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Jones Family Affair

Jones Family Affair

After the Jones Family Project, and the Jones Family Kitchen, the very-possibly-fictitious (?) Jones family have reached Covent Garden. Whether or not they exist is something of a moot point. What we can confirm is that Jones Family Affair ticks a lot of good boxes. 

The site used to be Les Deux Salons, a restaurant that always seemed a good fit for Covent Garden even while its standards clearly slipped in its latter days. Jones Family Affair has, essentially, kept the good bits of that notion – a solid menu of appealing classics, a remodelled but similarly stylish room – and improved on the weaknesses, most notably the service. In the last days of LDS, surliness seemed king. Under new ownership, everything is slicker, more efficient and so much friendlier. 

While you can (and I have, and no doubt will again) argue for hours about what makes a restaurant perfect or desirable or a hit, at a basic level it’s not rocket science. Have a menu of things people want to eat, make them to the best of your abilities, charge at a proportionate rate, have a team that know what they’re doing. On all those, JFA score very highly indeed. (They also open until midnight, with last kitchen orders at 10pm and last drinks at 11:30pm, which are also good points to remember). Indeed, my only complaint is the seats in the (otherwise impressive) bar are too low and squidgy to eat from. That seems to happen a lot, actually. Why are banquettes and sofas and overly-padded stools so often so unfit for purpose? But I digress…

In the restaurant area (where seats are firm and the right height for the tables, you know, just saying) the menus are simple and to the point. To be fair, strict vegans might struggle somewhat but the rest of are well catered for. Crispy courgette and olives, from the “Nibbles” section fuel (both actually vegan, having just said the above) are decent snacks as cocktails are finished and the menu perused. Heritage Beetroot Salad is a colourful cracker of a dish, the hero ingredient’s earthy sweetness nicely balanced with goat’s cheese mousse, honey and orange. Mushrooms on toast comes topped with a fried, golden, perfectly-runny Clarence Court egg. It’s not original, it’s not big, it’s not clever but it IS very decent. 

Meat is sourced from The Ginger Pig, and cooked in a Josper grill. That’s a sentence that pretty much sums up JFA. “The Ginger Pig” is as good a three-word endorsement of meat-sourcing as you’ll find. Jospers are at the heart of many a fine restaurant because they’re some of the best bits of grilling kit you’ll find anywhere. My main course – the lunch special 180g onglet, with fries and chimichurri – is simple and simply great, and the same is true of the Tamworth pork chop. 

Steak 4 - Photo by River Thompson copy
Bar Jones Family Affair

That’s not to say there isn’t creativity here. There is, notably in the Baked Yoghurt, strawberries, mint and meringue we share for dessert. It’s a dish of lovely flavours and textures, that’s both refreshing and richly satisfying. There’s a wine list that covers many regions and starts in the mid-£20s. The cocktail list covers the classics and the original, and features a sense of Jones Family whimsy, with sections such as “Uncle Jack Might Be Older But He Is Very Fashionable” and “Great Grandfather Blackthorn Sailed The Spanish Main,” which they just about get away with as the drinks are, well, you guessed it, decent. 

Jones Family Affair is not cutting edge but: a) never claims to be; and b) doesn’t have to be. What it is though is thoroughly decent at a sensible price point. It’s a thumbs up from me. 

Jones Family Affair
40-42 William IV Street
London
WC2N 4DD
United Kingdom

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