Ah, Jones the Grocer. Being backed by the holding company behind Louis Vuitton & Moët and Hennessey, this grocery-cum-restaurant is not likely to suffer the same financial repercussions that other Westfield Stalwarts have suffered. Spiedo, one-toqued Xanthi and even two-toquet Beccasse couldn’t survive the shopping centre dining scene, but Jones is likely to stay.
But am I just implying that Jones is able to persevere purely because of the fact it has conglomerate financial backing? Nonsense, the food is actually able to swing its own, delicious weight around. That sticky date pudding, for example, is just heavenly. Ambrosia amongst decadent desserts.
It was only a matter of time before I descend upon this place once more.
Date Last Visited: 22/3/14
Address: Level 5 Sydney Westfield
Recommended Dish(es): breakfast risotto
What I didn’t expect, was the manner of my return. I was invited a second time by Lily from Cavcon PR, so the Usual Disclaimer does apply. I wholeheartedly confess – I lucked out. I was going to run a few catchups at Jones, so this worked out quite well.
Having experienced what Jones had to offer for lunch (and by extension, dinner), I decided to saunter off the beaten track, instead vying for their breakfast menu. Yeah, this place is open all day long it seems. I was a little uncertain how well Jones would do breakfast – let’s just say open curiosity kept my expectations buoyed.
We were first treated to two juices – watermelon, and apple & lime. I don’t remember what their prices were, but anything higher than $6 and I will call rip.
The watermelon juice was very light on flavour; I could probably get more taste out of actual watermelon. There was also no pulp – whether that’s a good or a bad thing is left to the reader. Myself? I like me some pulp. The same cannot be said of the apple & lime juice – with real a real citrus punch, the sweetness begs to be found, but you could say it’s a great wake-me-up.
I’m front-focusing this post – the signature breakfast dish comes up in the unlikely form of a breakfast risotto. When the chef recommends the dish, it’s a wise choice to take up the offer.
I’m glad I did, this is a great risotto. It’s not as cream-rich as other risottos, and the rice isn’t pillowy soft all the way through – ever so slightly a bit hard. Other than that, the dish is superb. Flavours are fantastic, and the ingredients really showcase their part on the plate.
Egg porn with risotto – now that’s a (very welcome) first.
Coming up as a more standard breakfast option, the corn & sweet potato fritters attempts to contend for the great corn fritters produced by many a Surry Hills cafe. It doesn’t quite reach their level of delicious crunch, but it’s great in its own right, particularly as the usage of sweet potatoes isn’t boilerplate stuff. That sweetness does show, and it’s a pleasant difference.
On the flip side, not sure about the inclusion of the Thai element – I think the Aussie brunch with poached eggs & corn fritters isn’t quite ready for the sharp flavours of our south-east Asian cousin. Perhaps one day, but right now, Tamarind just doesn’t belong.
For the last stop of the egg journey, the egg omelette w/field mushrooms marks the last savoury we could stomach. While it’s no Glass Brasserie omelette, this is a respectable rendition, with soft egg, aromatic mushrooms (but nope still ain’t a fan), and the clever inclusion of feta. The addition of truffle oil seems more like an attempt to be fanciful given Jones’ stature, but probably isn’t a necessary move.
It’s the feta that brings out that extra flavour kick, and I think if I ever do omelettes at home, I’ll have feta at the ready. It’s made that much of a difference!
Who has dessert for breakfast? Well, of course I do! And not just one, but two! First up, a Black forest trifle w/chocolate mousse, mascarpone cream & cherries. I saw this dessert on the menu on my last visit to Jones, but my stomach was already basketballing. I’m glad I had the chance to get it this time.
The experience could be akin to eating a black forest cake out of a large cocktail glass. Deconstructed somewhat, but the overall experience is similar. So, if you like black forest cake, this dessert is a no brainer. Otherwise…
You could go nuts and get the salted peanut caramel & milk chocolate parfait ice cream sandwich. Yeah, this goes into decadent territory, and that’s exactly why I got it. Besides, seeing an ice cream sandwich on the dessert menu at Jones kind of just begs for it to be tried, doesn’t it?
The taste is more muted than I had expected – which is a good thing. I was anticipating a storm of sweetness and creaminess, but instead I got a more refined, but still texturally rich portion of ice cream that goes down very well with the palate. After some serious savouries, this twist on a PB sandwich is just what the sugar doctor ordered.
Go get yourself some.
Now that I’ve been a second time, has my assessment of Jones changed? Not really – it’s the same as last time: decent food at (surprisingly) decent prices, able to hold its own with the other eateries around the area. Looks like the Grocer is going to be in it for the long haul.
As usual, feel free to leave a comment or three 😀
- Still great food, even when eating from the breakfast menu
- Decent value given the context
Not so Awesome:
- Not for those who are looking for a mindblowing experience