Reminiscing about the halcyon days of the empire is fine, so long as you don't go overboard and refuse to bow to queens that don't dress like moody goths, or acknowledge sunsets. For reverie with a modern touch, climb The Jam Tree, open tomorrow.
The pet pub project from a trio of bar industry mates (including Judge Jule's brother), Jam leans colonial with a commonwealth-inspired menu covering Indian, Malaysian, Caribbean, and old fashion British grub, as well as teak-style wooden floors, antique mismatched furniture, and a huge distressed copper bartop -- Victorian tendencies are balanced out by Warhol-esque jam-themed art, a plasma-screened basement, and science lab-ish benches serving tables equipped with Bunsen burner taps, so even if your date hates you, you'll still have chemistry. The seasonal menu's kicking off with starters including curried crab samosa w/ lime pickle, pressed crispy belly of pork w/ aubergine sambal, and Ash goats cheese w/ courgette tart, baby leaf salad, and heirloom tomato, hopefully not passed down for seven generations. Mains have seared scallops w/ pea & potato croquettes, samphire, and wild garlic cream, "Nasi Goreng" w/ "Gadu Gadu" (Indonesian fried rice w/ layered salad), and a pan-juiced marsh lamb rump w/ broad beans and minted jersey royals -- far tastier than the Sarah Ferguson-inspired "unminted sack of potatoes".
Amongst the desserts are malva pudding w/ amarula cream, a chocolate & walnut torte, and Jam Tree roly poly w/ custard. Booze sees a fully laden bar, and a hefty new world wine list, but colonial beer is limited to Aussie "Lucky Lager", which comes in Buddha-shaped bottles -- honoring the enlightenment that led Australians to quit thinking of their nation in strict Victorian terms, i.e., "Jail".