Chef and superstar Jamie Oliver has created a national chain of restaurants in the UK. They have been around for a while and it has taken me this long to finally visit one of his establishments.
Why? It just seemed like an expensive chain food place. Jamie's Italian however, just by looking at the menu is something different, but the price point still out me off. I did finally go and I am glad I did. Jamie visited all parts of Italy as we saw a decade ago on TV and this trip has influenced many aspiring cooks as noted by his cookbook sitting in my kitchen. Thankfully, the menu reflects his journey in Italy and the way of eating. It is for the most part about sharing. Eating lots of different dishes and taking delights from the nation that gave us Pizza, Pasta and many more Italian favourites.
The menu has it all. Breads and nibbles, sharing planks, anti pasta and starters, pasta, salads and finally main courses.What I like most is the idea of smaller 'Mains' that can be shared or had as a starter.
Laura and I went for this approach and shared a pasta and ordered a main course. To start, or shall I just say before that we ordered a Meat Plank and a Crab and Avicado Bruschetta.
All tasty and easy to eat. The meats had the extra touches to add that good flavour with pistachio on the mortadella and fennel with the salami. He sharing plank between two though did feel a bit stingy. With only one piece of each between the two of us and three olives. How do you share three different olives? We did and they were tasty. But I think a bit more would be fairer for all.
For the main courses, we ordered Lamb Chops Scottaditta and a small portion of pasta of sausage Pappardelle. The lamb chops were nice, but quite fatty and oily. Three chops we shared (three is the magic number) with a chilli mayo dip and crushed pistachio and pickled onions on the side. They were called Lamb lollipops. It was interesting and strange at the same time. The polenta chips were really good and something I would like to try again.
The pasta on the side was tastier and more memorable. The sausage, fennel and garlic worked really well and the added Parmesan took it that bit further and was welcomed by my taste buds.
For desert we shared a Tiramisu and this had a tangy orange-y flavour to it. This was okay but lacked the creaminess we were craving.
Jamie's Italian in Piccadilly took over from a previous pub and they have made the most out of the space. Ham hanging in the windows, a friendly vibe which the tourists seemed to enjoy and a friendly and informative staff all very helpful. A good experience but don't forget the local Italian in your neighbourhood. Jamie will always be there but represent your hood.