|Lemon meatball carbonara at Jamie's Italian|
Went there shortly before Christmas with my Dad, whilst doing bit of last minute shopping. We were a bit skeptical at first - the stubborn mules that we both are sort of wanted it to be crap, as we're not the biggest fans of Jamie Oliver - but have to say, it was fab!
You can't see much from outside so we wandered in and were quickly seated at a lovely little table near the chef's pass - no going back from here. We ordered an antipasti platter to share to start with. It came served on a long, wooden plank, which the waiter balanced on two tins of Italian chopped tomatoes. Thought that was a nice touch. It was complete with salami, chorizo, baby mozzarella, parmesan thins, bread sticks, balsamic vinegar and olive oil. It was a delight, and felt really authentic; just picking bits at bits of bread and meat with our hands - could well have been sitting in a bar in southern Italy, basking in sunshine. That is, if we hadn't been sat in a shopping centre in Milton Keynes.
Our mains arrived soon after, and I tucked into my lemon meatball carbonara. I could smell it from the pass; gorgeous aromas of lemon and thyme. I finished it in what seemed like record time, and savored every mouthful. It was really unusual, and the strong lemon flavour replaced that of the traditional smoky bacon. All washed down with a lovely bottle of Italian white. It was lush. Have yet to recreate this one at home.
Another bit we liked was the napkins. My Dad is a sucker for anywhere with cloth napkins. As am I really, I think it says a lot about the standard of the restaurant. Anyway, the napkins here were traditional blue tea towels with "Jamie's Italian" printed on them. Recalling them now they don't sound that impressive, but we spent quite a while working out how we could smuggle a couple out for home.
When it came to looking at the dessert menu, we saw a list of prices printed at the bottom. Obviously with it being a celebrity-endorsed restaurant they were going to try and flog the punters as much shit as they could, and this was no exception. Books, olive oil, recipe cards, napkins. TWELVE QUID though. Twelve of your finest English pounds. Decided not to carry out operation napkin smuggle, as we didn't fancy forking out twenty-four quid upon being caught.
Looking forward to our next trip, and will be sure to take my biggest bag in case I fancy myself a few souvenirs.