Over the past 16 years, Jones the Grocer (“Jones”) has made a name for itself as a gourmet food emporium with a focus on providing a fine selection of produce, pastries and also restaurant/café. For me, I am definitely pleased to see that their flagship store relocated from Woollahra to Sydney Westfield, making it more accessible and convenient. The new store also continues to host a selection of Jones’ branded gourmet items ranging from various cheeses, pastas, cured meats, tea leaves and drinks.
The first time I visited Jones, I had their cheesecake with coffee. Their cheesecake is one of those food items that leaves a positive lasting impression. The cheesecake had a nice thick density and each bite contained just enough sweetness to not be overpowering. My favourite part of any cheesecake is the short crust and this was done perfectly. The butter was perfectly consistent throughout and there was a good cheesecake to shortcrust ratio. Over the past few months, I have found myself regularly visiting the patisserie section of Jones for an afternoon treat (usually after a hearty bowl of ramen noodles at the food court) and have not been disappointed yet. So based on my impressions of their pastries, Jones has always been on my list to see how their dinner menu faired.
We visited Jones on a Thursday night, which allowed us do a bit of Christmas shopping afterwards. As you enter the restaurant towards the dining area, you cannot help but be distracted by the market section with all the range of gourmet items on offer (including the wall of cold meats with the large prosciutto). The layout of the restaurant section is modern, elegant and relaxing. There are number of leather lounges around the restaurant and seating is well considered and relatively spacious.
For entrees, we ordered the Grilled Herb Lamb Cutlets, spiced cauliflower, hummus and cardamom praline and the Barbeque free-range Quail with Spinach & Apple Salad & Bois Boudran sauce.
Grilled Herb Lamb Cutlets, spiced cauliflower, hummus and cardamom praline. The serving size for the lamb cutlets was very generous and could easily be passed as a main. Normally my partner Beryl cooks amazing lamb cutlets and is my standard for judging lamb cutlets. So I won’t risk it by saying which is better… but the lamb cutlets from Jones were very tender and seasoned well without overpowering the mildly fragrant cardamom praline and hummus.
Barbeque free-range Quail with Spinach & Apple Salad & Bois Boudran sauce The quail’s skin was perfectly charred and crispy whilst the meat remained juicy and moist inside. The flavor was delicate without it being too gamy.
For mains we ordered the Slow Cooked Beef Short Rib with Roast Eye-Fillet, Mushrooms and Red Wine Sauce and Duck Leg Confit with French Lentils, Apple and Spinach Salad with Grape Seed Dressing GF.
Slow Cooked Beef Short Rib with Roast Eye-Fillet, Mushrooms and Red Wine Sauce. When the waitress first put this dish on our table my eyes popped wide open… the size of the Short rib and roast eye fillet was enormous. The short rib was a little tough on the outside portion, but towards the bone the meat was tender and incredibly flavorsome. The roast eye fillet was my preferred portion of the dish, being tender and flavoursome whilst being complemented well with the rich red wine sauce.
Duck Leg Confit with French Lentils, Apple and Spinach Salad with Grape Seed Dressing GF. Although the duck was faultless in itself, it was the French lentils which really stood out in this dish. I normally dislike lentils, but it was an occasion where it was done very well providing an extra layer of texture and flavour to this dish. The lentils were immersed in this rich gravy-like sauce which felt as though it came straight from a slower cooker. The apple and spinach salad with grape seed dressing added a subtle tangy twist with each bite, and provided a good contrast to the otherwise rich and heavy dish.
Warm Sticky Date Pudding with Salted Caramel Sauce and Vanilla Bean Ice-Cream. The highlight of this dessert had to be salted caramel sauce which was a perfect accompaniment to the warm and rich sticky date pudding. Delicious.
Glazed Lemon Tart with Confit Citrus & Crème Fraiche. I’ll say it again. The desserts and pastries at Jones is second to none. I love lemon tarts and the way this tart was glazed felt like it was a hybrid of a lemon tart and crème brulee.
Jones the Grocer is definitely a great new dining spot in the CBD for foodies or those looking for a nice date spot without blowing the budget. The food is of a high calibre, continuing the reputation they have built over the last 16 years. I am now delighted to see the store in a much more accessible location.
Disclaimer: PlanMB dined as guests of Jones the Grocer.
Jones the Grocer
Level 5, Sydney Westfield (Cnr Castlereiagh & Market Street Sydney)
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