If you wanted to try authentic Italian cuisine your first stop should be any reputable high street Italian restaurant. The question is can Jamie Oliver out-Italian the homegrown originals? Because despite the fact he is a world renowned celebrity chef, he is an Englishman. So the restaurant’s name and aim – ‘Jamie’s Italian’ is an interesting one.
However, with 40 such restaurants all over the world, this, his first high street enterprise, has proved doubters wrong and been a big hit with diners. Since its launch in 2008 it has expanded as far afield as Russia, Singapore, Australia and the UAE under the watchful eye of his one-time mentor Gennaro Cotaldo. And if that wasn’t enough due to demand there are plans to branch out even further.
So you’re spoilt for choice! Once you’ve found your handy local then the Jamie Oliver experience starts in earnest. For the forthright but spirited diner keen to broaden their gourmet experience a starter of cornish crab bruschetta is highly recommended. Served on toast this mixture of crab ailoli, organic yoghurt, lemon and chilli is easy on the appetite while appealing to even the most discerning palette. Seafood lovers will no doubt tag it as a menu favourite but crustacean Philistines will not be disappointed. Give it a go. Priced at ￡6.70 it’s a decent spend considering you’re dining at a restaurant with a ‘name’.
The main course of Turkey Milanese comes with a ‘Jamie’s Favourite’ recommendation so whatever’s good enough for Jamie is probably good enough for you! Coated in golden breadcrumbs this prosciutto, black truffle and fonts cheese ensemble comes served with poached egg and rocket. It is a good example of the marriage of high cuisine and broader tastes that has made this chain such a hit. In comparison the typical Italian restaurant would serve meals which are probably classier and more elegant – Italians being amongst the greatest chefs in the world – but the food certainly wouldn’t be any tastier. The gourmet stakes are high and Jamie lives up to them. Great value for money and a well balanced, well researched menu selection.