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Jones the Grocer

I’m a fairly literal person. As far as I’m concerned, if you are going to call yourself something, it must reflect what you are. Otherwise it causes disappointment for everyone on the receiving end of your name and your offer. A wine called “The Chocolate Block” must be big and rich and sweet. A hotel called “The Beach” must actually be next to a beach. “Jones the Grocer” must actually be a Grocery store owned by Mr or Ms Jones.

So, as I seem to be the only Australian who has never been to the store before, I naively strolled into Jones the Grocer to buy something for dinner.

grocer [groh-ser]
the owner or operator of a store that sells general food supplies and certain non-edible articles of household use, as soaps and paper products.
Origin: 1325–75; Middle English < Old French gross ( i ) er wholesale merchant.

I walked out five minutes later, disappointed. It is in fact a cafe, with wallpaper made of expensive but spectacular looking gourmet pastas and olive oils. Yes, groceries, I admit – there is a small selection of refrigerated items, and a large selection of that gorgeous stuff that we never actually use in the kitchen, like flavoured polenta, panforte, fruit pastes and meat rubs. I could have rustled up a dinner I suppose, but it would have cost me 200AED for some spaghetti with sausage and napoli.


I kind of liked the look of the cafe, so I arranged to meet a couple of friends there a couple of days later. Walking into the architecturally slick shed at noon with a grumbling tummy, I found myself in a much more positive frame of mind. No disappointment, no confusion, just awe and hunger. This time I loved it, and not just because I discovered the cheese room hidden at the back of the store.

Even at 12, the place was pumping. Full of a wonderful blend of Jumeirah Janes, young locals in national dress and nearby office workers, the aroma of a Mediterranean kitchen. The chatter reverberates off the high ceilings, not to loud, almost musical with the clinking of crockery and the clanging of cutlery. It bustles with efficiency – the service is as polished as the decor.

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