Friday, 16 September 2011

Jamie's Italian, Liverpool

Warning-This blog will make you hungry.
Awaiting my date with Jamie Oliver (well his restaurant )
It was Nicky Rockets 40th Birthday yesterday so I booked us into Jamie Olivers Italian restaurant in Liverpool for lunch. Despite being open for quite a while Id never tried it out. I'm lucky as where I live I'm surrounded by excellent restaurants a mere stagger away so its rare for me to venture further afield for lunch but as it was a special day we decided to give Jamie a go (so to speak)
Mister Bee ready for a "Pukka" lunch
I'm not a huge foodie in terms of liking "posh" food. I'm a bit of a fusspot, don't eat meat, don't like cream and am quite often staggered by how poor British restaurant food is. This is part of the reason I tend to eat at the same few restaurants and cafes when I do venture out to eat. So I wasn't expecting much from this experience. Nicky Rockets who is less picky  than me was really excited so we were a mixed bag of expectation.

ready for Jamie's Dinner
The interior of Jamie's Italian is very simple, almost like a trendy canteen style with plastic chairs and metal tables. The waiting staff were all quite young and smiley and incredibly knowledgeable about the food,how it was cooked,where it was from and which dishes were particularly tasty. My waitress recommended my main and desert and both dishes were outstanding (but more of that later) What I also really loved was that they weren't constantly trying to up sell me sides and extra drinks. It amazes me how even in quite expensive restaurants now the waiting staff are constantly trying to add extras to your order. I can read and know how hungry and thirsty I am so stop trying to flog me extra olives and bottles of water-it irritates me.

Ready for some serious eating
We started with some items from the Antipasti menu I had "Mike The Woodman's Mushroom Fritti"which was home grown crispy fried mushrooms served with really garlicky mayo and Mister Bee had the Crispy Courgette Flower which was stuffed with four cheeses, lemon and mint, in an olive and tomato sauce.
The stupendous starters
In a world where starters are so often something quite unmemorable or dull both these dishes were utterly divine. I mean seriously good. Me and Mister Bee kept looking at each other and saying "oh my god this is so nice". Jamie seriously had my attention now and I was really looking forward to the main.
For our mains Nicky Rockets had the  Bucatini Carbonara which was Tubular spaghetti with crispy fried smoked pancetta and ribbons of leek, tossed with free range eggs and Parmesan. It had a really deep smokey taste and unlike a lot of other restaurants the portion was really hearty. Something my husband really appreciated.
The Carbonara
For my main I chose the Wild Truffle Risotto which was finely minced wild black truffle with creamy rice, butter and Parmesan. 

The Wild Truffle Risotto-Sooo nice
I have obviously heard lots of chefs waffling about how amazing wild truffles are and hadn't really taken any notice. Oh my word. It was just so delicious. This may be the nicest thing I have eaten for a long time. Its described as "a real treat" on the menu which doesn't do it any justice at all. Its magnificent.

Full of delicious food
By this time we were really quite full and in normal circumstances would have just gone straight to coffee but the pure mouth wateringly loveliness of the starters and the main made us really greedy and we both had a pudding. On our waitresses recommendation I had the Amalfi lemon Curd With toasted pistachios and English raspberries which was just heaven on a plate really.

The Lemon Curd
Nicky Rockets had the Chocolate and Espresso tart  with sticky glazed figs and orange creme fraiche which he described as "absolutely lovely"
Herbal Tea served in a lovely pot
We ended our meal with a coffee for Mister Bee and a White Peony herbal tea for me. The bill for the three courses plus drinks (Nicky had a few beers, I had an elderflower Presse ) was £60 which isn't much more than you would pay at any mediocre bistro or cafe. I couldn't recommend this place highly enough and  Jamie Oliver I salute you. It was all as you would say "well pukka"

The empty plates say it all

So that was the nicest meal I have eaten in a long time. When was your last really memorable meal?


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