Jamie’s Italian Glasgow – Review
When Jamie Oliver brought Jamie’s Italian Restaurant to Glasgow city centre, he was pitching the chain alongside some tough competition. With a strong Italian community and a string of along established Italian restaurants, Glasgow might have seemed an ambitious place for Jamie Oliver to open another. Any other non Italian chef might have struggled for success but bringing his love of Italy and all things Italian to the city has been a great success for Jamie.
An invite to visit along with other Glasgow food writers gave me an opportunity to find out more about just what’s been cooking at Jamie’s Italian Glasgow and to have a chat with Jamie’s Italian UK Executive Chef about the company’s food sourcing policy. Well know for his support of local and British food producers I wanted to know more about the provenance of the ingredients in Jamie’s kitchen.
General Manager Ed explained the ethos at Jamie’s Italian and of course Jamie’s recent policy of an additional charge for fizzy drinks at the restaurant was on everyone’s lips. Whether it will make any difference to customers and attitudes to sugar consumption remains to be seen although Jamie recently said the unofficial 10p levy on sugary drinks in his restaurants is nudging customers toward healthier choices.
Food to share
The food on offer did not disappoint and although we didn’t chose from the menu, all the sharing platters served up included dishes from the current menu. Of course the offerings reflected Jamie’s passion for the Italian way of life; rustic dishes, emphasising his thoughts on ‘good food for everyone’, served to ensure the relaxed conviviality of the Italian table.
Antipasti and Bruschetta
The menu oozes authenticity and is punctuated by traditional Italian Trattoria favourites – starters of bruschetta and anitipasti; Italian pate, tomato and ricotta, cured meats, buffalo mozzarella arancini and seasonal chargrilled vegetables.Delicious and colourful but do leave room for the next course.
There’s an inviting selection of pasta and that also includes risotto and gnocchi. Thankfully the ubiquitous meat lasagne and ravioli do not make an appearance.
Lamb chops Scottadito, Fritto Misto , Crispy Italian-Spiced Duck leg and turkey milanese head up a selection of mains and meat lovers will also be happy to find the ultimate burger, rib eye steak and Italian steak frites.
The menu is more than suitable for kids and a family sharing a meal could easily chose a range of dishes to share. But, if a children’s menu is needed then a kids menu boasts impeccable credentials, two sizes of meals, little kids and big kids are sure to keep them satisfied. My eye was on the ingredients and the sourcing of the produce and the kids menu deserves top marks. Organic Shetland salmon with crushed new potatoes, green beans and cherry tomatoes; organic Norfolk chicken wrap with rainbow crisp vegetables, organic chicken lollipops and secret seven pasta. All kids meals are served with a fresh shake-me salad and a drink. And, Jamie’s Little Pack of Fun, complete with a packet of seeds is guaranteed to keep the kids occupied.
Was I impressed? The food was lush and finger lickingly good and staff have a sound knowledge about the menu and the provenance of the food. Chain restaurants might not be everyone’s cup of tea and they don’t rank high on my list of places to eat. However, having interrogated Jamie’s Italian UK Executive Chef about the company’s food sourcing policy, it’s fair to say that it deserves to be set apart from those serving up cheap and cheerfully dressed up food.
See Jamies Italian Glasgow for further information.
Thanks to Jamie’s Italian Glasgow for the invite to review. All opinions expressed are my own.