What: Dubbed “London’s coolest bakery”, Jolene is the new project from the team behind the capital’s well-regarded restaurants Primeur and Westerns Laundry. Both its sister sites hold Michelin Bib Gourmands, and it seems likely Jolene could catch the red book’s eye over the next year.
Who: Owners Jeremie Cometto-Lingenheim and David Gingell met while working at the Wright Brothers restaurant group before launching Primeur in 2014. They’ve teamed up with former Groove Armada DJ turned organic grain farmer Andy Cato, who provides the sustainable wheat varieties used by the bakery.
The food: There’s no set breakfast and lunch menu here, instead dishes are chalked up daily on a blackboard and diners are encouraged to take a picture on their phone before sitting down. The restaurant also posts its daily menu on Instagram, if you want to take a look before booking. Regular dishes are simple but done well, including smoked salmon, watercress and lemon with toast; yoghurt honey and walnuts; spiced pumpkin, chickpea and kale soup; and a selection of pastries, bread and butter and coffee. Jolene also opens for dinner Thursday to Sunday with dishes such as grilled cod on the bone, olives and artichokes to share; and a one kilogram T-bone steak with parmesan and rocket.
The vibe: Despite its stripped back interior Jolene is busy and surprisingly cosy, with a view into the kitchen to see the team at work. We hear there’s been queues to get in since its launch, and the restaurant suggests booking its brunch well in advance.
And another thing: London seems to be going through a bakery boom of sorts as restaurateurs follow the dough. The St John Group has brought its cult doughnuts to Neal’s Yard with the launch of the first of two permanent retail bakeries planned for this year, while Ceviche chef Martin Morales has launched what’s billed as London’s ‘first Peruvian bakery’ Andina Panaderia. The Gunpowder team have also opened their first standalone bakery, Custard, in Tower Bridge.