I Tried It: Jamie Oliver’s Italian Restaurant in London

Posted on 21. Dec, 2011 by in Destinations, Europe Travel, United Kingdom

I’m a sucker for everything Jamie Oliver. I love his accent, his attitude, his energy and obviously, his recipes. Needless to say I was super excited to pay a visit to Jamie Oliver’s Italian Restaurant in London. What was my experience like? Read on.

jamie's italian restaurant

Jamie's Italian © jamieoliver.com

The restaurant

There are several locations around the UK, but I opted for the one set in the effervescent Covent Garden, in London. The restaurant has a very industrial look, yet inviting and warm. The overall ambiance very laid-back and relaxed. It’s kind of like a huge loft, with an airy dining room and an open-plan kitchen (with huge pork pieces anging from the ceiling). Another plus is the amazing staff - they were all very professional and clearly loved their job. Service was top-notch throughout the whole meal.

Jamie's Italian

The food

I was so excited to visit the restaurant I had actually made my choice before I was even seated. I was having the prosciutto spaghetti with posh chips appetizers, and my husband decided to have the special of the day, the spicy sausage spaghetti with a side of prosciutto, pear and pecorino salad. My husband enjoys eating vindaloo chicken and authentic Mexican, so he was definitely eager to try a spicy italian dish.

All in all… I am very sorry to say it was a bit deceptive, despite the beautiful presentation. My prosciutto spaghetti was very bland and tasted very strongly of chicken broth, and very little of all the other ingredients. My husband’s so-called spicy spaghetti was nowhere near spicy, despite the warnings of the waitress - that dish too was very bland and tasteless. The only thing we really enjoyed is the posh chips - had I known the rest of the meal would be so underwhelming I would’ve ordered a much bigger bowl!

Jamie's Italian

My conclusion

Needless to say, in the end, I was extremely disappointed. I had set the bar very high thinking that hey, it’s freakin’ Jamie Oliver - it’s gotta be good. But really… it wasn’t. Despite the sincere smiles of the waitress, the original decor and the elaborate presentation, the taste just wasn’t there.

The only upside is that considering the prices are very reasonable, I wasn’t too upset after paying for lunch because I hadn’t spent that much. But I was still very disappointed in my overall experience.

However, I am definitely interested in trying out one of Jamie’s other restaurants in London, Fifteen. Not only does the food seem great (I will definitely set the bar lower, though), it’s also a great social move as the restaurant gives the chance to unemployed youngsters to have a better chance for their future. Who knows? Maybe this experience will be better.

Jamie's Italian

Have you ever been to Jamie Oliver’s Italian Restaurant? Or another celebrity chef restaurant? What was your experience like?

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8 Responses to “I Tried It: Jamie Oliver’s Italian Restaurant in London”

  1. tom

    21. Dec, 2011

    I have been to Fifteen which whilst expensive I thought was fantastic - I even got to chat with some of the guys working in the open kitchen and a young lad was so excited that I enjoyed my crab risotto!

    Jamie’s Italian is his go at a group or chain of restaurants, whilst I’ve never been I’m sure I will at some point in the future.

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  2. Abby

    21. Dec, 2011

    Yum. Nothing beats an amazing meal at a fun, nice restaurant.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Steve

    21. Dec, 2011

    I guess chain restaurants will never be as good as single outlet ones, but I would have had the same high expectations you did.
    Disappointing, but at least it wasn’t an expensive lesson.

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie

      22. Dec, 2011

      My review would probably have been a lot harsher if I had I to pay a salty check!

      Reply to this comment
  4. What a bummer, because I love Jamie Oliver too! We are planning a trip to London, so maybe I will have to give Fifteen a shot!

    Reply to this comment
  5. Lauren

    27. Dec, 2011

    I tried Jaime Oliver’s restaurant in Bath. Although we weren’t blown away by the food, my family and I really enjoyed it. The ambiance was fantastic and the food was very reasonably priced. I actually think my parents were more impressed than I was.

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