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Ask For Janice

Restaurants, British Farringdon and Smithfield
3 out of 5 stars
Avocado on toast and tea from Ask For Janice, Smithfield, London
Photograph: Charlotte Gunnell

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

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A super-friendly all day bar-café in Farringdon.

Opposite Smithfields Market is an all-day joint named after an obscure instrumental Beastie Boys track. The tune is a bit of a damp squib, but its namesake is well worth a bite. Post-work drinkers soaking up the early evening sun dominate the pavement tables, while indoors – a Brooklyn-esque mishmash of vintage classroom chairs, succulents and tacked-on polaroids – was filled with a laptop-tapping or cocktail-sipping crowd; some even combining both.

Despite stocking 42 different types of gin, the bar seems an afterthought, crammed at the back corner. Take note, though: Janice knows her cocktails and won’t rob you for them either. My Long Lane Sour (£9) was a frothy twist on the Aviation (gin, crème de violette and lemon juice). I almost ordered it twice.

The sharing plates menu is a vogueish mix of…everything – but trends feel shoehorned in without finesse. Black rice with tomatoes was slightly supermarket-salad-bar and a splodge of bland butter bean hummus with asparagus felt a pinch at £8. But my plump carrot fritters were sublime – proof that when Janice nails the simple things, she’s away. Food quibbles aside, I’d come here again to kick back with a coffee or something stronger. The Beasties would be proud.

By: Megan Carnegie



Address: 50-52 Long Lane
Transport: Tube: Barbican
Price: Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £90.
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