We had a great review in Observer Food Monthly from Jay Rayner (see below) as part of an article on the best places to eat this summer. Click here to read it online on the observer.com website, you have to scroll down a bit, or we have quoted it below.
That JoJo’s still exists to be recommended feels like something of a miracle. Chef Nikki Billington and her partner Paul Watson had always made running a restaurant feel less like a business venture and more like a jolly jape. They talked regularly of shutting up shop and going travelling again, and most of the time a meal at the original JoJo’s – named after Nikki’s brother – felt like a long boisterous lunch, and to hell with the inevitable hangover. But they are still in business, indeed even more so. The first JoJo’s was on a shopping parade looking inland. Now they have moved around the corner to what was once a small supermarket looking out to sea, with a terrace up front to take in the view of the waters off the north Kent coast.
The food suits the view. It is for the most part Mediterranean with a little emphasis on Greece and Spain, and a lot of fish. No one understands deep-fat frying better than Nikki: her calamari, often served straight onto a wooden board from the hot oil, are the freshest and crispest you will ever try. She also does wonderful things with deep fried courgettes and garlic mayo or arancini – risotto balls – flavoured with pea and mint. Meat dishes are terrific, too. But what will stay with you is the atmosphere: of good food being enjoyed with the very minimum of fuss.
Published: June 2010. © Observer Food Monthly