The Jones Family Project, Shoreditch

Most would assume the Jones Family Project is set up by a family, and in a way it is. Husband and wife team Anna and Duncan have been in the restaurant industry for a number of years and have brought colleague Amit and their trusted chef Christiano on board for this venture. A group of individuals who strive for the same goal, they each bring their own character and assets to the JFP business. ‘Jones’ seemed like a fitting surname to unite the group in this joint project.

The venue in Shoreditch can cater for numerous occasions with a large versatile space. The upstairs bar is often used for private events and parties, downstairs there’s another bar with high stools and booths, also an ever-evolving themed table and a smarter sit-down area for a la carte feasting. We sat at a quiet booth chatting to owner Anna while sipping a deliciously fruity Saffron Sour and a refreshing Langley’s No. 8 gin and Fever-tree tonic served with basil and fresh grapefruit.

The main restaurant area was busy and lively when we sat down for dinner, surprising considering it was a mid-week evening in January. Apparently the eatery is also popular for business lunches, and the special offers ensure guests return again and again. When we visited the seasonal offer was £40 for two burgers and a bottle of Burgundy. Steak is the speciality at JFP, supplied by Ginger Pig and cooked on a Josper grill, it is unmissable. We tried the juicy sirloin and the Pork rib-eye (a unique cut for JFP from Ginger Pig). Both were cooked exactly as we requested emphasising the fine quality of the meats whilst also giving a caramelised crunchy edge. Chef Christiano also offers shavings of luxurious and rich Belper Knolle cheese on top of the steaks, a very special addition which we loved. I was particularly impressed with the pork which was unlike any cut I’ve tried before, presented on a bed of chorizo, potatoes and savoy cabbage. The perfect warming winter meal.

Of the sauces, I would recommend the utterly wonderful Béarnaise – perfect consistency and perfectly seasoned. The classic Argentinian chimichurri is good too, more like a herby dressing for your meat. The peppercorn was a bit disappointing, and tasted more like gravy or red wine sauce. Steak frites is out of fashion and steak and mac is in, it was the truffled macaroni cheese from JFP that caused a stir on my social media, and trust me, it tastes as good as it looks, a cheesy crispy indulgent pasta bake with a hint of truffle.

Fitting in dessert was a struggle after we over-indulged on the savoury delights… but we managed to share a Triple Chocolate Brownie with coconut sorbet and salted caramel sauce! We were pleased to find it served warm along with a drizzle of caramel sauce and a contrasting clean cold boule of white sorbet. In retrospect the Gin and Orange Semifreddo may have been a more palate cleansing option to finish on.

As well as their creative cocktails, the Jones Family Project pride themselves on offering all guests a selection of great wines. Owner Duncan has a keen interest and knowledge of wine and uses this experience to create an extensive and varied list, many wines are available by the glass encouraging you to try something unfamiliar.

The Jones Family Project is a terrific venue for all occasions. They are placed in a great location, with tasty food and drinks, but it is the character and enthusiasm of the team that give the place such a happy, fun atmosphere.

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