I have been a Jamie fan right from the start. The loveable “mockney” – known as the Naked Chef – burst onto our televisions and stole our hearts with his fresh style of cooking and a whole new type of culinary banter. Delia had certainly never told me to preheat my oven to “full whack” before and everything being “pukka” didn’t even irk me. I bought all the books and for a time they were my gastronomic bibles.
So imagine how excited I was to learn that Jamie’s Italian was opening in Edinburgh. Let me tell you …. very excited indeed. So it was that this week when mum was on her annual shopping spree to the Capital, I decided to take her to Jamie’s Italian.
The restaurant is located within the refurbished Assembly Rooms and at first glance it looks mighty impressive. Jamie’s team have pimped up the already grandiose setting. It does look amazing but the choice of a deep red for the walls was a bit oppressive for my taste – but each to their own.
I am stalling on the food which should be the main part of this blog, but to be honest there is not a great deal to say about it. It was “fine”. What an awful word to describe a meal in a restaurant owned by one of Britain’s top chefs. Perhaps I expected too much.
The breads with balsamic and olive oil I chose to start with were actually quite lovely – a little tin container with around 5 different breads stacked inside – it was quirky and delicious. I opted for a pasta dish as a main course : slow-braised fennel sausage ragu with “Torrione” red wine, served with Parmesan & crunchy, herby breadcrumbs. Sounds grand and it was “quite nice” (ouch!) if a little on the cool side. And that’s all she wrote really.
Underwhelmed and more than a little disappointed, we didn’t hang around for dessert, opting instead to head for the fabulous Scottish Cafe http://www.nationalgalleries.org/visit/cafes-restaurants/ where the cupcakes are as beautiful as the view.
Sorry Jamie, I love you dearly, but definitely a case of more style than substance at Jamie’s Italian in Edinburgh.