Jamie's Italian, a restaurant chain named after the TV chef, Jamie Oliver, first opened his chain of Italian restaurants in 2008. Jamie Oliver's reason for opening a chain of Italian restaurants after stating that he wanted "to open a UK restaurant that reflected the passionate, humble and sociable attitude of Italians towards food". Opened in 2010, Jamie's Italian Birmingham, is still one of the trendiest places to dine out to in the West Midlands, and one of the more reasonable priced restaurants where a celebrity chef has attached his name to.
Jamie's Italian is situated in the Bull Ring, the heart of Birmingham shopping centre and is situated in a prime location after a hard days shopping. Inside this restaurant there are two floors for diners and if you would like to recreate the dishes served here, a selection of cookbooks and other food items for sale. There is also a very impressive open area where you can observe the chefs preparing the dishes. I was also impressed with how light the restaurant throughout. The staff were attentive throughout my dining experience and I am sure there must be a policy that to obtain employment at this restaurant that you must be young, attractive and slim, as all the waiters/ waitresses fitted this description.
|Jamie's Italian Birmingham.|
This review in cooperated my two dining experiences here, the first time I dined here I ordered the Italian bread selection, which includes homemade rosemary foccaccia, sourdough, crispy music bread, cibatta and tortano with olive oil and balsamic vinegar which costs £3.75. I found the bread selection to be quite small, I would have liked more pieces (as it was shared between 4). The foccacia and cibatta was moist, well-baked and the rosemary was in-cooperated well in the foccacia; I could taste the rosemary with each bite. The bread selections is one of the cheapest starter dishes as some starters, such as the planks retails £6.85, which I consider to be pricey.
|Steak and posh chips.|
The bread selection was followed by sirloin steak which was served with a tomato based sauce and watercress, this dish was around £16, and I had to purchase the posh chips at £3.75, separately. The steak was a generous portion size, seasoned well, tender (I asked for it to be medium), , moist, indulgent and tantalising. The posh chips were out of this world, they were by far the best chips I had ever tasted and I think this to do with the fresh Parmesan and the truffle oil which gave the chips a slight, light, mushroom taste. I vowed to return to Jamie's Italian based on me tasting the posh chips.
The second time I visited Jamie's Italian I informed the restaurant that it was my birthday and shared my gold member number, anyone can sign up to be. I ordered the "worlds best olives" at £3.75; this included large green olives, black olive tapenade and crispy music bread. I found the crispy music bread to thin for my liking. I found the green olives to be slightly sour for my taste buds and I was not alone in this opinion as my friends also agreed with me. I did however enjoy the tapenade which I found rich, flavoursome and the perfect accompaniment to the selection of breads that were ordered.
|Olives and tapenade.|
For my main meal, I ordered sirloin steak with chips and a salsa style sauce. I actually wanted to order the 30 day matured rib eye steak with wild mushrooms, peppery endives and funky chips for £19.50, but unfortunately this dish had sold out and there was no rib eye steak available, so this was the second choice.
|Steak and funky chips.|
As it was my birthday and I am part of the gold club, my table was given a free bottle of Prosecco which was very kind of the staff. I was also pleased that the Prosecco was light and crisp.
The staff at Jamie's Italian must be feeling very generous on customers birthdays, as unbeknown to me, a group of staff gathered around and began to sing happy birthday and presented me with a candle lit chocolate brownie. The brownies were gooey, chocolatey and served with amaretto ice-cream and caramlised amaretto popcorn; the combination off all three was tantalising on my tastebuds and was delightful for a chocoholic like myself.
I would recommend visiting Jamie's Italian in Birmingham if you like flavoursome, fresh Italian food in the heart of Birmingham.
Positives: Good value for money, (especially if it is your birthday), brilliant location, generous portions, indulgent menu choices, attentive staff.
Negatives: The 30 day rib steak was not available.
I reviewed this restaurant because I love good food and am addicted to eating out.