£7.50); whole grilled plaice, caper, prawn and cockle butter with Jersey Royals (£19.50) and coconut crème brûlée with roasted pineapple (£7).
The firm favourite, however, is the Jersey Manor Farm steak burger (pictured, above right) served with foie gras, red cabbage coleslaw and chunky chips (£20). "We are very lucky to be the only restaurant on the Island serving Angus-Jersey beef. We use the finest cuts at the Ocean restaurant and the rest of the animal is minced for us to serve here," explains Jordan.
"It's an excellent quality mince and we shape it into 7oz patties. And that's it, apart from a little seasoning. Because it's such good quality steak mince you can cook the burgers like steak: rare, medium or well done. It's a beautiful flavour."
During our visit in April, the restaurant was full. Located just five minutes from the airport, Mark Jordan at the Beach is easy access for business visitors from both on and off the island. The locals have been very loyal and supportive all year round and it has also been a hit with tourists. Where else would you want to while away three or maybe four hours over lunch than sitting beside the sea?
Mark Jordan at the Beach La Plage, La Route de la Haule, St Peter, Jersey JE3 7YD
Sample dishes from the menu
Seared scallops, roasted cucumber and cucumber beurre blanc £12.50
Pan fried duck foie gras, mango, passion fruit, nut crunch £12.50
Lamb rump, summer cabbage, crispy polenta £21.50
Scottish rib eye steak, sauté Jersey Royals, spinach and onion rings £19.50
Banana croustillant, Chantilly cream, toffee popcorn £7.50
Baked salted chocolate tart, pistachio ice-cream £8