Founded in the posh Woollahra suburb of Sydney, Australia, about 18 years ago, Jones the Grocer now has over 15 stores across the globe. Its latest branch graces Bangkok at EmQuartier, the chic shopping complex that doubles as an epicurean heaven. Promising to be a purveyor of gourmet food for everyday living, as well as a café, bakery, and restaurant, Jones the Grocer lives up to its billing. Here, breakfast is served all day, the smell of coffee constantly permeates the air, and desserts fly off the shelf. Jones is as cosy and welcoming as a gourmet store can get.
With a vast array of beverages, from wine and cocktails to boutique brews such as Gypsy Inc. from Denmark, Coopers from Adelaide, and Zeffer from New Zealand, those in the mood for a drink are spoilt for choice. For local liquids, fresh, all-natural juices from Twist offer nice variety — Velvet Express blends a silky concoction of mango, pineapple, guava, beetroot, and lime, while Guilty Passion beguilingly extracts confessions from passion fruit, carrot, banana, pineapple, lime, and honey(B80 each).
In the kitchen, Paolo Fadda from Rome mans the helm as executive chef while Jade Yok Pornprasit directs the pastry team. Healthy hipsters start afresh with Jones’s salads. Funky Beets (B235), made of poached beetroot, white beans, hazelnut crumble, and snow pea shoots in grape dressing, is augmented by lush whipped ricotta cheese. Dressed in pomegranate honey, Super Foods (B280) comes jam-packed with goodies like broccoli, almonds, barley, carrot, chickpeas, green lentils, and red grapes. With a nod to Thai and Asian influences, crunchy salt and pepper calamari is paired with yuzu-laced mayonnaise and a Thai herb salad spritzed with a tamarind, chilli, and lime dressing.
Crab angel hair pasta (B420) is a delicate signature. Al dente capellini d’angelo, tossed with chunky blue swimmer crab meat, gets spiced up by lemon zest, confit of chilli and garlic, and rocket. The Juicy Jones Burger (B495) serves up something more substantial. The house-made bun bursts with a beef patty, bacon, melted Swiss cheese, truffle mayonnaise, pickles, yellow mustard, and caramelised onions. Made from premium Australian wagyu, the burger is best savoured medium.
The dessert display is delightfully daunting. It starts with brownies, cookies, and cakes, and unfolds into colourful macarons in the flavours of the moment. A hearty choice is the sticky date pudding, doused in salted caramel sauce and impeccably matched with vanilla bean ice cream (B220). Born in Brisbane, lamingtons are as Australian as it gets, and, of course, Jones has imported its own version. Made from squares of sponge cake, coated with chocolate sauce and desiccated coconut, and glued together by strawberry jam, it is perfect for afternoon tea (B148). However, the most luscious of all is the blueberry and vanilla custard tart (B148). It is to die for.
Selections from the grocery are essential for entertaining. Pick up some bread, cold cuts, pasta, sauces, cheese, chocolate, nougat, and wine. Then presto, dinner is served. High-quality ingredients, such as superfine Arborio rice from Rustichella d’Abruzzo, fleur de sel from le Saunier de Camargue, and numerous gourmet products from Thailand, add oomph to dishes. With this level of variety, one should be so lucky as to have Jones the Grocer in the neighbourhood.
Jones the Grocer
GF, EmQuartier, The Waterfall Quartier | 0 2261 0382 | facebook.com/jonesthegrocerthailand | daily 10am-11pm