Farmer J on King William Street is situated next to Monument station and within close proximity to London Bridge. The opening of this all-day dining restaurant follows Farmer J’s debut in Leadenhall which is known for its delicious and healthy fast food. We were invited to sample the new dine-in dinner menu comprising of small plates and large sharing dishes accompanied by an all important tongue and cheek cocktail menu including the ‘wrong island ice tea’.
The soft lighting and warm atmosphere were most welcoming on a wet and blustery evening. Although the surroundings could be perceived as stark, with green tiling, grey concrete walls and sleek wood fittings, Farmer J had a warm feel to it. The modern interiors were softened by leather and velvet upholstery, hanging plants and metal of the moment, copper.
Seating comprised of booths and high tables. I was led to a high table for two however asked to be moved after my feet were left dangling (short person problems!). Feet firmly on the ground, it was time to peruse the menu which was split into sections ‘Rip and Dip’, ‘Land and Sea’, ‘From the Field’, ‘Whole Roasted’ and ‘Field Bowls’. The Leadenhall signature field trays are still features for breakfast and lunch however dinner is a more relaxed affair. The ‘farm to fork’ ethos is apparent from the start with locally sourced ingredients mapped out on the back of the menu.
First things first, we ordered our beverages. I had heard good things about the cocktails at Farmer J’s new outpost, however I had to send my mojito back as it was extremely bitter. The staff were very accommodating and offered to make me a new one but I decided to go with the Strawberry Mule which was delightful. My friend opted for the Rhubarb Spritz which she informed me was very tasty indeed.
Farmer J’s is all about fresh ingredients, boasting that 90% of their food is made on site. The Mediterranean inspired menu also features influences from founder Jonathan Recanti’s Middle Eastern background. We had to try the Msabbaha which was a super creamy tahini and chickpea dip served with laffa bread. The crème de la crème for hummus lovers, this dish is not to be missed. The Roasted Beets were recommended and reluctantly ordered as I am not a beetroot lover. However I was pleasantly surprised, the crème fraiche complemented the chargrilled beetroot perfectly.
We also opted for the Chermoula Chicken Thigh with spring onions and melt in the mouth steak accompanied by some sweet potato wedges. Our final selection was the field bowl with salmon which was effectively a salmon poke bowl on brown rice with avocado. I loved this dish however I did think that it was a random addition to the menu and did not fit with the other Mediterranean/ Middle Eastern style fare.
I have an incredibly sweet tooth so was disappointed that there was only one option for dessert, the Tahini Cheesecake. I was fit to burst and not overly enamoured by the idea. My mind was soon changed as I took my first bite and it was devoured within seconds. This was the second time that evening that Farmer J had proved my tastebuds wrong.
Farmer J caters for everyone, from vegans to meat eaters, drinkers and smoothie lovers. They have nailed the all day dining concept, transforming a bustling, fast food restaurant by day into a sexy spot for a nutritious dinner. Even though I was completely stuffed, I knew it was with all the right things. I will definitely be back; there is a loaded banana bread on the brunch menu that has my name all over it.
Farmer J, King William Street, London, EC4R 9AT