Restaurants Reviews

Jamie’s Italian (Westfield Stratford)

This past weekend, Sam and I went to dinner amidst a torrential downpour at Jamie’s Italian Stratford.  I had been looking forward to it all day. Seriously. I have this bad habit of always scoping out a menu earlier in the day if I know I am going somewhere specific in the evening. I pick out what I’m going to have before noon. All day I dreamt of Jamie’s Gnudi and arancini.

Alas, it was my misfortune that they were out of both things when we arrived. (Making Sam’s warning for me not to pick things out ahead of time very apropos) .  The disappointment was short-lived and it didn’t prevent me  from diving back into the menu to enthusiastically pick out more food.
Aperol Spritz

We started with drinks: beer for Sam, an Aperol spritz (Aperol, soda and Prosecco) for me. For starters we split the caprese salad and the artisan Italian bread selection. (Did you actually think that I’d pass up any sort of bread selection? Fat chance.)  The caprese salad featured roasted tomatoes and the buffalo mozzarella was creamy, melt-in-you-mouth perfection. The bread selection consisted of rosemary focaccia, sourdough, music bread, grissini with olive oil and balsamic. Both Sam and I agreed the focaccia as our favourite. It was light and you could clearly taste all the delicious olive oil soaked up during the baking process. Sam stuck to beer, but I switched to white wine.

For our mains, I had the penne carbonara and Sam had the squid and mussel spaghetti . We also split a rocket and parmesan salad and an order of polenta chips. My penne was good, but it wasn’t as creamy as I had expected it to be. (Especially because we frequently cook Jamie’s Sausage Carbonara at home.) I’m not sure what dressing was on the salad, but it was lovely- it became so much more than just rocket and parmesan. Sam’s pasta consisted of fried squid, mussels, octopus, capers and white wine. Since I don’t eat seafood, I didn’t get to taste it for myself so you’ll just have to take Sam’s word that it was excellent. In fact, he scarfed it quite gleefully. In his words, “It was truly delicious and enough to fill a man.”  Having not eaten grits in years, I knew I was going to order anything with polenta in it. And let me tell you, french fries made of polenta? A triumph.

And then came dessert. Nothing immediately jumped out at me and we settled for splitting a old classic – tiramisu. It was good, but wasn’t anything to write home about. If I were to do this meal all over again (or just next time), I’d rather have another starter or side than order dessert.

The best thing about Jamie’s Italian is that it’s the kind of restaurant that you could go to for pretty much any kind of outing. You’d feel as comfortable there for a family dinner as you would cocktails with friends, or a date for two. What I’d most like to commend Jamie’s Italian on is their excellent service. The staff was wonderful. Even in the face of a very difficult to please couple sitting next to us, they were graceful and accommodating.

Bread Selection
Caprese Salad                                                                               Caprese Salad

Mussels and squid pasta
Squid and Mussel Pasta

Polenta Chips
Polenta Chips
Rocket and Parmesan Salad

pasta carbonara
Penne Carbonara

books jamie oliverjamie olivers jamies 2

Being the owners of some of Jamie Oliver’s books already we knew we wouldn’t be disappointed. We were guests of Jamie’s Italian, but all my many, many opinions are forever my own.

Have you been to a Jamie Oliver restaurant before? Do you own any of his cookbooks? What’s your favourite one?

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  • samantha rickelton

    I first visited Jamies Italian in Covent Garden a few years ago – absolutely loved it! Great service, atmosphere in food. Then we went to York last year which I also absolutely loved. Food was especially amazing. A branch opened in my home town of Newcastle this year and I loved my first 2 visits – great service and food however they seem to be complacent now. Service is really slow and they don’t seem to cafe anymore. It has really put me off and what was once a favourite restaurant is now low down on my list of places to visit 🙁

    • I can completely understand why you’d be disappointed then! The couple sitting close to us were complaining about everything and the staff were handling it beautifully (I would have lost my temper at one point if I had been their waitress.) That was one of the things that impressed me so much. If service has slipped at your branch it’s probably slipped in other places as well which is a huge shame! But if you are in London around Westfield, I’d say that standards are still high at this branch. x

  • I haven’t been to Jamie’s Italian in YEARS!!! That food looks amazing – especially the seafood pasta!!! There’s a Jamie’s in Greenwich and I’m sure you know but there is a Jamie’s Italian Deli next door which my bus stop to go home is right in front of… dangerous! And now I just want to go eat there!! Great post, fab pictures! xx

    • Thank you! Haha, I know where your bus stop is then! (I promise I won’t stalk you.) I’ve never eaten at one of his delis though. I bet it is delicious! I’m imagining all varieties of amazing sandwiches. Mmmmm…. xx

  • We went in Oxford and had such a great night, my grandpa had that squid pasta and apparently he has told everyone he meets back home about it!

