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Jack & Chan: A Chop Above

Jack & Chan // 7 Inzhenernaya Ulitsa // Tel. +7 921 947 5040 // Open daily 10 a.m. to 12 a.m., Friday and Saturday until 2 a.m. // Dinner for two with alcohol 2,080 rubles ($63.15)

Published: August 21, 2013 (Issue # 1774)



  • The eclectic mix of furniture adds to the Asian street stall feel of the restaurant, making it instantly welcoming.
    Photo: Jack & Chan / Facebook

With tongue planted firmly in proverbial cheek, the newly opened Asian cafe Jack & Chan has more up its sleeve than a droll name and a hipster clientele.

Decorated to look like nothing more than a cross between an Asian apothecary and a street stall in any Southeast Asian city, the room is instantly welcoming and invites diners to linger. An eclectic mix of furniture, polished concrete floors and both high and low tables make the place seem bigger than it is. Deep-set windows let in copious amounts of light and two dining rooms offer purchase for both smokers and non-smokers alike.

With a brief menu presented on a clipboard, all of the offerings are remarkably affordable with no single dish costing more than 390 rubles ($11.82). The drinks menu is just as succinct, offering a choice of red, white or rose wine by the glass, a few beers, a single cocktail and a couple of stronger spirits.

From the selection of soups, salads and small dishes, the vegetable spring rolls (150 rubles, $4.55) and the duck salad with roast pumpkin (290 rubles, $8.79) beckoned. The salad itself, while lacking in originality from the pre-packaged lettuce mix the chef used, overcame that stumbling block with its jumble of medium-rare slices of duck breast, pumpkin, roasted red peppers and blistered cherry tomatoes scattered with toasted sesame seeds. Dressed in a complex, smoky sauce of cilantro, sesame oil and shards of pickled onion, the salad was refreshing and satisfying. The spring rolls arrived crisp and piping hot and the filling of wood-ear mushrooms, shredded cabbage, carrots and bean sprouts was so flavorful that it barely needed the sweet chili dipping sauce that accompanied it.

To wash down the appetizers, we chose the sole cocktail on the menu and a pint of the house J&C beer (160 rubles, $4.85). The Spritz cocktail (290 rubles, $8.80) was a deliciously refreshing concoction of Aperol and Prosecco that went down a bit too easily, while the beer was of the unfiltered wheat variety, brewed locally and available only at the restaurant.

Because the cocktail disappeared in just a few deep sips, a tall glass of homemade basil lemonade (80 rubles, $2.43) was chosen to accompany the main dishes. Milky green, like a low-quality emerald, it was herbaceous, tart and sweet all at the same time.

Once the mains arrived, however, all eyes were on the plates set before us. The salmon tempura (390 rubles, $11.82) was the most expensive dish on the menu and tasted every bit of it. Five pale slices of salmon with cool, deep coral pink centers were battered in the lightest tempura coating and accompanied by a mound of thick, cola-colored glass noodles sprinkled with sliced mushrooms. The fish was perfectly fresh and elegant. The dipping sauce, however, was too overpowering, being simply a bowl of soy sauce rather than a traditional tempura sauce. As a result it was ignored to let the fish shine.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Nov. 28


Join table-top game aficionados at the British Book Center’s Board Game Evening. Held every Friday at 5 p.m., aficionados and amateurs alike can come take part in a variety of different games that test one’s intellect and cunning.



Saturday, Nov. 29


Cats, dogs, birds, rodents and reptiles are just some of the things that will walk and crawl at Lenexpo convention center this weekend as part of Zooshow, a two-day exhibition featuring not only man’s best friends but a four-legged fashion show, as well as a food fair that will help pet owners find out more about which kibbles are best for their hungry pets.



Sunday, Nov. 30


Remember the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the Russo-Finnish war in 1939 during today’s reenactment titled “Winter War: How it Was.” More than 200 people will take part in recreating the opening salvoes of the battle for the north in Kamenka, a small village situated between Vyborg and St. Petersburg, using authentic equipment and vintage vehicles from the era. The faux battle begins at 2 p.m.



Monday, Dec. 1


Serbia filmmaker Emir Kusturica is the featured guest this evening at the Lensovet Palace of Culture the Petrograd Side. Fans of the director will get the chance to watch his movie “Black Cat, White Cat,” as well as ask questions about his award-winning filmography. Tickets for the event, which starts at 7 p.m., start at 2,000 rubles ($42.50).



Tuesday, Dec. 2


Today is the final day of “Takoy Festival,” a three-week program of plays based on the works of Dostoevsky, Remarque and other famed European writers, whose work is transcribed for theatrical performances. Tonight’s festival finale is “Fathers and Sons,” a two-act drama staged by the Novosibirsk Academic Drama Theater based on Turgenev’s classic about familial relations.



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