• Roxii Hoare-Smith

Jones Family Project Review

We had the pleasure of visiting The Jones Family Project in Shoreditch.

The main aim of The Jones Family Project is all about making their guests smile and I can guarantee you will leave grinning from ear to ear (and that’s not just because of their amazing cocktails!)

It is located a few minutes walk from Old Street Underground or Shoreditch High Street Overground. (For those who know the area well it is directly opposite The Hoxton Hotel!)

On arrival we were greeted by Duncan Watts and Anna Watts and we enjoyed a few cocktails together including the utterly delicious Apple Pie cocktail (pictured above). Husband and wife duo Duncan and Anna founded The Jones Family Project in January 2014 along with their other team members, Amit Joshi, and chef Cristiano Caputo.

We chatted with Duncan and Anna about The Jones Family Project as well as their history in working in restaurants. Duncan had 25 years’ experience working within the industry and was a founding member of Pitcher & Piano and then Rocket restaurants and bars in Mayfair (also with Anna, Amit and Cristiano). It was great to hear Anna and Duncan’s passion for the industry and for Jones Family Project. They are all for great food and drink and make sure each dish at Jones Family Project focuses on quality ingredients from reliable sources.

Before dining we enjoyed a cocktail in the upstairs bar area. I went for a Don’t get in a muddle cocktail, a very refreshing cocktail which was perfect for a summers eve (pictured above).

The upstairs dining area is perfect for a coffee break during the day with the natural light that floods in through floor-to-ceiling windows. But at night it turns into the perfect cocktail area with the rotating shelves behind the bar which turn to reveal spirits. This is a fantastic touch to the bar and just one of the many quirky elements to the restaurant.

Above is where we began our night with a few cocktails. As you can see another quirky element to the restaurant, a tree in the middle of the table! There is even a pop up indoors picnic area, perfect for the dreary summer London has had. Every season this area will be replaced with a new pop up so I’m excited to see what they have planned next!

Anna took us on a tour before we sat down for dinner and we were amazed. It is a basement of culinary perfection. There is so much detail into the design of The Jones Family Project which Duncan is the mastermind behind. I’ve added a few photos of my favourite things I noticed during our visit.

Down in the basement level, the space opens up to reveal a spacious yet intimate dining room and another dazzling bar area – a perfect luxurious spot for pre- and post-dinner drinks. The area is HUGE and looks absolutely amazing. Even on a Wednesday night the restaurant was buzzing and packed full of happy diners.

Above: When you walk into the bathroom you will be confused by the swirly pattern on the wall that looks like writing…glance in the mirror and this is what you see!

Some of the artwork around the restaurant.

Downstairs they have created a new 1970s pop up dining experience which is running until November 2015. The 70s trend is huge write now in fashion as it is food (as I have pointed out in previous posts!)

The 70s pop up area is decked out with a kitsch Formica cocktail bar, dated art work and raffia clad Chianti bottles and they will also be running a special tasting menu featuring revised ‘70s favourites.

The tasting menu, influenced by the era yet updated for modern times using the best ingredients and techniques, is priced at £39.00 per person. Starter options including a Prawn cocktail follows a taster canapé board, comprising Godminster cheese and pineapple, Vol-au-vents and Devilled eggs. Main course treats include Sole Veronique, Coq au vin or a delicious Ginger Pig Filet steak with peppercorn sauce – a 70s essential (supplement £10). The dessert selection include Black Forest gateau, Profiteroles and Eton mess. The dining room holds 6 to 8 people and to help get into the swing of things, a 10% discount for those dressed up in 1970s clothing will be offered!

The Jones Family Project is a destination for wine lovers too, a great deal of thought has been put into the 100-strong global list. There are over 28 wines available by the glass and I enjoyed a fantastic glass of New Zealand wine, my favourite. The wine list can be viewed by country if you read it one way or flip it over and read it by grape. Another quirky touch I enjoyed!

To start I went for the special of the day, Risotto with goat cheese. This could be ordered as a main or a smaller portion as a starter (£7.50). Even the starter portion was huge and I could have left happy after just that one course! The risotto was beautifully creamy and so full of flavour. Even typing this is difficult as I think back I am having major cravings for it…

Karl went for the Spiced Crispy Squid (£7.50) which was beautifully presented and extremely tasty. We were blown away by the flavours of the lime mayo and chilli mango sauce, refreshing with a gorgeous spicy kick.

The prices of the dishes are affordable and perfectly reasonable as the portions are extremely generous.

Above: The writing on the lift cracked me up!

Our food was prepared by one of the founding members, Cristiano the chef at The Jones Family Project. Cristiano is originally from Treviso in the Veneto Province of northern Italy, he has been a chef for over 20 years, having also worked with Duncan at Pitcher & Piano, and also founding Rocket restaurants and bars with the rest of the team too. Cristiano prides himself in researching and finding new, quality ingredients, as well as continuing to support the finest artisan producers.

Anna recommended the Pork Rib-Eye Steak (£18.50) which comes served with chorizo, potatoes, green beans served with apple sauce. I enjoyed the Truffle Mac & Cheese (£4.50) as a side and it was wonderful (and large enough to be a main!!). No wonder Glamour Magazine and Harpers Bazaar have mentioned it as being in the Top 10 in London!

The Pork Rib-Eye Steak portion was also HUGE and I definitely did not need a side, but I don’t regret it as the mac & cheese was totally worth it. I had my human dustbin (aka Karl) opposite me to help share it too…

Karl went for the steak too. For you meat lovers you cannot visit The Jones Family Project without trying one of their steaks. All of their steaks are all dry-aged for a minimum of 28 days and it all comes from farmers they trust. You can view the menu here.

The Pork Rib-Eye Steak (above) was enormous and placed on a bed of chorizo and potatoes. It was glorious and hands down the best steak I have ever had.

Sadly I was way too full for dessert so I shared some of Karl’s sorbet. There is a wide variety of sorbets available including Green Apple, Coconut and Raspberry. The perfect palette cleanser after a hearty meal. You can view their desserts menu here.

From start to finish everything about The Jones Family Project was flawless, I cannot recommend a visit enough! Thank you to The Jones Family Project for having us, we were absolutely blown away. A special thank you to Lora, Anna and Duncan who looked after us so well.

I bet you are still wondering, why is it called The Jones Family Project? Well I guess you will just have visit yourself to ask them why…

The nearest tube stations to The Jones Family Project are Old Street, on the Northern line, or Shoreditch High Street on the overground. Buses that run along Great Eastern Street include the 135, 205, N35 and N205.

Bar opening times:

Monday – Friday: 11am – 11.30pm (Brunch menu available 11am – 5pm, lunch menu 12pm – 5pm and evening & bar snacks menu 5pm – 10.30pm)

Saturday: 10am – 11.30pm (Brunch & lunch menu available 10am – 5pm and evening & bar snacks menu 5pm – 10.30pm)

Sunday: 11am – 6pm (Serving roasts and other dishes from 11am-5pm)

The Jones Family Project

78 Great Eastern Street



Phone: 020 7739 1740

Email Reservations: reservations@jonesfamilyproject.co.uk

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