REVIEW: Ask For Janice
Steps from Farringdon’s iconic Smithfield meat market (which faced partial demolition until late last month – God bless Eric Pickles), Ask For Janice is a beacon of joy in one of my favourite areas of London, drenched in history yet somehow still dead at the weekends.
Something tells me its opening is going to have a hand in changing that fact: bare filament lightbullbs, glass frontage, pretty enamel plates and bare stone floors add up to some serious Shoreditch cool, minus the hipsters a slightly more mature crowd might seek to avoid.
The industrial look is trendy but not cosy, a scattering of vintage chairs in among wooden benches and trendy neon signage teling you to Ask For Janice. Don’t bother, she’s not there – it’s just a Beastie Boys reference (of course it is). Good looking staff whizz around seating guests and making (excellent) gin cocktails – these are the people behind Graphic, Central & Co and The Elgin and they really know what they’re doing.
We started with a mini portion of chorizo stew, some decadently salty lardo on toast and a plate of meaty sardines. Giving in to mother’s ruin was all too easy, with helpful encouragement from the knowledgeable waitress we chose plenty from The Perfect Serve menu, worlds away from your average G&T. Next we shared a couple of lamb chops, floored by how tasty and rich each dish was (not to mention the gin).
Downstairs, a clandestine, graffiti-stained booze bunker sits behind a concealed door, peddling bottled craft beers plus London draughts – try the Camden Hells and Hackney Hopster. Bar nibbles consist of some lovely small plates from the upstairs menu (chicken skins a MUST) – but we’d take the lardo any day.
Address: 50-52 Long Lane, London EC1A 9EJ / Tel: +44 20 7600 2255
Amy @ FashionBIte xx