Anna Dack discovered Jar Kitchen, a new restaurant in Covent Garden that easily outshines its neighbours
Hanging from Jar Kitchen’s ceiling are a row of glinting vessels of all shapes and sizes. They’ve been retrofitted with light bulbs to make a functional and slightly quirky lamp-shade, illuminating wooden doors, propped on their sides to house a fully stocked bar, a chalk board and charmingly tilted shelves.
“There’s a real focus on up-cycling here – it was important to us when designing the restaurant,” Lucy Brown, 30, tells me as I admire the cosy layout of the restaurant. She and Jenny Quintero, 28 (both endearingly beautiful), are two friends who left their careers to pursue their love of food – they share the responsibility for Jar Kitchen’s deliciously rustic menu with the chef Dominik Moldenhauer (previously of Heston Blumenthal’s Dinner) and consulted on every element of its build – from menu, to furnishings and even jam-jar lighting design.
Jar Kitchen is filled with garden-centre-esque triumphs, from silver watering cans to hanging plants and the starry twinkle of fairy lights, easing guests in from the offset.
In keeping with the theme of sustainability, it’s no surprise that the dishes available on Jar Kitchen’s menu are more fresh, natural and intuitive than other menus in the area, operating on a farm-to-fork basis to ensure high quality, local produce is used across all of its dishes. There are no second-class ingredients and only a limited number of sides, ensuing everything is carefully selected and absolutely necessary in creating the perfect plates for diners.
Jar Kitchen serves a handful of Starter options – the chicken liver parfait for example is exceptionally smooth and delicious. Served with fig and onion jam, the enormous (you guessed it) jar of parfait comes alongside toasted bread that has been soaked in raisin infused water to really bring out the flavour. Similarly, the starter of Ox cheek and cheddar croquettes is deliciously flavourful, immediately oozing intensity with the tanginess of apple and aioli complimenting each crunchy mouthful.
Main meals are equally as satisfying and intricate, crafting a selection of hearty and warming options to choose from. The lamb rump for example comes deliciously plump, beautifully cooked pink and tastefully seasoned. Scattered with beets, the dish is insistently earthy and a velvety parsnip puree adds a delightful tanginess to the plate. Similarly, the Walter Rose pork belly comes mouth-wateringly juicy, nestled in a bed of smoked grilled cabbage and dusted with turnips and crunchy hazelnut crumble.
Just when you think you can’t exceed the dish you’ve eaten previously, dessert doesn’t fail to impress either. The chocolate ganache is heavenly and expectantly rich. Topped with a delicious white block of dense meringue, the dish is scattered with honeycomb and hidden by a scoop of refreshing banana ice cream. Likewise, the apple & pear crumble comes piping hot with buttermilk ice cream oozing over the edges of biscuit-like crumb.
Hidden amongst the showy bright-lights of Covent Garden’s restaurant scene, renowned for offering over-priced pre-theatre set meals and overcomplicated courses, Jar Kitchen easily outshines its neighbours and takes its place in the spotlight thanks to its thoughtfully creative and refreshingly modest approach. Bravo!
Jar Kitchen 176 Drury Lane, London WC2B 5QF