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Jamie Oliver strikes again
Jamie's Italian (Liverpool)
Member Name: albacookie
Jamie's Italian (Liverpool)
Date: 01/08/10, updated on 04/08/10 (372 review reads)
Advantages: Delicious food, good value.
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!
Summary: Yummy Italian food.