sponsored: brought to you by Jones the Grocer
At good, we’re always plotting our next meal, so when we were invited in to try the new menu at Jones the Grocer, we jumped at the chance. Along with the team from What’s On, we popped along to the Al Manara flagship to test it out.
One of the pioneering gourmet food stores in the UAE, Jones the Grocer has long been synonymous with quality, artisanal ingredients. As you walk through the doors, you’re greeted by the smell of pizza cooking in the woodfired oven, and the sight of vibrant salads and cakes filling display cabinets. Running around the perimeter of the store are shelves stocked with bottles of olive oil and gourmet cordials, dried pastas, spices, sweets and more. It’s a food-lover’s fantasy brought to life.
But it’s the space at the back of the restaurant that’s caught our attention: a walk-in cheese room filled with wheels and wedges from around the world. We have to stop ourselves scoffing the whole platter of samples in the centre of the room, remembering why we’re here in the first place: to taste-test Jones the Grocer’s new menu.
It’s a good thing we pulled ourselves away from the cheese cubes and the toothpicks, because the first thing to hit our table is the new Jones Luxury Sharing Platter. Designed for four to six people to share, it’s piled with wedges of Manchego, creamy orbs of burrata, crispbreads topped with Persian feta and baby artichokes, and curls of charcuterie, including truffled salami and veal chorizo. Before we can tuck in, our waiter drizzles truffled honey over the whole assembly, adding an earthy sweetness to the cheeses. Our only gripe during the whole meal is that they didn’t leave the jar there for us to keep drizzling, but then, they had seen the way we behaved in the cheese room…
Next, the kitchen whips up five of its all-new dishes for us to try, including a creamy seafood capellini pasta lightened with dill, the home-spun comfort of pan-fried chicken with mash and lentils, pillowy bau buns filled with pulled beef, crumbed beef croquettes, and peanut and citrus-glazed spicy prawns.
And just when we think we couldn’t possibly eat another bite, out comes a board stacked with six of their signature cakes: rich Valrhona chocolate cake, raspberry and white chocolate mousse slice, mixed berries and meringue tart, classic cheesecake, warm apple pie, and a Valrhona chocolate, pecan and caramel bar. It’s a testament to the quality of the desserts that we manage to make such a serious dent in the platter.
Jones the Grocer has 13 locations throughout the UAE
The Al Manara flagship is located on Sheikh Zayed Road (opposite Times Square Center)