Jamie's Italian

Me and Jamie's Italian do not have the best track record. I have been to the restaurant in Birmingham's Bullring 4 or 5 times and only once, it was ok. But when I got invited to try out the Evening Favourites Menu, I wanted to go with an open mind and as Jamie Oliver is one celebrity chefs recipes I always like to use, I thought it could pay off this time. It has been 2 years since I went last, enough time to change my impression, right?


It was a lovely sunny day when we arrived at Jamie's Italian and saw that nothing within the restaurant had visually changed. It was beautifully rustic to begin with, so why would you? Even though the website menus cater to allergens, there was no allergen menu available with in the restaurant. Which was not a problem because most were labelled on the main menu and the waiter was very helpful and knowledgeable.

I had intended to try out the Evening Favourites Menu but as I only wanted to try out the vegan dishes, my options were very limited. So instead, I opted for the main menu


For my starters, I went for the Primavera Bruschetta. The usual bread which this is served with, contained a dairy product so I was given focaccia instead. The dish looked amazing and the vegetables tasted great. But the whole dish appeared to be seeping in oil and the bread was hard and difficult to cut; making the overall dish a maze to eat. It also felt like an element of the dish was missing. My pet peeve when it comes to vegan food is when you get major FOMO and that is exactly what I got.

For my mains, I thought I would try a couple dishes and whatever was left would be taken as lunch the next day. I'm a sucker for leftovers for lunch! I went for the Turbo Rigatoni Arrabbiata, Sicilain-Spiced Aubergine and the JI Superfood Salad. The waiter told me about the Turbo Rigatoni Arrabbiata being hot and that it contained scotch bonnets. I thought I can handle a bit of spice, boy was I wrong. The seeds  of the scotch bonnet were in the dish and when it arrived, it looked like it has been waiting for service for a while so I mixed it all together, bad idea! They was no flavour to this dish, just pure heat and I couldn't finish it, nor eat very much.

The stand-dish of this meal had to be the Sicilian Spiced Aubergine. It was divine! I don't understand why rocket was added but the beefy aubergine, the spices and almond yogurt, all worked very well together. I just loved this and it reminded me of a dish I have had at The Detox Kitchen in London.

I went for the JI Superfood Salad as a small dish and it was tasty. 

At the end of the meal, most of the Turbo Rigatoni Arrabbiata was left, so I asked the waiter if more sauce could be added to the dish because I hate waste. I also asked if it could be packed up to be taken away. And I was presented with it in foil. I found this to be a little ludicrous, as this is a dish with liquid and that a reputable restaurant did this. Bread in foil - fine, a solid food product of any shape - fine. But runny pasta? Seriously? I also tasted the pasta to see if the minuscule amount of sauce that had been added had made a difference. But it still was more heat then taste. In the end, I ended up throwing it away anyway.

Overall, I was highly disappointed with Jamie's Italian. I love the mans recipes but his restaurant is just lacking. Please tell me why every dish has rocket on it. One of my mothers dishes had a side of rocket with it, just why?

Would I go back to this eatery? No

Why not? Food is mediocre and service is slow yet friendly.

How was the service? The waiter was friendly and knowledgeable. But they were ridiculously slow. To the point that at the end of the meal we had to get up to pay the bill. 

How did they cope with the dairy-free dietary requirement? The menu was labelled well and the waiter was knowledgeable.

What are the prices like? Expensive for the quality and portions you receive.


Have you been? What did you think?

*I was invited to try Jamie's Italian by a PR company and was given a certain amount towards the meal. However, my views are my own*

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