27 Arcola Street E8 2DJ
0207 241 1211
AKA: The Strip's most stylish dining secret
The deal: Way up the top end of Dalston and nestled away on Arcola Street is Jones & Sons, housed in a beautiful old Victorian warehouse that was previously home to the Arcola Theatre and before that, a textile factory. That means it's a huge, airy dining space with industrial high-beams, white-washed breezeblock walls and leather seating - in short, the sort of convivial place you'll pull up a table, open a bottle and not want to leave for hours. The restaurant opened back in July 2013 with ex-Cat and Mutton general manager, Andy Jones, at the helm and since then it's fast become one of the local residents' best kept secrets for a tasty midweek meal, that all-important Sunday roast and their excellent cocktail selection. So, it's up to you: keep it on the hush-hush, or let your friends in on it too?
The food: With owner Andy's background and with the head chef Kieran Hope's skills honed in the kitchens of Bistrotheque and Hix, these guys have created a great, modern British menu together. The dishes are lead by seasonal ingredients, resulting in simple but strong plates. On the night we dined, the home-smoked breast of pigeon, blackberry and hazelnut starter (£8.5) was a triumph - a nod to English hedgerows, apparently. The courgette flower with goats curd (£8.5) was perhaps a little heavy on the batter, but was a real treat as it's rarely to be found on the menus around Hackney. The quality of the steak shone through on both of the mains which we had two ways: in a warm salad with potatoes and avocado (£14.5) and sliced with Bearnaise and a watercress garnish (£15). Chargrilled to perfection both times and perfectly pink in the middle - no wonder it's their signature dish. For dessert, "puffed up chocolate" (a fondant meets a souffle) was given a spike of welcome tartness with blackberries studded in at the bottom (£7.5) and some late summer peaches were totally sweet and perked up with thyme and honey (£6.5).
Signature dish: Their sharing steak (£38)
The chef: Kieran Hope
When to dine: Sunday lunches are a big favourite, but on Monday nights the whole menu is prix fixe (£21), and there's also two-for-one cocktails, too.
Damage to pocket: Mains average at about £15, so for three course and some wine, it's about £35 a head. We'd recommend the prix fixe menu at a bargainous £21 for three courses.
File under: Weekending, Great With Mates, Date Night, Midweek Munches, Brunching