If you ever get to thinking that London is a dangerous or violent city, take a look at the recent kerfuffle that kicked off in Shoreditch. In places like Paris and Los Angeles, rioters burn cars and are experienced enough to differentiate between different types of tear gas.
“Is this bromoacetone?”
“No, this year, it’s all about CS gas.”
What went down in Shoreditch just shows how right Bill Hicks was when he joked about British violence being committed by Bill Hicks – hooligans and ruffians. The self-titled Fuck Parade threw paint on the Cereal Killer café and burned an effigy of a hipster cop. This was less Fuck Tha Police and more Fuck Tha Rice Krispies.
Still, it’s a reminder of how dearly some people cling on to the idea of authenticity and for things to remain in place. In my many years of reviewing restaurants, I’ve seen a great number of places in Shoreditch come and go, especially on Great Eastern Street. One venue that is coming up to comparative veteran status is the Jones Family Project, that was set up three years ago by a group of friends.
It boasts a ground floor New York style bar, with its restaurant underneath. The restaurant is on the bottom floor and the owners pride themselves on creating dishes made from locally-sourced ingredients. I started with the Cornish crab with avocado sauce and crostini whilst my companion chose the grilled halloumi cheese, which came with a chickpea salad, mango and a sweet balsamic dressing. The crab was particularly good with the avocado providing an elegant accompaniment to the delicately prepared crab. My companion was also impressed with her choice, remarking on the nuance provided by the sweet balsamic dressing.
Both of us went for steaks for main, with my choice being the sirloin whilst my companion plumped for the rib-eye. My expectations were raised when I saw that the restaurant sources all its meat from the Ginger Pig, and I was not disappointed by what was served up. The sirloin steak was done exactly to order and contained a real richness of flavour, complemented by the chimichurri sauce. My companion was equally effusive about her rib-eye, also praising the side dishes of potato dauphinoise and wilted spinach.
Although proclaiming at the end of her course that she couldn’t eat anything more, her mind and appetite were quickly swayed by my choice of Eton Mess semi-freddo for dessert. Promising only to take a small spoonful, she kept on returning to take more of the dish along with the gin-macerated strawberries, strawberry sauce and crushed meringue.
The Jones Family Project has more than enough to make it an institution in the area. The food is excellent with very knowledgeable staff. It is classy without being pretentious and I hope that it’s around a long, long time.
The Jones Family Project
78 Great Eastern Street