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BGC eats: Jones All Day has something delicious for everybody

by Jeeves de Veyra

When chef Kalel Chan and Raintree Restaurants put “all-day” in a restaurant’s name, they really mean it. Jones All Day Bistro & Bakery has something for everyone from the titas who brunch, the titos who’re looking for a night out, and everyone in between.

“It’s what happens when Mr. Jones had a granddaughter who decided to take over the business, upgraded it, and made it more current,” quipped Martin Wisniewski, vice president of the Raintree Hospitality Group.

Visiting Jones All-Day will be nostalgic to fans of the Raintree group as it occupies the old space of Chelsea in Serendra.

While there were already plans to convert this to a bistro, the plan stalled because of the COVID lockdowns. As Bonifacio Global City closed down during the pandemic, residents depended on the restaurant for not only cooked food, but grocery items as well. This and other learnings made its way to what eventually ended up as Jones All Day.

The grocery, or the Jonesery as its affectionately called, is still a part of the restaurant where residents still visit for the sauces, condiments, treats, and microwave friendly ready-to-eat meals from Raintree restaurants. Off to one side is a bakery that sells breads, croissants and other freshly baked goods.

As the local restaurant scene reopens, Wisniewski and Chan are optimistic as they’ve re-pivoted in anticipation of the guests -- and the office crowd -- coming back to BGC. Even the space and its expanded al fresco area are meant to welcome back guests for gatherings and reunions.

“We wanted a place where we could get together with our friends with our family. Like a lot of people haven't seen their parents in two years or whatever. Like kids haven't seen their grandparents and they wanted a safe space that people could gather with a big al fresco area and sort of outdoor-indoor style of interiors,” said Wisniewski.

Saying the menu is a list of “all-time-hits” of Chan at the restaurant group won’t do the selection justice. True, there are little tributes to other Raintree restaurants here and there. But this restaurant stands on its own.

At first glance, it may seem like an odd mix of eastern and western favorites. it all made sense when Wisniewski and Chan said they patterned it after bistros one would find in Orchard Road in Singapore, where a guest could have curry, laksa, and noodles, alongside a burger and a croissant with their tea.

It would be very easy to get this eclectic menu all wrong in terms of quality and consistency. But with Chan and the Raintree team, they’ve really knocked it out of the park.

Start with an assortment of drinks from cold brew coffee to freshly made juices and lemon purple tea. A cool thing about their coffee is that it's always served with a gingerbread cookie on the side.

Do not miss the specialties from the raw bar manned by the sushi chefs from the previous occupant Motto Motto. The Shrimp Aguachile with sweet jalapeno sauce or the Thai-inspired ceviche with sambal and lime-nuoc have their own pleasant way of bringing on the heat and opening up the tastebuds.

Fancy having oysters in the morning, or any time of day? These are served in a variety of ways including this gratinated a la escargot with parsley garlic butter.

Also from the raw bar is the bistro’s Seafood Tower of uni, oysters, mussels, tuna dynamite, salmon and tuna sashimi, with guacamole, and pickles on the side. On top of the tower sits a glass of Coctel de Mariscos with shrimp, squid, and fish in a refreshing mix of avocado, cilantro and Bloody Mary sauce.

Bringing your young ones along? The 10-inch sourdough crust pizza has kid-friendly toppings.

There are items in the menu for vegans and those who are keeping their health in check, like the Jones Vegan Bowl with plant-based kofta bolls on a green salad with passionfruit vinaigrette. There is also a hefty plant-based burger for those looking for a more filling vegan meal.

The Filipino breakfast silogs, particularly the tapsilog, were a favorite at Mr. Jones and have made their way here. This is a massive serving with freestyle eggs. Soft-boiled, hard-boiled, sunny side up, malasado, poached? The kitchen can prepare your eggs exactly the way you want it.

Just added to the menu is the steak, eggs, and rice. This is a very heavy serving that I think could serve two or three. But for those looking to spoil themselves with a very heavy, indulgent breakfast then this is the way to go.

The menu has favorites from all over Asia like this version of the peanut-forward Sichuan Dandan noodles with an added kick from SIchuan chili oil.

New to the menu is the lamb rib pho. The Vietnamese broth just tames the gamey characteristic of fall-off-the-rib lamb, more so if the traditional condiments of hoisin, sriracha, and mint are added. This is a must try for pho and lamb lovers as beef, not lamb, is usually used in pho.

The menu even has favorites from Europe like this French bouillabaisse packed with shrimp, salmon, white fish, and mussels. Spread some spicy harissa aioli on the accompanying crusty bread before dipping it into that rich broth.

The crispy, tasty version of the classic German Schnitzel comes complete with a fried egg, purple sauerkraut and potato salad.

It’s a given that Raintree restaurants always have great desserts, and Jones-All-Day is no exception. Choose from treats from the bakery like the Bombolini Brulé, the Banana Langka Cream Pie, the decadently rich Auro Flourless Chocolate Cake or the vegan Chocolate Cake.

Jones-All-Day Bistro & Bakery can be found at Serendra at the Bonifacio Global City and is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. from Sunday to Thursday, and from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Check Jones All Day on Instagram for the complete menu and for reservations.

Featured article from ABS-CBN News. View main article here


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