On Tuesday this week, we paid a visit to Jamie’s Italian in Norwich with a couple of friends. They’ve been getting a bit of a bad press lately with people mentioning it’s never very busy or they feel it is overpriced; but I have had excellent meals there in the past. With that in mind, I thought I’d write a little review of the meal to give my own opinion.
I always think if I’ve fallen in love within 30 secs of entering a restaurant then they’re half way towards me enjoying the whole experience; Jamie’s doesn’t disappoint on that front. It has a wonderful ‘casual yet high end’ feel to it right from the front door. As you walk in, your eye is drawn to the gift shop with some lovely plates, dishes, books and other merchandise for sale as well as another counter displaying all the freshly-made pasta and bread for all to see. 9/10
Our waiter was wonderfully attentive and didn’t leave us waiting long for anything. He had an extensive knowledge of the menu and could tell us how each dish was cooked and the ingredients; in the past I’ve always found this to be extremely useful, especially when dining with friends who have allergies. Without prompting, he knew it was my birthday on Sunday by checking my Gold Card on his handheld device (everyone should have a Gold Card, even if you visit Jamie’s only once!) and promptly brought over a complimentary bottle of prosecco to celebrate. Result!
At the end of the meal, he was very quick to bring the bill when asked and returned swiftly with the card machine to allow us to pay. All things considered, I think we received very good service. 9/10
As a Gold Card holder, everyone on the table was given a little ‘taster’ to start. On this occasion, a small amount of risotto; the texture was lovely but we all felt it was a little bland, not really tasting of anything. 4/10
As a starter, I had crispy prawns and they were delicious! Huge king prawns, wrapped in angel hair pasta and deep fried. What’s not to like?! The sauce it came with was tasty, though not at all spicy which was a shock as the menu says it contains chilli. I have no idea what the black sauce was, but it did not taste of anything at all. 8.5/10
Jamie’s currently have an offer running with any pasta dish costing just £5. With that in mind, my dining companions all had pasta. Chris had the Wild Rabbit Casarecce and said it was very tasty and he appreciated the opportunity to try something new (rabbit) at a very reasonable price. My friends had the Carbonara and the Cannelloni; both said they were just ‘OK’. Not a good start!
Always the one to buck the trend, I decided to go for the 8oz Rump Steak rather than a pasta dish. I asked for it to be cooked med-rare and that is what is received – perfection! It was tender, succulent and extremely tasty and the garlic and parsley butter over the steak added an excellent flavour too. Unfortunately, the steak was let down a little by its plateside companions. Although advertised as ‘rainbow slaw’, the salad looked all red to me and all tasted the same, bland. There were not enough fries either, in my opinion, though those served were nice and crispy and well seasoned. 6/10
Value For Money
Starters and drinks were fairly priced and I believe represented good value.
The pasta dishes at just £5 were exceptional value. However, if they are identical as those usually served for over double that price, I just cannot say they are great value at all.
Again, the steak was fairly priced and I would say good value if they had added a few more chips and more variety in the ‘slaw’ or perhaps an additional accompaniment. 5/10
I would be lying if I didn’t say I was disappointed. I have eaten in Jamie’s before and it has been wonderful; my meal there last christmas was indeed exceptional. However, on this occasion I think they missed the mark with the food which I think was a real shame. The service, decor and ambience of the whole place is great too, so I hope to give it another go sometime on the assumption they must have been having an ‘off’ day. 6/10
Thanks for reading and I hope this has been of some use! There will be many more restaurant reviews in the future for me to share with you, so please come back soon.
Disclaimer: I was not paid to review this restaurant and they were not aware I would be blogging about my visit. My experience, therefore, represents one of an average customer paying full retail prices. Views expressed are my own personal opinions.