Jamie’s Italian ***

I went with some friends to Jamie’s Italian in Liverpool One for a celebratory meal and had high hopes, as one friend absolutely swears by this place; but I came away feeling thoroughly disappointed and out of pocket.

First of all we found it nearly impossible to book a table, and for somewhere so popular, you assume the food must be extraordinary. The only table available (a whole week in advance) was for 9.45pm, meaning that we were not eating until gone 10 o’clock, which is not ideal unless you’re holidaying in the Mediterranean.

When we arrived, I noticed that the interiors of Jamie’s are very modern and ‘quirky’, verging on the pretentious: the dining area is furnished with wrought iron garden chairs, which are surprisingly comfortable, yet make the place look cold and heartless, rather than kooky and laid back, which seems to be the style that the designer hoped to achieve. Inside the restaurant is also quite dark, and feels a little like an old warehouse which is an odd atmosphere in which to serve food.

My overall opinion of the food is that it was over priced and bland. To start with, we shared the Italian Bread Selection, for £3.75, which included a lovely variety of breads (minus the bread sticks) and was accompanied by olive oil and balsamic. This was enjoyable, and reasonably priced, but for the antipasti you’re looking at between £6-8 per person, even for the sharing platters.

For my main course I chose the Ravioli Primavera which was £10.95, and consisted of pasta stuffed with smashed new-season peas, mint and ricotta and was served in an asparagus sauce with mascarpone and Amalfi lemon. This dish was dull, lacking flavour, and is not particularly exciting or innovative as one of the few Vegetarian options.  This dish is also available as a starter for £6.50, but given my tiny portion, I dread to think how little you would get for half the price when for the full amount you are granted only 6 small ravioli parcels on a rather large plate, which was hardly filling.

Thankfully, dessert saved the day. All three of us went for the ice cream, which comes with the opportunity to choose 3 different flavoured scoops, with your choice of 2 toppings. I had vanilla, caramel and honeycomb ice cream, with smashed honeycomb pieces and butterscotch sauce to top it off, and all of this costs £4.95 which is reasonable value compared to the prices for the other courses. The flavours were all really rich and almost sickly-sweet (definitely for the sweet-toothed!) and the choice is great, especially the range of toppings, which although seem childish, add some personality to a very traditional dessert.

Although I enjoyed dessert, it wasn’t enough to convince me to go back here any time soon. With tiny portions at ridiculous prices, Jamie’s Italian does not deliver on taste, and the meals are anything but good value for money. If you are looking to eat Italian food in Liverpool One, I would recommend Pesto, which is an authentic Italian tapas-style restaurant, and is both cheaper and has a much wider choice and better quality food, as well as real, unparalleled Italian service (review coming soon).

Jamie’s Italian, 45 Paradise Street, Liverpool 0151 5599830

http://www.jamieoliver.com/italian/

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About teafortwotalk

Freelance writer @Pickwickmag @Corridor8 @Biennial / Editor @artinliverpool. Available for writing and copyediting.
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