Jones the Grocer, Sydney CBD

>> April 29, 2013

It seemed like only yesterday that I was dining at Quarter Twenty-One in the Sydney CBD Westfield.  How quickly times change!  The old space was boarded up for a while with signage declaring Jones the Grocer to be opening soon. 

Now it is open and I must confess that I was not dying to visit (concept seemed a bit standard to my jaded mind) but my friend was super keen.  One weeknight after finishing work, we went to visit for dinner - don't forget to use the express escalator next to Sportsgirl if coming from Pitt St Mall for a quick ride to Level 5 of the Westfield!



Upon walking into the restaurant , it is a lot more spacious than it appears from the outside.   Not only is there a 'grocery' section with expensive teas, cordials, jams, nuts etc to purchase and a sofa lounge area, you can also see big glass cabinets where it looks like their cured meats are hanging and an open kitchen.   There is lots of seating and we were ushered into the dining area at the back.  

The lighting is a bit strange inside.  The tables next to the windows are almost in pitch darkness whereas other tables are awkwardly lit by glaring overhead lightbulbs.  We were initially seated at a window table and although there was a nice view of Pitt St Mall, we requested to move to another table because it was too dark for us.  I feared that I would actually fall asleep.  And squinting to see the menu.  Yes I am a nanna and a romantic dinner this was not!

I decided to order off the bar menu for my entree. 

Foie gras parfait with toasted brioche and pickles ($18)


I really like liver parfait and this was standard - not bad, not amazing but enjoyable all the same.  

Angel hair pasta with blue swimmer crab, chilli, rocket, garlic and grana padano ($19)



The angel hair pasta came out on a very small plate with a very small mound of pasta.  I tasted the dish and did not like it.  It tasted so bland!  There was a heavy taste of oil and a bit of chili.  This was my friend's entree and she didn't like it either but valiantly finished it off.

Our mains came out quickly after entrees were cleared away.

Pan fried Atlantic salmon fillet with cherry tomato and black bean vierge ($30)


My friend ordered the salmon which we both found to be slightly overcooked and dry.

Roast wild barramundi with crushed potatoes and sauce antiboise ($32)


Similarly, I wasn't overly enamoured with the wild barrumundi.  The skin was partly crisp, partly soggy. The body of the fish was cooked well but the overall flavour of the dish was bland.  In particular, I disliked the fact that the large, chunky potatoes were underdone and a bit hard in the mouth.  It would have been nice to have some other vegetables mixed in with the potatoes.  There also wasn't much sauce on the plate.  I felt like Manu from MKR - where is the sauce???? 

Jones chips cooked three times with tomato and fennel ketchup ($7.50)


My friend and I disagreed over the chips - she thought they were undercooked and I thought they were overcooked.  Maybe I just had the misfortune of selecting the extra brown ones.  I found the tomato and fennel ketchup to be strange and the additional flavour of fennel to be unnecessary.  The texture of the ketchup was also odd, it was runny and reminded me of soup.

Up until this point, I was underwhelmed with the dishes but then my dessert came out.

Warm sticky date pudding with salted caramel sauce and vanilla bean ice cream ($12)


Jones Assam Estate leaf tea ($4.50)


When I tasted the sticky date pudding, I finally thought to myself, this is gooooooooooooood.  It was so moist and rich.  So decadent!  There was an abundance of salted caramel sauce that oozed all over the plate and I liked how the salt counterbalanced the stickiness of the pudding.

I also enjoyed the looseleaf tea which was strong and served with a small jug of milk and sugar cubes.  After our dinner, I had a quick peek in the grocery section for the tea but was deterred by the $21 price tag. Eek.

All in all, I wouldn't come back again for dinner.  However I would come back for dessert with coffee or tea.  That sticky date pudding was the bomb! The staff were very friendly and attentive during the meal. 

My friend was still feeling rich after the dinner and left with a $16 bottle of cordial from the grocery section. 

Jones the Grocer on Urbanspoon

5 comments:

Missy Piggy April 30, 2013 at 2:49 PM  

I had no idea they this place was also going to be a restaurant - sounds like they need to pull their socks up though. Maybe it's just teething problems?

Priscilla @ foodpornnation.com April 30, 2013 at 8:03 PM  

Ahh what a shame. This place did look v good. I had a lamington from the front and was pretty disappointed.

At least the pudding came through in the end...

Helen (Grab Your Fork) May 3, 2013 at 2:53 PM  

Love admiring the charcuterie case here. The salted caramel sauce sounds like a great foil!

retrodaze May 5, 2013 at 10:24 PM  

Hi Missy Piggy: I'll keep my eye out for some more reviews and see what other people think, maybe it was just an off night

Hi Priscilla: The bakery items at the front always look so good when I walk past at lunchtime! Sorry to hear that the lamington was disappointing

Hi Helen: Omg the salted caramel sauce is droolworthy.

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