About Time You Met: Jar KitchenBy Alicia Grimshaw
Jar Kitchen is a modern British restaurant committed to sustainability and stylish food on Drury Lane in Covent Garden. Jar Kitchen is the brainchild of Lucy Brown and Jenny Quintero – two friends who left their successful careers to pursue their love of food. We sit down with the ladies to discuss all things food and where to grab a good coffee in London:
Starting a restaurant was a big change from your previous jobs. What made you want to open a restaurant?
The absolute love of good food and the buzz of London. We had been saying for years we should do something together and food was a passion we both shared. Lucy had been working in restaurants from an early age and had some solid ground knowledge of how we would need to work.
We did a lot of research and took several courses along the way – everything from Butchery with Black Hand to courses at Leith’s School and the Beer Academy – to figure out how realistic it was. We even know a little bit about kitchen extraction units and requirements!
What can people expect from Jar kitchen?
Really great quality but in a relaxed environment. Jar Kitchen has a toned down homely feel to it but the dishes that come out are gorgeous. Our Chefs all come from fine dining and Michelin kitchens so standards are very high.
What’s the theme of Jar Kitchen?
Jar Kitchen aims to operate as sustainably as we can using the best quality British seasonal ingredients. The Jars to us represent sustainability and remind us of home cooking. We work with a small and changing menu and feel it’s about the overall experience of knowing whatever you chose from the menu will be great!
What are your favourite dishes on the menu?
The ox cheek and cheddar croquettes are so tasty! Then for mains it’s a toss up between the lamb rump and the monkfish. All dishes are complemented by ingredients that make meals memorable rather than load up the plates with carbs, but should you fancy it, the triple cooked chips that are portioned to share won’t disappoint!
What advice would you give to anyone thinking about opening a restaurant?
Plan, plan, plan and adjust and then plan some more. It’s quite difficult unless you do have an unlimited budget to get everything you want so it’s important to be prepared to compromise a little. But don’t stray too far away from where you want to be, you need to be confident in the final product. You also have to be organised with the accounts and make sure you don’t let even a day slip.
If you can find a partner then it’s great. We have days where we go a little crazy and everything seems to go wrong, being able to support each other means we never feel like we are alone and we get through things easier.
What do you think of London’s food scene?
Amazing. It’s hard to keep up with all the new places that are coming up all over different parts of London. It’s great to see the variety of independents do well and to see consumers really willing to take more chances.
What’s your first memory of food?
One of our first food memories together was when we went to Duck & Waffle for the first time and managed to get a table last minute. We ordered way more then we needed but couldn’t stop. It was the imagination that went into making really amazing food and the presentation coupled with views over the city, absolutely unforgettable. It started with the crispy pigs ears that came in a brown paper bag, then ox cheek doughnut, bacon wrapped dates…we just kept eating!
What’s your go-to dish if you’re cooking at home?
Pasta, always pasta. It’s so versatile and you can make something really tasty out of very few ingredients. We did a pasta cooking course together and now make fresh pasta at home if we cook, a simple fresh sage and butter sauce is enough to put a smile on our faces.
London’s best coffee can be found at:
Monmouth, we use them at Jar Kitchen because they really are the best. The baristas are really passionate and they use jersey milk to make their coffee, which adds a beautiful smooth creaminess to the end product.
London’s best breakfast can be found at:
The Hoxton Hotel. It has a great vibe and the staff are lovely. The menu caters for anyone looking for sweet, savoury or just tasty pastries.
London’s best street food stall is:
Startisans, it’s a great example of just how far street food has come. The organisers hand pick different street food traders and change them daily. It’s also indoors which makes it a perfect winter destination.