Friday, November 11, 2011


Jacky's Waterplace & Sushi Bar (200 Exchange Place, Providence  401-383-5000) opened in September at the glass apartment and business complex perched above Waterplace basin close to the train station. Getting new owners/renters to move downtown in recent years has been hard enough; getting any retail in these buildings (literally off to the side of downtown) which don't generate much people traffic during the day or at night, has been even more difficult. The new restaurant is the latest outpost of the Jacky's Galaxie mini-chain; other locations are in North Providence, Cumberland and Bristol.

Style? It's pretty much Asian fusion on steroids - modern, kind of glitzy. There is the ubiquitous fish tank and the supposed-to-be-soothing but, to me, totally alarming piped-in elevator music. Actually, it's the atmosphere of an upscale Chinese restaurant. Except Jacky's isn't an upscale Chinese restaurant; it's a pricey mishmosh of Japanese and Chinese with a few popular Thai (pad thai) and Vietnamese (nimh rolls) dishes tossed in. Wikipedia tells us that fusion food is often a grouping, Asian countries for instance, where inspired combinations are created. It's a plausible idea but what you get at Jacky's isn't it.

What you get is set pieces from semi-Asian menus, crowd pleasers. There are chicken fingers on the menu. The hot and sour soup didn't pass the taste test and it was gelatinous.

Nothing billed as hot, as in spicy, was. A pork and shrimp dish was well-fried (no grease at all) but coated in what could pass for hot and sour sauce.

It's fancy mall food. Too bad.  

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