|Jimmy's World Grill & Bar|
Bath’s good-value, all-you-can-eat buffet chain with a global menu and a non-corporate feel
It’s 6pm on Saturday and the whole family have endured a day at the January sales. Mum wants Thai green curry or ‘something Chinesey’. Dad craves a jalfrezi. The tallest kid wants a fajita (preferably with chips), the fractious tween is screaming for pizza, and the baby is emitting the kind of screams that can only be calmed by something sweet… This is definitely not the time to start browsing the Eating Out West directory in search of the nearest chilled-out gastropub, then. It is, however, time to head for Jimmy’s World Grill and Bar (yes, mum and dad - a bar!), where pretty much everybody can find pretty much everything they like to eat - without limitations on how much of it you can manage - for an all-inclusive price starting at £7.99 for lunch and maxing at £15.99 for dinner (£13.99 Sun-Wed). Children aged 11 and under eat for half-price, and under-fours eat free. Sorted?
The Bath branch of Jimmy’s is a well-established link in an ever-expanding national chain, occupying what’s surely the biggest dining room in the Heritage City. While it definitely couldn’t be described as an intimate experience, there’s a non-corporate, personalised feel to the whole experience, thanks largely to the friendly, welcoming staff who bring drinks to order, clear plates after every buffet visit you make and offer advice on the multiple options available. And that advice is well worth taking. Thailand, China, Japan, India, Mexico and Italy come together on an array of hotplates and woks, with a salad station and dessert buffet ensuring that all bases are covered. As long as you avoid the classic buffet blunder of over-zealous amalgamations (few pizzas sit well with a side-order of beef in black bean sauce), you’re in for a bespoke feast.
I followed my mixed salad starter (tabbouleh, beetroot, Greek) with a chicken noodle combo cooked to order at the stirfry station. He followed his chicken caesar salad with a “very good” rogan josh side-carted with freshly baked tandoori bread, pakoras and chickpea chat. We shared fresh fruit, Indian rice pudding and mini tiramisu for pud, so no, we didn’t go full blowout - but you could, should you so wish. On the night we visited, legions of cheerful Bathonians were fulfilling that wish in droves. Were you among them? After a day at the January sales, you probably will be. (Melissa Blease)
THE VERDICT A fast, filling, family-friendly refuelling opportunity
Copyright Melissa Blease 2013