Jar Kitchen’s philosophy is that few things in life beat good food. Although Lucy Brown and Jenny Quintero, who set up the Jar Kitchen, are first time restaurateurs, they seem to know what they’re talking about. I’d sadly missed its soft launch, but the Jar Kitchen had been on my “to-go” list since its opening. I therefore chose the Jar Kitchen as the venue for a long overdue catch-up supper with a friend from law school.
Jar Kitchen is conveniently located on Drury Lane, not far from either Holburn or Aldwych yet in the heart of Covent Garden. Indeed, its first blog entry was dedicated to things to do in the area beyond the cosy confines of the Jar; not only are there a range of theatres, but the Seven Dials shopping frenzy, comedy clubs, the British Museum, and the Royal Opera House are also nearby. Yet whilst Jar Kitchen is an ideal quick pre-theatre supper spot (two courses for £15 or three for £18 from 5.30-6.30pm), it’s also a more relaxed venue for a leisurely meal.
A homely vibe penetrates Jar Kitchen’s ambience and interior: reused jars are, of course, central to Jar Kitchen’s décor with candles encased within jars, whilst salads are served in these glass containers. Wooden tables have been reclaimed, adding further to its rustic atmosphere. Laid-back diners can also sit and enjoy the view of the open kitchen so that they can see the chefs at work. I particularly enjoyed my view of the Jar’s kitchen from my window seat, lined with comfy cushions. As the restaurant is fairly small and has a no-booking policy for tables for less than five, there’s usually a long queue for a table – indeed, I’d given up queuing for this place on one evening. This time, however, I was lucky enough to nab a table straight away, even though it was 7.30pm.
Jar Kitchen’s menu has been designed by Chef Dominik Moldenhauer, previously of Heston Blumenthal’s Dinner and artfully presents inventive combinations of typically “down to earth” foods. Fresh ingredients are of utmost importance, with ingredients sourced from high quality, local produce. The menu consists of a range of British, seasonal dishes made using ingredients from suppliers nearby: the cheeses are from Neal Yard’s, meats from Cannon & Cannon, and best of all, coffee beans from Monmouth. Serving Monmouth coffee and homemade granola, it would undoubtedly become my regular haunt if it were a touch closer to the office.
For me, there was one clear dish to select: the Mixed grain salad with roasted heirloom carrots, JK coconut yoghurt, pomegranate, almonds and herbs (£10). The dish had a wonderful earthy flavour, with a range of rustic carrots. The grains themselves were surprisingly moreish and went well with the crunchy nuts and seasonal pomegranates – which I too, seem to be adding to most of my salads. I felt the dish could have been enhanced further if the coconut yoghurt was coyo rather than dairy yogurt with desiccated coconut.
My friend, meanwhile, who proved to be as equally indecisive as me, eventually ordered their Pork belly, braised lentils, sprouts, bacon and capers (£14) and was impressed by the balance of flavours of this wholesome dish.
Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, I’m sure the good service and top-quality foods and drinks will mean it becomes a regular stop-off for people in the area. Indeed, there are plans for the range of changing-daily takeaway lunches to be served in re-usable kilner jars that guests can bring back to be washed and refilled. The owners even hope to get to know everyone’s names in a bid to launch their takeaway trade! Unlikely to remain a newly-opened secret for long, this cozy, independent, hole-in-wall Covent Garden eatery will soon become well-known.
Jar Kitchen, 176 Drury Lane, Covent Garden, London, WC2B 5QF