Friday, August 13, 2010

Jamie's Italian (Canary Wharf)

Jamie’s Italian opened around mid 2009 and it created a furore in the Wharf area. Being sadly deprived of good restaurants due to the economic crisis, the dockland residents were definitely looking forward to the opening of this new eating option.

I have to say that I was sadly disappointed in my first few occasions here, not just with the quality of the food but the long waiting times of a minimum of an hour initially.

With some overseas friends visiting, I was mulling over whether to bring them here, weighing my not so great experiences against the reputation of the well known chef Jamie Oliver. In all honesty, I like Jamie (who doesn’t!) and gave his place another chance.

We arrived on a rainy evening (the rare ones that Londoners are experiencing in the summer of 2010) and were promptly seated after a wait of no more than 10 minutes. The staff were all cheerful and friendly. We were all starving by this time as dinner is now past 8pm. A multitude of appetisers, mains and sides were ordered, with careful instructions given for them to all come out at the same time.

Crispy Squid (with really garlicky mayo)
Bruschetta with Devonshire spider crab with chilli, lemon and zesty mayo

Toasted bruschetta topped with Devonshire spider crab. This was delicately light in flavour with the chillis adding a bit of zing and bite! The crispy squid was quite average.

Prawn Linguine (Pan fried garlicky prawns with tomatoes, chilli, rocket and fennel)
Grilled Angus Sirloin steak (From Tillyfour farm in Aberdeen, chargrilled and served pink with grilled flat mushrooms, dressed peppery watercress and flat-leaf parsley)

The linguine was al dente and combined quite nicely with the rustic and flavoursome sauce.

Grilled chicken (Half a lovely free-range,boned, marinated and chargrilled, with a warm tomato, olive, chilli and caper sauce)
South coast fritto misto (Crispy fried fresh fish of the day, served with zesty Italian tartare sauce and fresh lemon)

The steak and grilled chicken was nicely cooked and was enjoyed very much by the foodies who ordered them.

The Fritto Misto was quite a strange one. The crispy fried noodles was not anticipated and reminded me of those Chinese take aways when you ordered noodles and they give you this instead. This is definitely not a dish to order again.

I also had the shell roasted brixham scallops (Grilled king scallops with crispy pancetta, served on fresh tomato salsa with crunchy shaved fennel and lemon salad). Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of my own dish!

Scallops was juicy and combined very well with the tomato salsa to give the right texture and balance. However, 6 scallops are all you get so for the big appetites people, order a second mains.

Posh chips (truffle oil and parmesan)

Freshly fried and hot chips melting with the parmesan cheese in your mouth, the aroma of the truffle oil dancing with your senses. A different take to the normal chips and positively welcome.

Tiramisu (Classic Italian coffee flavoured trifle with mascarpone and chocolate)
Ultimate Chocolate Raspberry and Amaretto Brownie with Bourbom vanilla ice cream

We were quite stuffed but could not resist dessert. Especially when we see brownies with bourbon. Nothing like some alcohol, even if it’s only in the ice cream! No alcohol in the tiramisu which is a no no for me but it is otherwise still delicious. Those who like citrus flavours will like this as shavings of citrus was added. Moist and yummy.

The chocolate raspberry and amaretto brownie had more of a cake exterior with a dense and moist interior. The Bourbon vanilla ice cream was good, wish they had more and I would just plonk the ice cream on the brownie next time for an ultimate indulgence.

I was pleasantly surprised and finally my experience at Jamie’s has done a turnaround into a positive one. Left with happy tummies.

Jamie's Italian
Unit 17, 2 Churchill Place, London E14 5RB
0203 002 5252

Jamie's Italian (Canary Wharf) on Urbanspoon


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