I love cooking, I love food and I love our kitchen but sometimes, I get home from work and I really cannot be bothered to step foot in there. You know, when you have had one of those non-stop days and you just need someone else to satisfy your hunger for you. Well, I pre-empted one of those days on Monday 18th April. I was invited along to take a look at the new evening meal deal that Jamie’s Italian restaurants have started doing (available mon-thur from 6pm) and I knew Monday would be a safe bet; I was on a course for work that day so my brain would be too frazzled to know the difference between a knife and a fork.
Now, a three course dinner doesn’t happen very often in the house, it tends to be special occasions so I would never normally polish off three plates of food on an average Monday, so I had a small breakfast and a light lunch to make sure I had room for what I anticipated to be a large dinner that evening.
We stepped into the restaurant a little earlier than expected but were taken to our seat straight away. Personally, I wasn’t in love with where we were seated, it seemed like they added an extra and almost unnecessary table in between two others to allow more diners in at any one time. It was also very busy for a Monday evening at 7:20pm – not what I would have thought. We were handed the menu, along with a separate menu detailing the new £18.95 Evening Meal Deal – basically three courses for less than £20 – that is an absolute bargain.
Our waiter for the evening, Richie, came over to take our drinks order. One (non-alcoholic) Refresher cocktail for me and a beer for Ben. It was all but 2 minutes before he arrived back at our table with our beverages. Having perused the menu before us and identifying that they were the favourites from the typical menu plus a few newbies, we decided what we were going for and also placed our food order. To start, Truffle Tagliatelle for me and a Meat Plank for Ben; the chosen mains were ‘Jamie’s Favourite‘ Meatball Pappardelle – I felt I had to try given it is Mr Oliver’s favourite dish – and a Steak Frites for Mr C along with a side of Garlic Bread with thanks to the table beside us having ordered it and it looking all delicious.
I was super excited about my starter, I am a huge fan of truffle and cook with truffle oil frequently at home to add that beautiful taste to dishes, however, this was the real deal. I did not expect for the dish to come out bearing shaved truffle and they were pretty generous with it too. Not only that but the dish was MASSIVE, it could have passed for a main meal in all honesty. It was super tasty too so a big thumbs up from me on that one.
The same can’t be said however for the Meat Plank from Ben’s perspective, he wasn’t overly keen on the meat selection or the mozzarella for that matter. I’d had it as a lunch option previously and I did enjoy it (you can read that review here). I guess everyone has different tastes, I did try the mozzarella and must admit, it did have a strange texture, like it hasn’t been drained fully – it felt a bit too wet.
Next up, the mains, my Meatball Pappardelle is huge, probably enough for two people in this bowl, the meatballs are gigantic too! It appears Jamie’s Italian do not take portion control into consideration by the looks of it, so you can gauruntee you won’t leave hungry! Now, the first few mouthfuls of this were delicious and there was definitely a spicy kick coming through from the Nduja sausage however, the pasta was not appealing to the eye, in fact they are visually not to dissimilar to tentacles in my opinion. It was a big bowl of the same thing over and over again, there wasn’t enough flavours to keep me interested and if I am brutally honest, the meatballs were actually a little on the dry and tough side – probably to do with the sheer size of them. However, that being said, I did enjoy the flavour, I just think there was too much of a good thing in one sitting.
Now, the garlic bread stole the show during the main course, it was perfectly crunchy with a pack-a-punch flavour with thanks to the additional rosemary topping. If you order any sides, order this, you will NOT be disappointed.
Feeling rather full by this stage but knowing my review would not be complete without a dessert, we pushed through and placed our order. I opted for the Molten Chocolate Pudding and Ben, the Epic Brownie (I had that last time and it was in fact – EPIC!)
Judging by the bowl when it arrived, I think it had took a little tumble on the route to me as it was a little misshapen and already oozing with the caramel before I sliced into it. This was fine though because the taste made up for it. Oh, what a delight! I was also not fussed about ‘portion control’ when it came to this course and I am glad they were not stingy with it. I know in most places you get a giant plate full of food and a mediocre, pretentious looking dessert. Well, not at Jamie’s and the fact I would have been happy to shovel a second down my throat says something.
All in all, it was a pleasant evening, I cannot fault the service we received and Richie was very knowledgable and enthusiastic about all the dishes. We cannot grumble for the price of it either for 3 courses EACH and leaving like we had eaten a small horse. I’d highly recommend giving Jamie’s new evening meal deal a go, it’s a great place for a mid-week family outing and a great way to enjoy hearty, italian style food without breaking the bank. There is still plenty to choose from on the meal deal menu so if you do go and you try something different, leave me a comment below and let me know what you though 🙂
*Jamie’s Italian Evening Meal Deal is available Monday – Thursday from 6pm – I would recommend booking as the restaurant does get very busy as mentioned before – I couldn’t get over how busy Monday evening at 7:30 was!!!
*this opportunity was on a complimentary basis in return for an honest review on my blog.