I was invited to try the new menu at Jamie’s Italian, Leeds. The last time I went was in January for my birthday, so I was looking forward to checking out the new options.
The first thing you notice when you walk into Jamie’s is the contemporary, yet traditional wooden decor. There are branded kitchen accessories and books for sale, but they don’t cheapen the look. I loved the antique style furniture and the home from home style interior. It has a chilled atmosphere and is fancy without being over the top.
There was plenty of choice on the menus and a well-priced three course offer – just £18.95 for three courses. I figure if I’m reviewing I should have all three courses, right?
For our starter, we both had Tomato Bruschetta. I wish I’d asked for it without the buffalo ricota, as there was so much of it, but it was a good combination and tasted great.
I decided to go for a classic and get pizza for my main dish, as I hardly order it out and was certain it would be good. I chose ‘The Porkie’, which to be honest, I hated saying out loud. I am by no means a vegetarian, but it wasn’t a nice name for it. Ryan went for the 35-Day 8oz Sirloin Steak, which is making my mouth water right now!
The bread base of the pizza was perfection, but I found the tomato sauce a little lacking in flavour. Maybe it’s because I prefer a richer taste, but it was a bit plain. It also looked plain! I don’t know why restaurants do this, but often it seems the presentation of pizza doesn’t matter and that always disappoints me. Despite that, the pizza was nice, I just wouldn’t be excited about having one again.
What I did like was that after eating, I saw the guy in the kitchen making a fresh base and he seemed so into it, flipping it about and doing all the things you always see on tv, but not in real life! It definitely made for a nicer, more authentic experience.
Ryan’s steak was incredible. It was cooked so well (but not well done!), and I was definitely jealous of his meal. The salad was pretty pitiful, but was just a side so not a big deal. The chips were okay, but didn’t stand out really. Overall, I think the steak was the best part of our meals, but that’s probably to be expected.
For dessert, I had the Blackberry Bakewell, described as ‘Almond sponge studded with blackberries, served with tangy blackberry compote & vanilla cream’ The sponge and blackberries were lovely, and everything complemented each other well, but it came with cream instead, which was a little disappointing as ice cream is my favourite! Look how well presented it was though!
All desserts were cream or ice cream, and Ryan didn’t really fancy one anyway, but I always find there is a lack of options for allergy sufferers on dessert menus. I think the staff would have been quite accommodating had we asked for a dairy free dessert, but I wish we didn’t have to. I am sure other people feel more awkward in restaurants than we do and likely go without instead.
The meal was nice and we had a good time, but I don’t think I would rush back. I didn’t think the food was anything too impressive compared to some places, but as far as a nice Italian meal out goes, it was a good place to relax and catch up with some good food. It is family friendly, which is great for some people, but perhaps not so great for others. We were next to a couple with a bored child for a while, which was okay, I don’t begrudge anyone eating out, but if that’s not your thing, maybe choose your seat wisely.
The waiter we had was great when he was with us, and really accommodating, but it did take a really long time to get served. Even for our first drinks, we had to call someone over after a while of waiting. It was a Thursday night, and while there seemed to be a fair amount of people in, it wasn’t full or hectic.
After our starters, again we were waiting a while to be served, so it felt a bit awkward at times. We’re happy to chat and wait, especially when fresh food is being cooked, but there seemed to be a lack of service throughout which was disappointing. I gave up trying to get another drink for a while and sat without. At the end, I waited for about 20 minutes – no exaggeration – to be given the bill even though my table had been cleared. I was sat alone, as Ryan had gone to get air due to a headache (not blaming the child or anything! 😉 ) Another couple looked over at me and smiled, with a knowing look. Even when I tried to get somebody to give me the bill, I waited that long. I was finally given it, but had to explain I was given a voucher – which was apparently on the booking notes. I was booked in as a food blogger, but I’m glad they didn’t realise as I don’t like the idea of being treated differently for reviews.
The voucher was for £50, and our meal only went about £2 over, so it was great value. This included a 3-course meal, a 2-course, 2 glasses of coke, and a glass of Prosecco (guilty!). This might be a bit of an entitled thing to say, but I found it amusing that I was still required to pay that £2! I always give a very generous tip when gifted a meal anyway though.
I really liked the atmosphere and decor. The food was fine, but nothing stood out to me. The service was slow and took up half the evening. Would I go again? I wouldn’t rush to, but I wouldn’t rule it out either. The main dishes were nice and I think as a group or for a family night out, it would be a great place to go as it’s really accommodating, there’s plenty of space and choices for everyone.
Have you ever been to Jamie’s Italian? What did you think?
Disclaimer: As mentioned, I received a £50 voucher towards my meal, but I think it’s obvious gifts don’t sway my opinions or reviews.