Ask For Janice

Blood Orange, Feta and Broccoli 

Riddle heads to Smithfield’s Market to taste the new seasonal menu on offer at this fresh and fun Farringdon restaurant 

Facing Smithfield’s Market, Ask For Janice is a welcoming and vibrant bolt hole for a bite to eat and more mother’s ruin than you can drown your sorrows in. Set over two floors the restaurant is day and night, literally, with a snappy buzz which hits you as soon as you walk in. A Led Zeppelin influenced playlist greets you as you head into the restaurant upstairs, which owes its light and open feel to the large windows and distressed décor. In stark contrast to this, the graffiti decorated and moodily lit quasi-dive bar found downstairs  is a much more intimate affair and available for private functions and bookings.

For those wishing to indulge in liquid refreshment, Ask For Janice boasts 45 gins as well as a selection of beer and wine. Connoisseurs will be familiar with the offerings and have their own preference when it comes to how they like their gin (this reviewer takes his Hendricks with a slice of orange). For the novice; the gin menu includes a steer as to what best partners each gin, including strawberry, grapefruit and figs, just to name a few.

Turning to the menu, one is caught by the uncomplicated descriptions and the dishes do not disappoint. The ‘Cheddar curd cheeseburger and pickle’ faithfully describes the burger that arrives at the table; a burger, covered in cheese, in a bap, accompanied by a large slice of pickle. No fries, no salad, no fuss. The mains also include blood orange, feta and broccoli (zesty) while those with a delicate pallet should be frugal with the mustards that accompany the beef croquettes. The sides are no more intricate and no less flavourful; the deep fried green onions and the chargrilled fennel are a must.

Prices are reasonable; the burger is £8.50 and the onions £3.50 while the gin starts at a modest £3.70 for a single rising to over £10 for a double of the more boutique listings. Whilst the soundtrack and ambience will not be to everyone’s taste, those who enter will find prompt and friendly service with food and drink that reflects the décor and honest directness of the establishment. If you’re in the area, Ask For Janice is well worth a question or two; you’ll find more than a few answers and hopefully some to queries you didn’t even ask… riddle_stop 2

Enquiries: Ask For Janice, 50-52 Long Lane, Farringdon, London, EC1A 9EJ/ 0207 6002255/

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