    • It’s Sam’s Jamie-staple. He always orders it when he’s at one! And sadly, I can never partake. Well I can. But I don’t want to. x

  • That all looks great! There’s one of his restaurants in Leeds and I’ve always wanted to go. I must admit that tiramisu portion looks very stingy though! haha

    • Hahaha I’m so glad that it’s not just me that thinks that! All our savoury plates were delicious and big. It was only dessert that let me down. #firstworldproblems? x

  • I always choose what to eat before I even enter the restaurant too 😀 Have never eaten at Jamie Oliver’s. We wanted to eat there when we were in Manchester on an excursion but ended up going to a vegan night at a local pub which was pretty good too 😉

    • Vegan night at a local pub is definitely a more interesting story! 🙂 Glad that I’m not the only one that picks out what they are going to get ahead of time! x

  • I made the mistake of reading this post hungry! Not a good idea, this food looks so delicious and yummy!

  • It was clearly the last piece in a dish that they had in the fridge all evening. But all the other dishes were so lovely that I didn’t care. And I was stuffed! Although I probably could have done the caprese salad again. (Only because I love it so much 🙂 ) x

  • Ugh bummer about the slow service! When I lived in Clapham Junction there was a Jamie Oliver Recipease around the corner from our flat and it did cookware, takeaway, books and small cafe dishes. Some of the bread there…..the stuff of dreams, I’m telling you! x

  • You had me at Italian food! 🙂 I love picking out what I’m going to eat ahead of time–the anticipation of eating my choices is half the fun. Your pasta looks SOOO good!

    • That’s exactly the way I feel about it! I like looking forward to my dishes. Thanks! You’ll have to look up his carbonara recipe, it’s awesome! x

  • Both pasta dishes look amazing! I also do the exact same before I head to restaurants – and it sadly happens a lot that they are out of the thing I want when I get there, always a big disappointment!

    • Haha, I’m so glad that I’m not the only person that likes to pick out what they eat ahead of time and gets disappointed when it’s not available 🙂 Huge first world problem, right? x

  • Mmmm Italian. I have been to Jamie’s Italian in Covent Garden a couple of times. So good. I had the rabbit pasta – unbelievable!

    • That looked incredible on the menu! Glad to know that it is! I’ll have to try it next time. xx

  • I ADORE JAMIE OLIVER. I own his cookbooks, I’ve watched his shows for years, I’m a huge fan of FoodTube, I did a blog series where I cooked his recipes, and for my mom’s 50th I took her to Fifteen!! (She loves him as much as I do.) I haven’t been to a Jamie’s Italian as I don’t think there are any locations in the States, but they’re opening one up in Hong Kong so I hope to go the next time I visit there! That penne carbonara looks amazing.

    • You’ll absolutely LOVE getting to go to a Jamie’s Italian then! I hope you get a chance really soon! xx

  • All of it looks amazing. That drink though… I need to know what it tasted like..

    • Hmm… have you ever had Campari? Aperol is like a milder, lighter version of that. It’s an orangey-rhubarby apertif. So that mixed in with some prosecco and soda water is delicious! x

  • Alanna Wilson

    Mmm I love caprese salad, that mozza looks delicious.

    I don’t own any cookbooks but we went to his Italian in Camrbidge. I loved the space (it used to be a library). We also got the bread starter and also really liked the sourdough. I had basil penne with (I can’t remember if it was mozza or goat cheese) but it was delicious. My man got some sort of chicken and vegetables but the veggies weren’t great. The roasted potatoes were still hard and not cooked through. He really should have sent them back but we both hate to be a pain. I told him he should get pasta at an Italian place :p. I also liked that you could watch them make the pasta.

    I’d try it again 🙂

    • Caprese is the best! It must have been so quaint in a former library! But it’s a real shame about the veg and potatoes. I don’t think Sam would have sent his back if he was in your shoes but depending on the situation I might have… But I guess that’s the American in me 🙂 x