Jones the Grocer

Jones has standards most other cafés can only dream of 16 Reviews

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It took us a long time to find Jones the Grocer, which is hidden away at the bottom of an apartment block on the wrong side of a huge sandy car park. It’s a tough spot to get to, but this made our unearthing of the gourmet food emporium seem all the sweeter when we finally burst through its doors into the air-conditioned room, sweaty and ravenous.

The large space holds a dining area, delicatessen, bakery, fromagerie and grocery. Hailing from Sydney, it has an Australian casualness (think outdoorsy wooden tables and T-shirted staff), and the crowd is a very inner-city mix of health-conscious yummy mummies and suited business folk.

The bowl of fries we ordered first (forgive us, but we were starving) set the tone for the rest of the meal. The ketchup was an organic affair, speckled with fresh herbs, while the fries themselves came crunchy, cooked in a light olive oil. They were served on rustic chopping boards instead of plates, and the table was set with a dish of cloves rather than just ordinary salt and pepper. Everything about the restaurant from the menu to the décor had been given a tickle with the rustic stick, so much so that Jones the Grocer almost seemed to be playing a game of one-upmanship with other cafés. And, given the dearth of competition for this kind of gastro dining spot, naturally, it’s doing an excellent job.

We placed our extended order and set off for a wander around the rest of the store. The walls are lined with shelves full of the sort of upmarket, luxury goods that make you wonder why you don’t cook more often. After all, with a few drops of Emiliana Orange Flavoured Balsamic Vinegar or Tartuflanghe Truffle Oil, surely anything is possible.

There’s also a seriously impressive fromagerie. Venturing in, we stood open-mouthed in admiration of the huge wheels of gooey camembert and crumbly slabs of gorgonzola. The smell alone was enough to keep us inside, and we eagerly pored over the chalk-scrawled blackboards suggesting all sorts of fantastical-sounding cheese-cracker-oil combos. In fact, we spent so long in there that we almost forgot about our main course, and returned to our seat to find our meal had already arrived.

We each started the meal with a salad; the pumpkin and feta, served with rocket and sundried tomato, was enjoyably sweet, while the duck and snow pea salad came in a heavy sauce, similar to coleslaw, with a powerful wasabi kick. Both were quite simple recipes, but were made with the premium ingredients we’d anticipated.

Next up was the fish of the day: sea bream, perfectly fried and very fresh, served with a glob of creamy baba ganoush. It came with yet more feta cheese (no complaints here) in a tomato salad. The lamb kebab our companion ordered was the only lapse in quality throughout the whole meal, as it was on the dry side and made of mince, which we hadn’t expected. All was forgiven, however, when our apple crumble pie arrived. Sugary, tart and spicy all at once, it came with a smooth vanilla ice cream and was the best part of a thoroughly satisfying meal.

There can’t be many people who wouldn’t find Jones the Grocer’s fare to their taste, especially given the warm and bustling atmosphere. Unsurprisingly, this venue has proved popular enough to warrant a number of new branches, which are set to open in Abu Dhabi in the next few months. Here’s hoping they do the eponymous Jones justice.

The bill (for two)
Chips Dhs19
Pumpkin and feta salad Dhs36
Duck and snow pea salad Dhs36
Middle Eastern lamb kebabs Dhs46
Fish of the day Dhs56
Apple Crumble Dhs14
Total (excluding service) Dhs207

By Time Out Abu Dhabi staff
Time Out Abu Dhabi,

Time Out reviews restaurants anonymously and pays for meals. Of course, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or independence of user reviews.

Details

  • Location: Al Muroor, Abu Dhabi
  • Tel: 02 443 8762
  • Travel: Mamoura Building, B Ground Floor 06/07 Corner 4th Muroor & 15th Street
  • Website | Send mail

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User reviews

ValueAmbienceService
DecorFoodOverall
  • Users voted this restaurant most suitable for: Family friendly

User reviews:

Posted by: vocecita on 15 May ' 13 at 07:25
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue

Edited by TimeOutAbuDhabi.com

Food is only decent, but ridiculously overpriced for what it is! They do decor and ambiance very well (cheese counters, food testers, communcal benches and tables, smell of fresh bread) but the actual food is only alright. Portions are insanely small. Salads are so small you will leave hungry if that's all you order. I observed a man at another table order two salads for lunch! I ordered a salad with edamame and the edamame was so limited I thought I had received the wrong dish. Fish & chips is decent, steak sandwich also, roquet and cheese sandwich...all just decent, but nothing that will excite you and an absolute fortune for the portions you receive. This goes for all the Jones outlets in town (Raha Gardens, Mamoura A, Khalidiya) as I've sampled all of them and keep hoping the quality of food and prices relative to portions, will improve. Abu Dhabi is DYING for a French, bistroy-style place like this if they could just fix those two issues!

Posted by: mos on 14 Feb ' 13 at 19:08
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Business lunch
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

poor service... need improvement... in Abu dhabi L Brioche is the best restaurant

Posted by: Anonymous on 30 Nov ' 12 at 12:35
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

My family and I really enjoy going to our local Jones in Khalidiya, but I still have a couple of suggestions to make it even better:

1. Serving food on wooden platters doesn't really work that well. What's wrong with normal plates?!

2. It would be nice to have more options available on the menu in terms of daily specials.

3. Portions are too small in most cases.

4. It would be nice to have a section of the restuarant that is just sofas/armchairs where you could order a coffee and a cake and just hang out.

