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
We had a brief review in Evening Standard’s ES Magazine (see below) as part of an article on Whitstable. Click here to read it online on the thisislondon.co.uk website, you have to scroll down a bit, or we have quoted it below.
Where to eat
JoJo’s, the popular tapas bar, has just reopened in larger premises on Herne Bay Road. Its fresh local cuisine, from canon of lamb to sprats, is carefully sourced (all fish comes from the local 10m trawler Millennia, Whitstable’s first Responsible Fishing Scheme vessel) and gets rave reviews. 2 Herne Bay Road, Tankerton (01227 274 591).
Published: May 2010. © The Evening Standard
by JoJo's • Reviews on November 20, 2009
Chef Nikki Billington clatters pots and pans as she whirls around the tiny open-plan kitchen concocting mouthwatering Mediterranean tapas – most of them made from organic, local ingredients. At 7.30pm on a Friday, the wooden tables were filled with diners grazing on olives, homemade houmous and pitta, and we didn’t spy an empty table all evening.
We ordered four tapas (on average £5-£8 per dish) to share: Greek salad was crunchy and refreshing, lamb meatballs came in a sumptuous tomato sauce and fresh sardines were simply grilled, seasoned and served. We washed it down with a robust Argentine malbec from the local off-licence. JoJo’s is unlicensed; corkage is £2, or £3 if you buy your booze from Tesco.
Published: November 2009. © Time Out