Rustic, simple, authentic…three words that easily sum up Jamie’s Italian. Chef Jamie Oliver is well known for his love of rustic Italian food, first learned alongside his mentor Gennaro Contaldo, now with 40 Jamie’s Italian across Britain they are bringing this passion to the people.
I stopped in for a light snack at the branch at Westfield London, Shepards Bush, a comfortable, cool space with a large patio for al fresco dining, hard to believe it was part of a major shopping centre. For a celebrity chef restaurant, I thought it was surprisingly affordable. The menu is broken into Antipasti, Pasta, Mains and Sides there’s something to please everyone’s palate. Deciding on a couple of Antipasti plates, it was plenty for a light but satisfying snack and with both plates under £4.00, it barely dented the wallet.
Italian Nachos were a plate of crispy, fried 3 cheese ravioli served with a lightly spicy arrabiata sauce for dipping. Each tiny morsel was a perfect taste combination; crisp pasta, warm melting cheese and fresh spicy sauce. My second plate was the Caprese Salad, expecting the usual tri-colour mozzarella, tomato and basil salad I was treated to a beautifully and uniquely presented plate with the three main ingredients layered between crunchy pieces of ‘music bread’. Both dishes were a feast for the eyes and tastebuds, looking around at other tables, I’m sure I would’ve felt the same of whatever I’d chosen. I don’t usually eat slowly but took my time to savour eat bite and take in the atmosphere, enjoying a moment to relax overlooking the adjacent greenspace. After settling the bill, I wrapped up the meal with a stop at the Jamie’s Italian Ices truck outside the restaurant, allowing people to grab a scoop of ice to go. The days special; honey, lavender and hazelnut ice was the perfect way to cap and cleanse the meal.
Jamie’s Italian is definitely worth a return visit to try more of the rustic, simple, authentic Italian plates.