I’ve eaten in a few branches of Jamie’s Italian, and I’ve never had cause to complain. In fact, the restaurant is one of my favourites, so when dad offered to take me for a “nice lunch”, I quickly locked him in for a trip to Jamie’s. The Glasgow branch of Jamie’s Italian is situated within an old Post Office building facing on to George Square, which I think makes for nice surroundings.
We arrived at Jamie’s around 2 o’clock and were seated promptly and politely by the host. Seated in a booth, we set about examining the menu, settling on a Cured Meat Plank for 2 and a portion of Fried Stuffed Olives to start. The olives were a revelation – stuffed with spicy pork and served in arrabbiata sauce with garlic crisps and parmesan, they were certainly different from anything I’ve eaten before. Crispy on the outside, salty in the middle, and sitting in a puddle of spicy tomato sauce, I would definitely order these again. The Cured Meat Plank is an old favourite – two types of salami, mortadella and prosciutto are served alongside buffalo mozzarella, pecorino with chilli jam on crispy music bread, and a selection of olives, pickles and vegetable ‘slaw. The chilli jam is sweet yet slightly spicy, perfectly offsetting the subtle flavour of the pecorino, and I love the combination of salty meat and creamy mozzarella.
For our main courses, we both chose full sized portions of pasta dishes (they can also be ordered as small portions if you wish to eat in the traditional way and follow your pasta with a meat course.) Dad chose the classic Penne Carbonara – Jamie’s freshly made pasta in a traditional, creamy carbonara sauce with smoke pancetta, leeks and lemon. Dad was particularly pleased to find the pancetta was crispy and raved about the beautifully creamy, but not overly heavy, sauce. My Three Cheese Caramelle was also delicious (and there wasn’t any caramel in sight!). Five large parcels of pasta were filled with ricotta, provolone, Bella Lodi – a type of hard parmesan – and spinach. I was expecting a creamy texture inside the pasta, however the cheese mixture was actually crumbly and gave a very nice contrast to the creamy tomato sauce which the pasta sat in. Despite the fact that the dish contained a lot of cheese, it was not heavy and the portion was, in my opinion, the perfect size.
For dessert, Dad opted for the simple option of sorbet with toppings. One can choose three different scoops from ice cream, frozen yoghurt and sorbet and top with two different toppings from a selection of 6. Initially he ordered a scoop each of lemon sorbet, mango sorbet and black cherry frozen yoghurt, but the waiter then informed him that they did not have any black cherry yoghurt that day. It was the only disappointment in an otherwise fantastic meal, and his choice was easily altered to include a scoop of raspberry sorbet. These he enjoyed topped with amaretti biscuits and smashed honeycomb.
Meanwhile, I had a dilemma on my hands. I had seen the Amalfi Lemon Meringue Cheesecake at another table and it had looked very good indeed, but I was also drawn to the Molten Chocolate Praline Pudding. When the waiter came I eventually made my mind up and chose… (drum roll please) the Molten Chocolate Praline Pudding! Well, of course, I can never resist a good chocolate pudding – and this one certainly fulfilled that role. The warm chocolate cake split easily under the weight of my spoon, giving way to reveal a pool of liquid praline. I would go as far to say that this was the best chocolate fondant/molten pudding I’ve ever had – the liquid centre was the prefect consistency and poured out when I broke into the dessert. The sweet chocolate pudding was complimented by the salted caramel ice cream and the crispy, sticky pieces of praline that adorned the plate were the ideal finishing touch.
Every single thing I ate at Jamie’s was delicious, and this was possibly the best meal I’ve had at any of their branches. I’ll definitely be back, in one location or another, and hopefully not too far in the future.