• Food

Jamie’s Italian, Greenwich


I am not usually an advocate for chains, preferring to support independent businesses, however I am a fan of Jamie Oliver so when I was asked to review his Italian venture I was more than happy to check it out.

Before I get into the evening I should explain my admiration for Chef Oliver; I was brought up in a household where adventurous food was not a priority, however after traveling and opening up my taste buds to so many possibilities I wanted to try and create my own recipes.

I got books and looked up endless hints and tips online but felt lost in the list of ingredients and methods. I understood the words but they somehow seemed like a foreign concept to me, that was until the Naked Chef came along. His straight talking, energetic approach to food appealed to me and I could actually follow along with recipes, giving me confidence in the kitchen and helping me find my love for cooking.

Jamie's Italian Greenwich London Emma Inks Blog

Now, back to a rather typically wet summers evening in Greenwich, hoping off the DLR I bumped into the man friend on the same train, the timing was like a scene from a bad romantic movie, except in this case it was purely convenient . The restaurant was located only a couple of minutes from the station, however we still arrived looking like a couple of soggy stray cats.

Jamie's Italian Greenwich London Emma Inks Blog

Greeted by a cheerful hostess we dripped our way through the bar to our light blue leather booth where our other dinner companion, Susie (a fellow foodie with a drool worthy Instagram account) was already waiting with a glass of prosecco in hand – I love this lady’s style.

Jamie's Italian Greenwich London Emma Inks Blog

We were seated at the back of the restaurant looking out onto the garden, which would be a lovely place to eat alfresco on a more pleasant evening. Despite the grey skies, the glassed roof, conservatory style dining room allowed natural light to pour in, creating a feeling of openness. Though the space was large the segmented layout made the room feel busy enough to create a lively atmosphere, yet was spacious so that you were not intruding on your fellow diners evening.

Jamie's Italian Greenwich London Emma Inks Blog

My first priority was to grab a drink to kick start that Friday feeling, I was so pleased to see that the restaurant had embraced its local surroundings and had Meantime (brewed in Greenwich) on tap. The beer selection changes monthly but luckily for me, in July, my favourite IPA was on tap.

Jamie's Italian Greenwich London Emma Inks Blog

It is not just this branch that embraces its location, each Jamie’s Italian is uniquely designed to create an environment that is complementary to the style of the area and building it is housed within.

Jamie's Italian Greenwich London Emma Inks Blog

The three of us had not caught up in ages so it took us quite a while to get through the large paper menu. The waiter was understanding and gave us space to enjoy chatting, checking in to see if we were doing fine without being intrusive.

Jamie's Italian Greenwich London Emma Inks Blog

There were a large range of dishes to choose from including antipasti, nibbles, sharing boards, pasta’s, mains, specials and sides; eventually we decided to share a selection of the Artisan Breads which include a mix of freshly baked focaccia, ciabatta, seeded cracker bread, sourdough, grissini and, for dipping, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic and a sun-dried tomato & olive tapenade.

Jamie's Italian Greenwich London Emma Inks Blog

I sometimes find bread a bit bland but the mixture of types and textures, complemented with the rich tapenade, was so moreish I ate way more than I should before my main.

Jamie's Italian Greenwich London Emma Inks Blog

Intrigued, we also shared the World’s Best Olives On Ice served with more black olive & sun-dried tomato tapenade & crispy music bread. Although I am not sure if they lived up to their bold title, the mild, plump, green olives were a refreshingly different way to start a meal.

Jamie's Italian Greenwich London Emma Inks Blog

Now already pretty full after a pint and bread, I was glad that I ordered the Superfood Salad. I know it sounds like an unadventurous selection, however I love a good hearty salad especially when it has a combination of my favourites healthy foods avocado and broccoli, which were also accompanied by candied beets, pulses, grains, cottage cheese, pomegranate, smashed nuts, seeds and harissa.

Jamie's Italian Greenwich London Emma Inks Blog

Now, I am admittedly a bit of a sucker for anything that uses the term ‘Superfood’, however this time I was not disappointed. Packed with a great variety of fresh vegetables and grains it was earthy, filling and fresh. If the plant based combination was not enough to tantalise your taste buds, you also have the option of adding grilled chicken, feta, or hot-smoked salmon.

Jamie's Italian Greenwich London Emma Inks Blog

I also could not resist ordering the chunky polenta chips as an additional side which was complete overkill but so worth feeling uncomfortably full.

Jamie's Italian Greenwich London Emma Inks Blog

Susie choose the Fritto Misto, a mixed seasonal flash-fried fish and shellfish plate served with lemon and chunky Italian tartare sauce which was served on a scrunched up bed of newspaper to give it a traditional seaside look.

Jamie's Italian Greenwich London Emma Inks Blog

Pablo also went for fish, opting for the day’s special: Cod on a bed of aubergine, courgette, peppers and tomatoes served with polenta balls, which was light and a perfect pick for summer.

Jamie's Italian Greenwich London Emma Inks Blog

Feeling utterly full after two courses and sides we skipped out on dessert but enjoyed finishing up our drinks over some lovely conversation.

Jamie's Italian Greenwich London Emma Inks Blog

The thing that I think makes Jamie’s Italian stand out from similar chains is that it manages to get the balance just right in all aspects. The menu was inspired by Jamie’s love for rustic Italian cuisine and though he encapsulates traditional flavours there was also a modern twist in each dish, making the food current yet retaining authenticity. The ingredients were also carefully selected and this knowledge passed onto staff members who in the Greenwich branch were professional yet had personality creating a relaxed, enjoyable, atmosphere. Also, within the restaurant the decor was simple, yet stylish, focusing on the food with an open kitchen, and displayed ingredients.

The restaurant does not rely on simply having a celebrity name over the door and with attention to detail has achieved in turning a well known brand and chain into a cool neighbourhood eatery.

Have any of you visited a Jamie’s Italian? If so, what did you think. If not, have I tempted you?

*I was given a voucher to try Jamie’s Italian, however all opinions are my own

Jamie’s Italian Greenwich
17-19 Nelson Rd, London SE10 9JB
020 3667 7087

8 comments

  1. Dora says:

    That salad looks so spectacular and the polenta fries sound delicious!
    Dora
    http://www.adropofindigo.ca/

    1. Emma says:

      It really was so impressive, completely filling and packed with flavour

  2. I keep meaning to go to Jamie’s (in fact, I very nearly went there the other day but we got Mexican instead), the food sounds brilliant! And I love the fact that despite being a chain, the restaurants have their own unique feel 🙂

    1. Emma says:

      It is so nice and everything feels very thought out and filled with personality, let me know what you think when you go x

  3. Laura says:

    I still haven’t been to a Jamie’s Italian – every time I go past one I think I MUST stop in as Italian is my favourite cuisine to eat at restaurants. I’ve been to Fifteen though and was very impressed there, so I expect good things! (Oh and your food pics make me want to reach in and grab a bite!!) x

    Laura | Loved By Laura

    1. Emma says:

      You should give it a try I was really impressed. I have been meaning to go to Fifteen for ages I have only heard good things about the food and service.

  4. themayfairy says:

    I haven’t been back since I visited once years ago (though I have been to other locations). Nice to see it’s still rocking!

    1. Emma says:

      I was genuinely super impressed, its such a nice open space and the staff were banter

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