Named like a 70s soft rock band and serving up an array of fabulous British dishes from land and sea, The Jones Family Project is making fine use of a prime location at 78 Great Eastern Street.
This brasserie with bells on burst onto the Shoreditch cocktails scene just over a year ago and after stacks of glowing reviews, we here at Townfish thought it was about time we saw for ourselves what all the fuss is about.
The tasteful décor manages to successfully walk the line between hip and upmarket, catering as much for the professionals of the Square Mile as Brick Lane’s Mac-clutching creatives. Eclectic vintage pieces cannot hide the fact that there is still a fine dining element very much at work here- that this is a family-run eatery (and drinkery of course) can also be felt in every aspect of the inviting interior. Think upscale New York bar with a hint of British eccentricity and you won’t be too far off the mark.
If drinks are what you’re craving, The Jones Family Project have, very thoughtfully, located the bar on the ground floor meaning no tricky stairs to navigate after you’ve worked your way through the veritable bounty of beverages on offer. Craft beers and fine wines abound from this nifty rotating bar but like any good East-Side establishment, it is the cocktail menu that really piques the interest- a sublime Calvados-based ‘Winter Apple Pie’ runs neck and neck with the extremely unusual ‘Saffron-infused Sour’ for top dog this time. Having said that, ‘Negronis’ have been the much-lauded cocktail in recent times and JFP do a positively stellar one. Lighter bites are available here all day but if you’re in for some serious munching, it’s time to head down below.
Descend the stairs and it’s time to get your eat on in an open-plan dining room set into five different stylistically-defined sections. There’re plenty of romantic little cubby-holes to bring your significant other (or indeed, someone elses), a high-up tree table for the exhibitionists and for those in the green area? All attention is drawn to the kitchen that’s out in the open for customers to have a gander at. Cooking and eating out has become something of a national hobby here in Britain and JFP have done well to remember that what really gets diners going these days, is seeing their dish get itself spruced for dinner.
Meats come courtesy of The Ginger Pig or other known and trusted farmers and butchers- they then get some serious TLC in the finest indoor BBQ around… the Josper Oven. The ingredients here are truly top notch and the research & care put into each individual plate is evident with every bite- all dishes great and small from appetisers to desserts, are prepared fresh each and every day.
Our starters come in the form of delectable ‘Risotto Cakes’- positively filled to the brim with cheese and bearing a punchy tomato pesto. Coming along for the ride but in no means taking the backseat, a South-Coast ‘Crab and Avocado Crostini’. Fresh, light and leaving plenty of room for what was to come.
The mains, oh the mains. A ‘Rib-Eye’ as big as your plate, a ‘Fillet’ cutting like butter as your knife sinks through plump, perfectly medium rare tenderloin. A symphony of sides, from the ‘Potato & Vintage Godminster Croquettes’ involving a cheese so rich, Russell Brand is probably protesting about it to the insanely luxurious Truffled Mac & Cheese (good enough for Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour, hordes of happy punters and more than good enough for the likes of us).
Another recommendation would definitely be the ‘Rump of Black Faced Hoggett’- a hoggett being a lamb that’s passed its first birthday but isn’t quite a sheep. Now we all know what it is, don’t be scared to order it- it’ll be the best decision you make today and that’s a fact.
The ‘Chocolate Brownie with Coconut Sorbet’ we somehow managed to fit in for dessert was everything we hoped for and more but truth be told, somebody should be sending an award to JFP- their ‘Gin and Orange Meringue and Crème’ is not only completely unique but also totally off the hook! Good work guys.
A lot of restaurants in London are working the old ‘something for everyone’ USP but to our minds, few pull it off as successfully as The Jones Family Project. With gluten-free and vegetarian menus, charitable donations, BYO nights, Sunday Roasts, Saturday brunches, 20s Gin pop-ups and a whole host of fancy pant events inbetween… these guys have found their niche and are rocking it. This is a family you won’t mind visiting more than once a year.