Sunday, November 30, 2008

Jamie's Italian, Oxford

24 - 26 George Street,
Oxford OX1 2AE Map

Having loved Fifteen, when the Cheeky Mockney teamed up with Gennaro Contaldo to open a chain of High Street Italian restaurants, I just had to try one of them.

You can't book at any of the restaurants, so we turned up nice and early, to make sure we got a seat. The plan worked and we were seated straight away.

For those who aren't as lucky, there is a bar where you can wait until a table becomes available.

I started with a vegetable Antipasti “Plank” - so called as it arrives at the table on a plank of wood! Shortly before the antipasti arrived the waitress placed a couple of tins of tomatoes on the table. “Ah”, we thought. “Free tomatoes”. However the tins were for the aforementioned planks to be placed upon.

The antipasti consisted of peppers, courgette, aubergine, artichoke, olives, mozzarella, a minty coleslaw and parmesan cheese with a dollop of chilli jam. It looked great, and accompanied by the bread basket we'd ordered it tasted fantastic.

For the main course I thought I'd indulge my passion for truffles by having Black Truffle Tagliatelle. I wasn't expecting much, after all it was less than nine quid, but what turned up was a bowlful of tagliatelle absolutely covered in truffles and with a gorgous sauce to boot. I was glad that I had a spoon to finish it all off once I had finished the pasta.

For dessert I had Bakewell Tart which was served with lemon an orange crème fraiche. It was up to the standard of the rest of the meal.

The restaurant itself is very relaxed and the staff were extremely friendly. The service was great and for thirty quid each for three courses, drinks and a tip you really cannot fault it. If all the branches of Jamie's Italian are this good then watch out Carluccio's you have serious competition!

January 2009 Update.
I just thought I'd let you know that I visited the Kingston branch of Jamie's today and the service and quality matched that of the Oxford branch. I tried a couple of different dishes, the Mushroom Ravioli for main course and a Tiramisu for dessert both of which were excellent. If all the branches are as good as these two, then the cheekie chappie is on to a winner!

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