5. Wish there was a coffee bar to order coffee quickly for takeaway.

6. The delicatessen prices are just ridiculous.

Posted by: David on 30 Oct ' 12 at 06:14
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

I went there for the first time last weekend, expecting a lot more for the price i paid. I had the french toast, which was very tasty, but one slice of bread? My friend had the eggs benedict, of which the veal bacon was all fat. I ordered coffee, which was delish, but was served espresso size. Maybe bc Im N american, but i expected a ldecent sized coffee for 18 dhs. So 2 small coffees for 36+ dhs to satisfy my coffee buzz is a bit extreme. Service was ok. Not impressed- overpriced small portions.

Posted by: lydia on 11 Apr ' 12 at 23:38
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Brunch served
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

I am an avid visitor at Jones the Grocer, and really enjoy their service and food that they offer.

Being a vegetarian, I have not come across several resturants or food emporiums within the UAE, but after visiting Jones I was pleased to enounter several items on the menu suitable for vegetarians.

I highly recommend Jones the Grocer in Khalidiya as their brand image and services is very satisyfing. I have only visited their Al Mamoura branch once, and I think it is most suitable for business men in the local areas. Their Khalidiya branch is very suitable for families.
GO EAT AT JONES!

Posted by: enaje grovillas on 01 Mar ' 12 at 04:45
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Posted by: enaje grovillas on 01 Mar ' 12 at 04:45
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Posted by: 007 on 22 Jan ' 12 at 08:59
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Business lunch
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

I dined here many times and it is a nice casual place to eat. The food is of medium quality but satisfying. I am going to agree with the one reviewer here about the snobby staff. I feel this every time I go. It feels like you are always treated as "OMG this is a gourmet place" attitude.
In addition, the prices of their cafe grocery food are really outrageous. For example, their house blend roasted coffees beans will set you back 75 Dhs for 250 grams!!!!! That is a bet on the extreme side. I know many upscale cafes that sell their coffee beams way less than that, and it goes on and on for almost all items.

Posted by: Adam Shapiro on 19 Jan ' 12 at 05:49
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Place decor is plain and quite average. Has a theme that ur sitting in a grocery store (you can guess from the name I guess) Our Customer service experience was just normal. The food is just OK, again average; nuthing out of the ordinary people.
I have had Burgers that were much better at many other places. Over all the place is just average, and I won’t return unless the lack of better alternative. I will just leave it at that. And have a nice day.

Posted by: Melissa on 08 Sep ' 11 at 13:07
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Brunch served
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Jones the Grocer mamoura building corner of 15th and 4th muroor road. Dined there for lunch. Beautiful setting fresh stylish place.
Had thai beef salad absoluely divine, caramel slice is perfect. Loved it here possibly nicest cafe in abu dhabi with healthy tasty food. Bit pricey but worth every dirham.

Posted by: Nouel on 30 Jun ' 11 at 10:27
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Business lunch
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

It is a hit and miss game and as far as service is concerned the Khalidiya branch has more misses.

And I am sorry but the BAGEL is a big joke at JTG. They should do it properly or better call it by another name. I was completely disappointed with my order.

In general, JTG offers good value foods and I will still return for their other fare (the safer ones, that is).

Posted by: Moe W. on 29 May ' 11 at 10:15
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Business lunch
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Here's the thing, snobish, disinterested, untrained servers, who don't even know their menue. Mr. 'Christian" comes to the table to threaten that he would charge the returned food, because the customer (me) committed the crime of returning the food, which clearly including meat that I don't eat. Their answer was to bring back the same hamburger, minced a few times over after it was returned to the kitchen, with an attitude that meant "this is our answer to you not liking the food that we serve you"-type of answer. Unfortunate for them, because in this info world, their reputation is at risk. Mind you this is the fifth time I have been to that place, but will never ever go back there again. Basic customer service skills are lacking, again, the snobish question that Mr. Christian asked me was "have you ever had a hamburge?" The lay out of the store is awkward, the service is very weak and un-informed, it's prices are not bad given the "claimed" quality. Overall, the potential I'm sure has not been reached, I'm sure the founders did not mean it to come out that way, and certainly, this branch management and service staff don't get what customer service is all about. Two stars at best!

Posted by: LNblBDoBJAycrlhCutO on 24 Apr ' 11 at 13:34
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Edited by TimeOutAbuDhabi.com

That's 2 celver by half and 2x2 clever 4 me. Thanks!

Posted by: shivani rai on 22 Apr ' 11 at 06:48
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Cool place to hang out anytime during the day..parking is quite a task..and the cheese is awesome..

Posted by: faith on 25 Oct ' 10 at 08:44
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Posted by: Jennifer on 04 Oct ' 10 at 09:48
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Brunch served
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Being Aussie, it does remind me of some cafes back home. The communal tables and general buzz of the place is conducive to lingering with a newspaper in one hand and a (very good) caffe latte in the other. I do wish however that they wrap a paper serviette around the hot coffees they serve in glasses (like they do in Oz). The deli and food stuff selection would inspire anyone to cook at home but they're a bit on the pricey side. Service could be better as I find the waiters/waitresses a bit abrupt and usually difficult to catch when you need them.

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