Part of the Second Home internet start-up hub, this conservatory cafe and restaurant serves Ashkenazi-based dishes of the Jewish diaspora.
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.
68-80 Hanbury Street
|Opening hours:||Mon-Sat 8am-10pm|
|Price:||Meal for two with drinks and service: around £90.|
|Do you own this business?|
Average User Rating
4 / 5
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- 1 star:0
A friend and I were impressed by the reviews for this restaurant and booked for 20th June, 2015.
It was quiet when we arrived, but by the time we left there was a queue at the door.Service seemed slow to get going that evening and there seemed to not be one person responsible for our table.My friend had the lamb, which she much enjoyed, whereas I had the sea bream.I began to eat the fish but realised after a mouth full that it was not fully cooked, that the fatter part was completely raw.Eventually I managed to attract the attention of one of the staff who offered, quite appropriately, to keep my friend’s dish warm while mine was recooked.About five minutes later my fish was returned, turned over so that the place I had started eating from was covered, but the skin had also been removed. It was also not as moist as it had been previously, but I am sure that a restaurant of this standard would not have popped it in the microwave.
The waiter apologised, but I did expect that the apology should have been accompanied by, at least, a free drink.This was a very basic error and should not have occurred in a well run kitchen.