Jimmy's is an all you can eat buffet bar serving multi-cultural cuisine. From Thailand to China, Italy to Japan, Mexico to India, Jimmy's lets you travel the world with its smorgasbord of custom made dishes.
The first time I went there was with my family during a two-for-one special. On a Wednesday (when we went), an all you can eat dinner is £13.99 per head. I think this is a good deal to start with, so with four of us, getting two meals free was excellent value.
The prices vary depending on which day it is. I'm not sure quite what makes one day more expensive than the other, but I'm guessing it has to do with how busy it is. Suffice to say, on the Wednesday we went, the place was absolutely chock-a-block. Jimmy's Grill & Bar is a large restaurant, capable of seating 400 people, so the fact that we had to wait a few minutes before there was a table available is testament to how popular it is. Once we were seated, the waiter took our drinks order and explained how Jimmy's worked.
As it is a buffet, there is no menu, you just go up and see what you fancy. Each dish has a little placard next to it, which tells you the name of the dish, and its spice rating, so you know whether or not you'll need a glass of water on hand.
There are several live cooking stations where you can watch the chefs prepare all the different food. At the end of each station is a pile of plates; you take one and then go to the station of your choice. The stations are laid out in quite an orderly fashion, each one hosting a different type of cuisine. Nonetheless, I found the process quite confusing. I think this is because it was so crowded. The stations were packed full of people, making it almost impossible to see what was on offer, and you had to wait a while before you could serve yourself.
A couple at the table next to us said that they came on a regular basis, but that it was usually a lot quieter; they had never seen Jimmy's so busy before, and expected it was because everyone (including us) were making use of the two-for-one deal. I must admit, since our visit, I have never seen it as full as it was that night, but the hectic atmosphere did put me off a bit from trying again.
Another slight issue I had was with the plates. Considering that Jimmy's is an all you can eat buffet, the plates they provide are awfully small, meaning you are constantly up and down, going back for more. If you like that kind of thing, then it is fine, but it does mean it is difficult to hold a proper conversation around the table.
So how does the food hold up? It's average. What I would say is, Jimmy's is a fantastic place to go if you are having a party with lots of friends who like different things; the broad range of cuisines caters to everyone's tastes. But at the same time, if you like Indian food, then best go to an Indian restaurant, if you like Chinese, go to a Chinese. Jimmy's gives you a lot of choice, but it is slightly at the expense of the flavour.
Saying that, their Italian bar does have some really delicious food. You can have pasta cooked to order and watch it being prepared before your very eyes. Spaghetti, Penne, Tagliatelle, you choose. Then you can take your pick of sauces, and have it mixed with whatever meat or vegetables you want. It a great place for vegetarians as you can customise your meal with whatever ingredients you want, and no worry about having a set meat dish.
Where Jimmy's really stands out is with their puddings. The dessert station is exceptional, not only in terms of food, but also in terms of theatre and presentation. When I went round the bar, I was tempted by about half a dozen delicate cheesecakes. They were small pop-in-the-mouth-size-squares, of which many to my mouth popped in. Next down the line was a mesmerising chocolate fountain with bowls of fruit and marshmallows to stick in.
That was then followed by two beautiful Indian desserts: kaheer, a scrumptious Indian rice pudding, and gulab jamin, which are sweet deep fried dough balls soaked in syrup. They were by far the best thing on offer.
Last but not least was the teppanyaki ice cream, which was rolled out flat mixed with nuts, and then slammed about on the counter. I've never seen anything quite like it.
Was it worth going? Yes. Would I go again? No. For me, I prefer a more relaxed atmosphere, but if you are looking for somewhere really lively then Jimmy's is great value, particularly if you are going for lunch. During the week an all you can eat lunch for £7.99, or £10.99 at the weekends. Dinner is £13.99 Sunday to Wednesday, and £15.99 Thursday to Saturday. Kids under 11 eat half price, and under fours eat for free.