Hidden away down the grubby end of Hanbury street – you have to pick your way past a long line-up of take away shops and dry cleaners before finally glimpsing the restaurant’s bright orange façade – Jago is the all-day eatery affiliated with start-up hub Second Home. Arranged into a series of transparent office and meeting spaces, this labyrinthine creative complex is an unlikely setting for such an unassuming restaurant, the friendly service taking the edge off the formality of what is essentially a work environment – a large bar area creates the ideal cut-off between work and play.
Jago’s Southern European, Middle Eastern and Ashkenazi influenced menu is the brainchild of Head Chef Louis Solley, a local Jewish lad keen to bring some of the flavours of his East End upbringing to the London restaurant scene. Small plates include a wonderfully moreish grilled manouri served with a scattering of colourful cherry tomatoes, and a comforting celeriac, beetroot and swede gratin that arrives at the table bubbling away in an iron pan. The mains were a bit of a mixed bag, with the succulent veal cheek goulash a clear winner against some of the more bland fish dishes.
For those already acquainted with Ashkenazi cuisine, do not come here expecting carbon copies of traditional Jewish recipes. Instead, order one of the expertly mixed classic cocktails and settle in for an evening of delightfully indulgent comfort food.