The somewhat strangely named Duxton restaurant The Jackson Plan is actually named after Phillip Jackson, a surveyor who drew up Singapore’s urban town plans back in the 1800s. The tenuous link between historical urban planning and a modern gastropub is a connection to Singapore’s colonial past.
Despite the rather “hmmm...” name, I had high hopes for this place. After all, it sounded like a good concept – bringing a modern twist to classic gastropub food, and the dishes all sounded very enticing. Unfortunately, like all too many new establishments these days, it was let down by the actual execution of the food.
I’d read about their Mixed Scratchings, which is on their Bar Bites menu rather than their regular menu. Described in the article as a mix of pork crackling, potato peels and chicken skin, I expected a heavenly combination of sinful little crispy treats. Instead, what arrived were huge, badly fried sheets of indeterminate origin. I honestly didn’t know what we were eating. They were oily, and tasted like they’d been fried in less than fresh oil. They were also less than crispy, as if they’d been left in the open for a while.
I had all of 2 bites before throwing in the towel. For me to barely touch a plate of fried food is almost unthinkable, but I knew that if we’d eaten any more, we’d probably have gotten really bad sore throats. This was an epic fail, and set a disappointing tone for the rest of the meal.
They had a few off menu specials, one of which was the Portobello mushroom stuffed with wild mushrooms in a herb crust. The way the waiter talked this up, I was expecting way better. It was okay – you can’t really go wrong with mushrooms paired with more mushrooms and mayonnaise, but it was barely warm when it arrived, again giving the impression that it was all pre-prepared and sitting around.
In fact, that seemed to be a running theme. I tried the pigtails with home made baked beans, since the pigtails were actually slow cooked and shredded to almost like a rillette, shaped into discs and deep fried. This lacked seasoning, there were bone fragments in the patties, and again this was served at room temperature.
The mains fared only slightly better. The scallops, blood sausage and smoked cheese was the one dish I’d read about that made me want to try this place. However, any hopes that the blood sausage would resemble the ones were had in Spain were sorely dashed. The one here wasn’t as rich, and tasted a lot sweeter and more oatmealy. The scallops were ok, and the smoked cheese was more like a cheese sauce that was lightly torched. Best part of the dish was actually the pureed potatoes.
The saltmarsh lamb with champ was decent. The lamb was braised and quite tender, though perhaps lacking in fat, and the champ – Irish mashed potatoes with spring onions – was surprisingly good.
A had the burnt vanilla custard dessert, which was a very rich crème brulee; almost too rich for one person to finish. It also lacked a deep vanilla flavour.
This was an extremely disappointing meal. One redeeming factor is that they have quite a good selection of ciders. If we ever come back, it’ll be just for drinks; certainly not the food.
This was one of the most disappointing meals I’ve had in awhile. The service was great but everything else tanked badly. Especially the scratchings. OMG they were horrible.
The Jackson Plan
40 Duxton Hill
Lunch: Mon-Fri – 11:30 am to 2:30 pm
Dinner: Mon-Sat – 18 pm to 10:30 pm