Jones & Co has staked its claim at the centre of the Kingston foodie scene for a number of years. Starting its journey as the brunch capital of the south side initially trading a the much-loved Me & Mrs Jones, the guys are now taking a fresh new approach as Jones & Co.
“After all, you can only cook so many eggs,” part owner and chef Dan McConnell laughs.
Continuing the venue’s iconic sense of warmth, the space has transformed into a diverse restaurant where young and old can come together to enjoy great food in a relaxing atmosphere. The plush furniture adds a comfortable element to dining out, while the industrial interior and oyster bar exude luxury and modern finesse.
Dan has navigated the restaurant through this transition and could not be happier with what he and his team have achieved.
“With Jones & Co we are trying to create a good balance between smart and sophisticated, and casual dining – it’s a difficult balance but I think that we’ve really hit the nail on the head,” he says.
“Towards the end of Me & Mrs Jones we had a lot of middle eastern influences, so we are trying to move away from that.
“We didn’t want to tie ourselves to a specific genre of food with this menu. There are however a number of dishes that exhibit Asian flavours because they are clean, healthy and really pack a punch.”
Looking toward the end of the bar, my mouth really began to water. I’m of course talking about the fresh Sydney Rock oysters chilling on ice just waiting to be shucked. Any seafood that’s so fresh can only be served one way, and that’s with a juicy wedge of lemon.
As I pried the first morsel from its shell, I only had one thought. Best. Oysters. In. Canberra. So fresh and plump that if you close your eyes you could swear that you had just scooped them out of the sea yourself.
The seafood sensation continued with a sliced Platter of Sashimi. This plate is so visually striking that it seemed a shame to dig a fork into it, but once you take a bite of the delicate slices of ocean fare, you won’t be able to stop yourself. This one has all your favourites, some tuna, kingfish, scallop, salmon and roe, all accompanied by a hot and sour house-pickled ginger, fresh wasabi and Japanese white soy at the centre.
Moving inland, we sample the succulent Crispy Confit Duck. Often when the outside of a dish is crispy you have a preconceived notion of the interior texture. Well, with this dish, set that all aside! The confit cooking method makes the crispy duck taste fresh, juicy, tender and pull apart without resistance. Combine this succulent, flavoursome bird with soba noodles, pickled cucumber, ginger and shallot relish and you have an Asian-inspired dish with the perfect balance of sweet and sour.
When it comes to lunch time dining you can’t go past a light pasta dish with simple satisfying flavours and you can find all this in the Jones & Co Housemade Gnocchi.
The dish is freshly made and is extremely light and fluffy with a caramelised finish. These little pillows of potato-ey goodness are combined with pumpkin, hazelnut, sorrel and stilton cheese, and a dash of blood orange to amplify the flavour. This dish is the epitome of autumn with a caramel, nutty undertone that oozes warmth and comfort.
To finish off the meal we couldn’t decide between the Autumn Crumble or the White Chocolate and Rose Panna Cotta so we ordered them both! Why not, right?
Dan’s favourite is the White Chocolate and Rose Panna Cotta. If you’re not really into a really sweet finish to your meal, he insists that this is the dish for you. With raspberry and rose jelly, sour watermelon granita and a macaroon crumble, this is not only delicious but is the perfect palate cleanser that will make your mouth feel refreshed after a meal full of punchy flavours.
On the other hand, a sweet and warm dessert can be just the ticket on a cold night! The Autumn Crumble is not your average Nana’s Sunday special, instead, a poached pear sits tall at the centre of the dish covered in a granola and pistachio crumb with a side of chai crème patissiere, powdered honeycomb and a generous serving of vanilla bean ice-cream.
“For the quality of food, the menu is quite affordable. Our kitchen is filled with some of the best young chefs in Canberra, they strive for perfection and always serve up the best food possible,” says Dan.
Perfect for a special date night, a casual dinner or a lunch time meeting, drop into Jones & Co any day of the week and try some of these dishes for yourself.