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Restaurants Spitalfields

Time Out says

Friendly warning! We're working hard to be accurate. But these are unusual times, so please check that venues remain open.

Please note, Jago has now closed. Time Out Food editors, July 2019.

Second Home is a ‘workspace hub’ for internet start-ups. The architect duo SelgasCano – who are also designing the Serpentine Pavilion 2015 – have created an unusual space of fibreboard panels, mismatched furniture and pot plants. A pod-like Perspex conservatory has been added at the front, looking out of place in a heterogeneous street of curry houses and rag trade shops; this orange-painted lean-to is Jago, Second Home’s all-day café-restaurant.

Dishes are loosely based on Jewish cooking from the Middle East and Europe. Loosely, as a ‘Russian salad’ wouldn’t be recognised by its creator, Belgian chef Lucien Olivier, or many of his antecedents. Instead, whole green beans, large chunks of carrot, peas and potatoes were very lightly dressed with mayonnaise, and all the better for it.

The best dish was a veal cheek goulash, served with orzo and a green harissa topping; full-flavoured meat, well-spiced with paprika.

Other dishes were lacklustre. Under-grilled fennel let down one offering; a heaped plate of lentils was too monotonous in another.

While some details can delight, other dishes at times feel ongepotchket: experimental, but not well-conceived or executed. For example, a dessert of toasted rice pudding had a delightfully just-roasted flavour, but it looked like a bowl of school porridge, with a scoop of rhubarb jam that sank to the bottom of the dish.

This could have been a wonderful opportunity to revive the East End tradition of Jewish food, but in reality, Jago’s menu is diluted and barely has the ‘Ashkenazi influences’ that it claims. As a shtick, it simply doesn’t stick.




Address: 68-80 Hanbury Street
E1 5JL
Transport: Shoreditch rail.
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