Jamie's Italian is one of those restaurants that although I walk past almost daily, I never think to pop in. As a lover of an independent restaurant I tend to avoid chains and look for something a bit more quirky. I was recently invited to try the new lunch deal Jamie's is offering, so I thought this was the perfect opportunity to suss the place out.
I popped down midweek to try the new selection (mostly because any time I walk past on a weekend it's absolutely heaving!). There was a light atmosphere, not too busy because we were eating at 5.30, but still enough around that we didn't feel like the only two in the restaurant. The interior is decked in more rustic pieces, with the iron chairs and exposed woodwork making the environment feel more vintage than your average chain.
Jamie's new Super Lunch Menu oruns Monday- Friday (12-6) and offers a fabulous 2 courses for £10.95, or 3 courses for £12.95. The menu covers a wide range of items that should cover even the most picky of eaters.
To start I opted for the Truffle Tagliatelle - it's my favourite type of pasta and the black truffle butter and nutmeg sounded too good to miss out on. It was a rather light starter, which was good as post-ordering I was concerned the pasta would be too heavy. It curbed my hunger for a little while longer, but I didn't find the flavour particularly overwhelming. It was a little bland for me, and I really needed the parmesan to give a bit of a kick. Mike went for the Fritto Misto, a fried fish and squid dish. This was really light and just what we were looking for in a starter. The garnish worked really well and made for an all-round crowd pleaser dish.
After choosing pasta for my starter, I opted for the Italian Steak and Fries for my main. I take my steak medium - rare, so when the waitress said it came pink anyway I was happy enough to have it cooked like that. I was so disappointed when I cut into my steak to see that it wasn't pink, but brown and clearly almost well done. I was pretty gutted to be honest - and if you're willing to pay a £2 surcharge for steak it should be cooked right. In saying this it was a lovely cut of meat, no fat or gritty bits, and the fries on the side were light and crisp. I also got some peppercorn sauce - because what steak is complete without?
It was Mike's turn to choose pasta this time, and he opted for the Tagliatelle Bolognese. He's helpfully described it as 'alright, a bit heavy and tough pasta in some places'. We both found it slightly disappointing. The flavour was tasty however the meal wasn't really as expected. As a restaurant named after it's Italian food, that's the one thing they really ought to get right.
We got a side dish of garlic bread with our main's and this was probably the most successful part. It was full of flavour and perfectly toasted.
All in all - the meal was very good for the price. You really can't beat two courses for £10.95 and although the food didn't blow us away, the staff were incredibly polite, the atmosphere was lively and the drinks - in particular the cocktails - went down a treat. Mike thoroughly enjoyed his craft beer and I loved how the wine came with the option of a carafe as oppose to the bottle.
I think this menu would be perfect for anyone looking for an early bite or a large group of people, and I can see myself taking advantage of this brilliant offer again soon. I just might not go for the steak! A. xo
*Complimentary meal provided in exchange for review, but all words and thoughts my own. A massive thank-you to Jamie's for having me.