Jones Family Project is a new opening that resides directly opposite The Hoxton Hotel in the heart of Shoreditch and I was lucky enough to grab a booking for their first night’s service. We stepped through the door to a warm welcome and were quickly shown to our seats. The first thing you notice on entering is that this place is so much bigger than you originally thought. At street level JFP offers a laid back bar area, that with a flick of a few cleverly designed cabinets can be transformed from a brunch and lunch spot, into a fully stocked bar ready for a night on the tiles! They even have a little office space for one for those of you that are lucky enough to set up shop wherever you choose that day. You can then treat yourself to a range of great tasting dishes for lunch but if you want to sample their À La Carte menu, the serious stuff happens in the basement. The restaurant below is huge! I couldn’t believe it when I first saw it. Complete with a great looking bar, private booths and an open kitchen, you could tell a lot of effort had gone into creating the space.
First things first, we headed for the drinks menu. With it being a Tuesday evening we felt we should probably steer clear of the cocktails but noted that the list was plentiful and had some unique twists, such as the Lavender Mojito and the Stout Daiquiri, that we will definitely be indulging in on our next visit. JFP boasts a self titled Jones Family Lager, so we decided to order a pint each, to see how it stacked up to the usual stuff. I’m normally a cider man but I don’t mind a well crafted beer and this definitely fell into that category. It was smooth and light and went down extremely easy.
We turned our heads to the menu and boy were there some hard decisions to be made! The starters alone had me stumped with options such as the House-Cured Brandy Salmon, Duck Liver & Brandy Parfait or even the Jones’ Charcuterie Board. I went with an intriguing little dish though that caught my eye as I love all the ingredients individually but was keen to see how this combination would work. Needless to say the Baked Medjool Dates Stuffed With Chorizo & Wrapped in Bacon with a White bean & Tomato Sauce was absolutely spot on! My only regret was that there wasn’t more of them! The chorizo offered so much flavour but the sweetness of the dates was the perfect pairing for me and my sweet tooth. The bacon sealed it for me, creating what felt like a sweet version of everybody’s Christmas favourites, Pigs In Blankets.
My dining companion opted for the Red Curry Spiced Crispy Squid with Asian herbs, Salsa Verde & House-Made Lime Mayonnaise, which was met with equally as much satisfaction.
Main course decisions didn’t get any easier than the starters. I was torn between the Pork Chop with Savoy Cabbage, Chorizo & Kentish Apple Sauce and the Venison Haunch Steak. Opting for the latter and pairing it with a side of Truffled Potato Dauphinoise, it was immediately obvious that I was on fire with the decision making this evening. The Venison was tender and served pink on a bed of Parsnip Purée with Parsnip Crisps on top and lashings of the most incredible Red Wine & Pomegranate Sauce. It really was an exquisite dish that I didn’t want to come to an end.
Stu’s Sirloin Steak was served medium rare with a delicious charred crust created by their ingenious barbecue oven. Not one for smothering his steak in sauce, Stuart took the chef’s advice and topped it with shavings of Belper Knolle, a wonderful Swiss matured hard cheese flavoured with fine black pepper, Himalayan salt and a hint of garlic. He added a side of thick cut chips and like me, was blown away with the flavour.
Now the pudding round was the one thing I thought I had my mind made up on before entering JFP for the evening. However, after tweeting my plans for the evening, I was soon back to square one when Andrew of the @MotelySpicer proclaimed that I just had to try Anna’s Triple Chocolate Brownie. Now my heart had been set on the Olive Oil Chocolate Mousse, so we ordered both and decided to share.
Anna was our host for the evening and is one of the founders of JFP and it is actually her own recipe used to create the brownies with a slight tweak made by the head chef. Andrew was spot on though, the Brownie had followed in the footsteps of the two courses before and offered up delicious and indulgent flavour pairings with Vanilla Ice Cream and Salted Caramel Sauce to accompany it.
However, I am also glad I stuck to my guns and ordered the Olive Oil Chocolate Mousse. It looked incredible when it arrived with Crushed Chocolate Cookies, Shards Of Honeycomb, Raspberry Syrup & Fresh Raspberries to finish. This was extremely rich, which is exactly what I look for in a chocolate dessert. Each ingredient brought a different texture and flavour to the dish and combined to make one cracking pud!
The food was faultless and delivered so much flavour, which is why it has cemented itself as one of my favourites on the East side of town. The prices were definitely a little high for a standard meal, when I return it will be more for a special occasion but believe me when I say that the food definitely lives up to the price tag. I am still thinking about those stuffed dates even now! If you are a lover of fine food then you need to head to The Jones Family Project soon as this is one new opening that is not to be missed!
We The Food Snobs x