Restaurant review: Jago, Hanbury Street, E1
- Credit: Archant
A might Mediterranean mash-up
Think of Brick Lane and you think of curries don’t you? Well I certainly do, not classy Mediterranean fare. I also don’t consider it Shoreditch, but that’s where new restaurant Jago considers itself, so there you go.
After fighting our way through said lane’s various curry house proprietors, all very keen for our business, we got right to the residential end of Hanbury Street - and just when we thought we must have missed it, there it was.
Jago sits in the lobby of Second Home - self styled “world’s most iconic space for entrepreneurs” - which in fact looks like an old factory building with a giant Perspex greenhouse stuck on the side. It’s pretty funky inside though - original concrete pillars jut imperiously through the curvy, psuedo-1960s decor, while aforementioned entrepreneurs enjoy a post-creative drink at the bar.
But it’s the greenhouse in which you eat and, with the addition of some blow heaters to fight a bitter January night, it’s a comfortable and groovy little spot. Mediterranean is a pretty broad brush for cuisine, encompassing as it does food from Europe, Asia and Africa, but that’s the way Jago have gone. They’ve also plumped for small, sharing type plates, which I can never work out if I’m a fan of or not. I appreciate the diversity, but there is something very satisfying about having a nice big platter all on your own.
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Anyway, this is almost all good stuff, and the portions are pretty decent, so we didn’t feel short changed. The salt beef, presumably in a nod to the area, was fantastic; moist and, well, salty; given the necessary kick from a beetroot and horseradish puree. The veal cheek goulash was a bit fatty, but also excellent - if not very goulash-like. Slow-cooked for what must be days, the meat feel apart in the rich, almost bolognaise sauce on a bed of incredibly plump rice. The cheesy celeraic was great, although the accompanying chicory was overly-bitter, while the salt fish was let down by a far too rigous application of citrus (but the smoked aubergine on which it sat was sublime). Dessert - a frozen cheesecake - was a bit of a non-entity. On the whole a tasty, pretty cheap affair. Definitely worth a look, particularly as I imagine it gets the thumbs up from most January diets.
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