LONDON EATERIES – Jones Family Project – Shoreditch: Simply sumptuously satisfying!
Having lived in Shoreditch since before it was anything like it the cool Mecca it is now I’ve seen my fair share of restaurants come and go, and I have to admit when I saw The Jones Family Project open a couple of years ago I wondered how long it would last for, as it is fairly high end and surrounded by similar eateries. Well just over 2 years on its still going strong and on this, which I’m embarrassed to say was my first visit, I truly have no doubt why it’s still going strong in such a competitive area. The focus on service, produce, innovation and delivery, across both food and drink offerings, was truly a pleasure to experience, and after my first visit I’ll gladly be back again, and again.
After a heavy Saturday eve my partner and I ventured to Jones, which is smack bang in the middle of the Shoreditch Triangle on Great Eastern St. We were looking for a hearty roast to numb the pain of the evening before and had read that Jones had started serving Hogget as a Sunday offering. Hogget is an old lamb basically, and my partner being a lamb lover was almost salivating into buckets as we stepped over the threshold to try it out.
Jones is a pretty cool place. Upstairs there’s a spacious, sophisticated cocktail bar and main bar area, with the main restaurant being downstairs. The decor is modern, the cocktails range from classics to the gloriously innovative and the staff were laid back from the get go, but professional at the same. We forgo the upstairs bar however, to get straight to the main event of Sunday lunch with a cocktail sharpener down stairs.
We took our seats in a private booth looking at the bustling open kitchen. There were a few Christmas Sunday lunch parties in there, but the size of the venue and the way the seating has been designed means that even though you can see the fun, its not on top of you. We started with a Negroni and Negroni sbagliato to blow out the cobwebs. They arrived in beautiful heavy cut glass glasses, and were a well mixed great start to the events. This was bettered by the appearance of an amuse bouche of a mini roast in a mouthful – beef and a mini Yorkshire a cute touch and welcomed. We swiftly ordered and waited in anticipation.
I ordered the spiced crispy squid mango chilli sauce and lime mayonnaise. The squid was well cooked, although the batter was a little soggy, and the mango sauce was a used a little too much for my liking, but it had a good flavour. My partner had ordered the Cornish Crab avocado sauce & crostini. The crab was delicious but unfortunately had a heavy hand of dill. There were a lot of stars in the starters, just a few minor misdemeanours which could have been down to personal taste, more than anything.
Polishing these off we didn’t have to wait too long for the mains to arrive and boy were these worth waiting for! As mentioned my partner had ordered the Hogget for the beef. The Hogget was a true revelation, cooked to perfection, generously portioned and served with gravy to die for, which as the Northerner that I am, is a total must. Cranberry sauce was also served with it which although odd on paper was a perfect match, I can’t tell you how much we both loved this dish!
The beef was similar in standard and we felt very, very spoiled. The flavour was deep, the cut was good, the portion ‘healthy’ to say the least, and again cooked to perfection. Mashed and roasted potatoes accompanied and the vegetables, seasoned with a fine mixed herb blend. I am salivating just remembering it… After a slightly shaky start for us this course blew us out of the water, totally brilliant cooking and literally wolfed them down.
Despite being full we had been so impressed with the mains we thought we’d have a look at the desserts – just because.. It’s a good job we did as they presented a short but well put together menu based around classics with a twist. My partner had the Dulce De Leche Mousse, crispy almond, raspberries and pistachio sauce. The presentation was on POINT, as was the flavour and creativity. I opted for the cheese board, as I don’t have a sweet toot and it didn’t disappoint. The whole meal was accompanied by a gorgeously bold Crozes Hermitage from a well thought through wine list. Lovely!
With full bellies, big grins and satisfied souls we wandered out onto the streets of Shoreditch looking for a lie down. We were so very happy that we had visited and I hope again we’ll be as happy on our next visit, and the one after and the one after…
Jones Family Project, 78 Great Eastern St, London EC2A 3JL
Heart London 5 * Rating
Heart London Magazine