Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Jamie's Italian - London Shepherd's Bush

Did you know I was once a Jamie Oliver fan? Still am really. I watched his cooking show on BBC 2 with such fascination because of his random ways of cooking and how he grew herbs on his window sill. But when he switched over to Channel 4 I think I lost interest, plus I was entering university at the time and didn't have time to watch that much TV! 

I don't own any of his cookbooks or tv shows but just watching what he does with cooking is amazing! I feel like I'm watching my parents cook as they don't use measuring cups, weighing scales or special gadgets except for tin openers. ^_^

I've wanted to eat at a Jamie Oliver restaurant for a very long time, but every time I mention it to a friend they would look at me to say, "are you joking?" Why? Is it that bad??? Anyway, I decided to take a long bus ride to Shepherd's Bush as I was looking for a rucksack, and also decided to visit Jamie's Italian. I wanted to try out this place as Jamie Oliver is opening a branch in Hong Kong, and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about...

Jamie's Italian is actually quite hard to spot in the Southern Terrace of Westfield Shopping Centre. It's separated from all the other restaurants in that area but you can easily spot it with the blue ice cream van in the front.
Remember to find the ice cream van to find Jamie's Italian in Shepherd's Bush!
I dined alone that day and was extremely hungry... I think the waitress was surprised to see a lone diner (I wasn't the only one) and I almost thought I had to seat myself!
Some diners were already there

Lots of seating
I had a very handsome waiter taking my order (just wanted to point that out to the ladies!). I wanted to try out the seafood bucatini but the sound of the white sauce didn't appeal plus it was expensive! So in the end I ordered the Cauliflower and Cheese Fritters and a Simple Baked Lasagne. I asked for it to be served at the same time...

Here's my drink... a bitter Refresher drink. Too bitter to drink really. Needed more elderflower juice in it. There was too much ice in it as well...
Refresher is too bitter
It was a little wait for the food, so I sat there listening to the diners next to me and playing Pet Rescue Saga. The diners next to me were having a boring conversation which did not interest me one bit that's why I constantly played on my phone! ... Finally the food came...
My food
I tried the Cauliflower Fritters... Humph. I was quite disappointed really. It was warm nearly cold. The cauliflower already lost it's crunch. Tasted as if the cauliflower were cooked beforehand. How disappointing. I think I would have preferred a bit of crunch in my veg like they do with Japanese tempura. If this is how Italian cauliflower fritters taste like, then I'm just disappointed! ¬,¬""
Cauliflower Fritters and Cheese sauce
Next I started on the Simple Baked Lasagne. Presentation wise it looked good but not sure about the salad leaves though. But taste wise I was again disappointed. It was kind of salty, no sweet tomato taste and a bit watery to my liking. Nevertheless I ate the whole thing as I didn't like to waste my money.
Simple Baked Lasagne 
You know what, I think my face said it all... Disappointed. I think the waiter could see it although I gave him big smiles just to hide my disappointment. 

The waiter asked if I wanted dessert. I thought why not, maybe this would make up for the lunch... How wrong was I?! Ha. I ordered the tiramisu. I've had a lot of versions of tiramisu, and this was the most disappointing of them all!! Just a dust of coffee on top of a sweet cake. ¬,¬"" What?! Disappointed again!!!! I think a little bit more coffee powder for the coffee lovers would have helped a bit more...
Tiramisu
Most of the diners ordered the burgers. I should have went for those. I think they were regulars to the place and probably knew what to order. Next time if I ever, ever come again, I'm getting a burger...

Total price came to £23.45 which isn't bad for a famous chef's restaurant. But too expensive for an "Italian" restaurant according to some friends. One friend said there are better places to eat Italian. Jamie's is bland and overpriced they said... Agreed there!! Sorry Jamie Oliver...

Well, good luck in Hong Kong. Chinese people have big expectations with food. I hope some of the recipes will have improved once they open in the summer...!!

Here's Jamie making attempts at speaking Cantonese... I give him credit for trying!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SiIiJZ-Bki0

My geeky rating: 2.5/5

Good points:
- Good service
- Nice big restaurant 

Bad points:
- Food quality wasn't the greatest as expected 
- Pricey for Italian food
- Not the greatest restaurant for Italian food

Address: Unit 1078, Westfield Shopping Centre, Ariel Way, London, Greater London W12 7GB
Phone: 020 8090 9070

Website: http://www.jamieoliver.com/italian/


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