Today I am sharing a lovely review of London restaurant Jar Kitchen, written by our guest writer Adrienne Fung. Jar Kitchen is a small, independent restaurant in Covent Garden serving sophisticated food by head Chef Paula Borreguero. Adrienne’s enthusiastic review has definitely made me want to visit Jar Kitchen soon!
The other week, I had the chance to visit Jar Kitchen in Covent Garden for dinner with a friend. Jar Kitchen’s petite, intimate space was the perfect escape for us to hide away from the rain for a few hours over a delicious meal. The outside is unassuming with a hint of mystery, drawing countless passersby to steal a quick glance through the window over the course of our meal.
Opened back in 2015 by two friends, Lucy Brown & Jenny Quintero, Jar Kitchen exudes rustic charm with thoughtful décor that matches its seasonal, farm-to-table menu approach. Led by new Head Chef, Paula Borreguero, formerly of 10 Greek Street, Jar Kitchen’s daily changing menu is dictated by what’s in season. The restaurant prides itself on partnering with local and sustainable suppliers; however, true magic lies in how the kitchen turns these ingredients into beautifully delicious plates.
The interior is dimly lit by candles and quirky light hanging fixtures accompanied by stripped down wooden tables and flooring. Jars filled with tiny bunches of flowers and plants are scattered throughout the restaurant and suddenly, it becomes quite clear where the name “Jar” Kitchen comes from. For a second, it’s easy to forget you’re in the heart of London and not in a quaint hole-in-the-wall somewhere on the countryside.
We settled into a cozy little nook by the window and started perusing the food and drink menus whilst nibbling on warm focaccia bread dusted with rosemary and salt. I decided to go for an Aperol Spritz while my friend went for the Espresso Martini for a pre-dinner pick me up. Both drinks were delicious!
Moving onto the food, I always like to get the staff’s recommendation. Lucky for us, Lucy herself was there managing front of house that night and was able to give us some wonderful tips. She recommended to start with some Colchester Rock Oysters along with the Tuna Tartare with Avocado & Ginger; Courgette Flower with Innes Brick Goat’s Cheese & Fig Jam; Lamb Carpaccio with Artichokes, Anchovies, Grape Mustard & Parmesan.
The oysters were extremely fresh and delicious, served simply with just a wedge of lemon. Typically, I enjoy oysters with a dose of mignonette but because these were so fresh, just a squeeze of lemon accompanied by the natural briny flavour from the oysters made for a flawless combination.
Next came our three starters. We absolutely loved both the courgette flower and lamb carpaccio. The sweetness from the fig jam and pungent earthiness from the goat’s cheese paired perfectly with the delicate courgette flower. Meanwhile, the lamb carpaccio was tender without any hint of gaminess.
The saltiness from the parmesan combined with slight tartness from the artichokes worked really well together with the lamb. This was a dish we could have eaten again and again.
The tuna tartare, on the other hand, was underwhelming compared to the other two starters. The ginger was a bit too overpowering without much other spice or flavour coming through.
Moving onto the main courses, we decided to try the Roasted Duck Breast with Baby Aubergine & Swiss Chard as well as the Cod with Panzanella Salad.
Both entrées were extremely successful. The duck breast was cooked perfectly: juicy and tender with just the right amount of salt and fat. The sweetness from the accompanying puree complemented the dish well.
The cod was a much lighter dish and again, cooked really well. The skin was crispy while the fish remained flaky and moist.
Lucy recommended a beautiful glass of Slovenian natural red wine to accompany our meal. It was a delight to see so many natural European wines on the menu. Again, the restaurant’s identity shines through.
We finished off the meal with a Pine Needle Ice Cream, Yorkshire rhubarb, hazelnut crumb & blood orange dessert. Now that’s a dessert you don’t typically see on menus. It was a knockout dish. The varying temperatures, textures and flavours among the different elements in the dessert created a harmonious balance, making it an elegant finale to a wonderful meal.
All in all, we were extremely pleased with our dinner at Jar Kitchen. It was perhaps one of the best meals I’ve had in London all year. While the European, farm-to-table concept is certainly not an uncommon one, Jar Kitchen’s execution is where it sets itself apart. The ingredients, flavours, and cooking technique are all top notch. Alongside Lucy and Jenny, Head Chef Paula Borreguero is clearly a welcomed addition to the leadership team, showing what brilliance can come when you put three strong, kickass females together. I look forward to paying another visit to Jar Kitchen soon!
Words and photos by Adrienne Fung.
Disclaimer: Adrienne was a guest of the restaurant. All opinions are her own.