After a very terrifying 5 pound cab ride, that almost took the lives of 6 pedestrians, we had arrived at Jamie’s Italian in central London. It was pretty busy, plus with no reservations, we pushed our luck and succeeded to get a spot right near the front window looking out on to the rainy weather. Feeling warm and dry, I was so excited to be eating here – bouncing around in my seat like a little girl. (My celebrity crush is Jamie Oliver, believe it or not, and if he was actually in the restaurant, I think I would have passed out).
The menu was quite extensive, designed well, and broken into several sections so it wasn’t overwhelming or difficult to read. Dying for a delicious meal, especially after two days of aeroplane food, we were at the perfect place for our first night in London.
Starting off, we shared an assortment of breads with Jamie’s olive oil and balsamic. My favourite was the soft rustic wholemeal, whilst my boyfriend was content with the crispy breadstick. It was designed perfectly for two people and the additional sprinkling of herbs and salt made it that tiny bit better.
To celebrate our first night, and being vey cold outside, we decided a glass of red was in order. Being more of a white drinker, I went for a soft and subtle Merlot with a cherryessence whilst he loves the complete opposite and went for the Chianti, a strong and dark wine.
When the food arrived, the first thing we both noticed was the choice of plating. Expecting mine to look more like a salad and his more like a bowl of pasta, they were not dissapointing, but surprisngly refreshing.
My Steak Tagliata for £17.80 looked quite impressive for such a simple dish. Six individual stacks of thin rare beef steak complete with chili, watercress, fresh herbs, crunchy fennel and garlic chips drizzled with a horseradish, lemon and olive oil dressing.
Now at any other restaurant, I would have been shocked at the amount of olive oil on my plate, however everyone knows that’s Jamie’s style, so I had no problem with it. I enjoyed the beef however my favourite part was actually the garlic chips – perfectly crunchy and full of flavour. Overall, it was a very nice dish comprising of many textures and flavours – something I will definitely try to replicate at home.
His Wild Mushroom Cilindretti pastapillows (£10.95) came spread across a long plate with a perfect pasta to sauce ratio. Each pillow filled with garlic, wild mushrooms and soft English ricotta, piled on a bed of rich tomato and mushroom sauce – pun intended.
Once again, generous amounts of olive oil, but it was not greasy of obviously lurking on the edges of his plate.
His favourite part? He liked the sage which worked well with the creamy mushrooms as well as the acidity in the tomato sauce to balance it out. As he finished up, I grabbed the last bit of bread to soak up the remaining sauce from his plate. I honestly would have just ordered a bowl of sauce for dinner, the flavour was incredible.
Fully satisfied, we skipped dessert but continued to sit and talk long after the plates were cleared. We finally paid (after being prompted a few times) and stepped back out into the cold to hail one of those funny looking taxis you literally have to step into. Heading back to the hostel, I began to relax and smile, we were finally here.
Welcome to London!