“ Address: 45 Paradise Street / Liverpool 1 / Liverpool / L1 3DN / England / Tel: 01515 599 830 „
I recently visited the Jamie's Italian in Liverpool, and seeing as my friends are sick about me going on and on about it to them, I thought I'd go on and on about it to you guys!
So what is it?
An Italian restaurant chain designed by the ever-present celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, there are restaurants in Oxford, Liverpool and Manchester among others. The Liverpool restaurant is situated on 45 Paradise Street and opening times are Mon to Sat 12 - 11pm and Sun 12 - 10.30pm.
For starters there are a range of dishes for single or to share, and both meat and vegetarian. There was 3 of us and we ordered to share an Italian Bread Selection (£3.75) and Italian nachos (£3.55). As a vegetarian I couldn't have the nachos as the cheese used was not vegetarian, but the other two found the nachos to be bland and didn't finish them. The breads however went down a treat, there was a good range of breads provided and olive oil and balsamic vinegar to dip them into.
There is a wide range of mains from the traditional Bolognese or cannelloni dishes to meaty steak and prosciutto dishes. There are also a wide range of seafood dishes such as scallops and Scottish salmon. Prices range from £10 - £17 which is a little on the pricey side, but quite reasonable when you take into account the quality and portion size.
For mains I ordered Honeycomb cannelloni (£10.95) which was small parcels of pasta with 3 different fillings - aubergine and tomato, pumpkin and ricotta and spinach. It came piping hot and was delicious, and despite being given a very generous portion, I polished it all off!
Both my friends went for the Jamie's Italian burger (I think they were playing it safe). Happy smiles all round although neither managed to finish their portion.
Unfortunately none of us had any room left for dessert (a novelty !!!) but the chain offers ice cream and sorbets, as well as tiramusu, brownie and lemon curd slice.
I thought that the meals were a little pricier than say Pizza Express, but the quality of the food and the generous portion sizes more than made up for this.
I would note that the day we went a lot of the seafood dishes were unavailable as there hadn't been a delivery (but not sure if this is a regular problem, but at least you know it's fresh).
I was driving so had to stick to orange juice - but was glad to do so (as it was freshly squeezed!)
Other options include cocktails for around £6 - 7, martinis, mojitos and the yummy sounding Berry Brulee.
There is an extensive wine list and the waiters advise on what would best suit the dishes you selected.
Good food aside, what really sold this place for me was the service. As you can imagine, the place gets very busy (so I would suggest booking!), but there were plenty of staff on hand to keep are drinks topped up and answer our queries. The waiter that took our order was very knowledgeable about the menu, explaining all the vegetarian options to me, and even talked my friend out of the meal she was planning to go for (as it would have been to peppery for her!). He discussed where the ingredients were sourced from and how they had been cooked, and seemed genuinely enthusiastic about the food. When we got the bill we noticed we hadn't been charged for one of the starters, we queried it with him and he said he did it on purpose as it seemed as though we hadn't liked it!
The interior has quite a rustic feel to it, lots of heavy wood tables and chairs, and obviously lots of Jamie Oliver merchandise dotted around. Despite being incredibly busy, the place had a really nice relaxed feel and we didn't feel rushed at all.
I would recommend this restaurant to anyone looking for a good meal in a nice atmosphere.
They really do take their food seriously, there is a huge range of dishes and you get very generous portions. Service wise the staff go above and beyond, they are friendly and efficient and know what they are talking about. The atmosphere is relaxed and welcoming, and I can't wait to go again!
Jamie Oliver is pretty hard to miss these days - he must be one of the busiest people in the UK! In 2008 he launched "Jamie's Italian" a chain of local restaurants designed to serve authentic Italian cuisine which was affordable and tasted amazing.
There are currently 14 restaurants around the UK, the Liverpool branch opened in June 2010 and is located in the Liverpool One shopping complex. The restaurant is very modern and contemporary - the lower floor has glass doors which can be pulled right back on sunny days, the inside is very chic - furnished in wood, leather and stainless steel.
As you can imagine it gets very busy at Jamie's Italian - bookings are only taken for parties of more than eight people, otherwise you just have to turn up and wait. We went at 6pm on a Saturday, we were given a pager and waited in the bar, this is quite small and you can't leave as the pagers don't work outside. We waited about 15 minutes before being seated.
The menu is extensive - there are a selection of breads and nibbles to start then antipasti - either a meat or vegetable selection or a selection of individual dishes. We had a selection of handmade bread with oil and vinegar for dipping - these were delicious especially the "snappy music" bread - almost like a giant popaddom flavoured with rosemary and lemon. I then had crispy squid with garlic mayonnaise which was possibly the best I've had - light crispy squid with rich garlicky mayo and my friend had arancini - deep fried balls of risotto rice with mozzarella and a great spicy arribatta dressing. The pasta and risottos come in either a starter or main size portion and there are meat and fish mains as well. My prawn linguine was flavoured with garlic, chilli, tomatoes, rocket and fennel. The pasta was fresh and tasted wonderful, the prawns were juicy and the veg were cooked perfectly. My friend had the lamb lollypops which were cooked to her taste and were juicy and melted in the mouth. After all that we were almost too full for dessert but managed to squeeze in the pannacotta and chocolate and espresso tart which was recommended by the waiter as the best dessert on the menu and certainly lived up to the description. Famlies are welcomed and there is a childrens menu available.
The staff were very friendly and the service was attentive but not intrusive. There were no long waits between courses but despite the fact that it was a busy Saturday night they didn't try and hurry us out the door. The atmosphere was lively and fun. Our meal with wine was £70 which I think represented excellent value for the quality of the food. I would prefer to be able to book a table and the bar area is quite small - I can imagine it gets quite crowded when the restaurant is busy. I can't wait to go back again!