I can remember when Jamie’s Italian Oxford opened, not too many years ago. People queued down the street for a table and I enjoyed many a breakfast there. Then, after a while, I started to find that things weren’t as good as they were when they first opened, and as there are many great places to eat to Oxford, we ventured elsewhere. So when I was asked to review it for A Crafty Chai, I jumped at the chance. As always, I checked out the menu in advance, pleased to see they’d sectioned off the vegetarian offerings. Word to the wise, there are many more options available to both veggies and vegans than it might first appear on the website – just ask your waiter/ess for the veggie menu. (Or take a look at the pic below!)
My lunchtime companion was my friend Mary, and her 2 year old daughter. When booking, I’d asked for a high chair and was really pleased to see a childrens menu, a pack of crayons and a viewfinder with a copy of the menu on at our table. What a great way to show the menu! Plus, a nice little retro reminder for those of us who had them as kids (Have to admit, I think I played with the viewfinder more than Mary’s daughter!) Now, I have no idea what it’s like to go out for dinner with children or how well restaurants generally do catering for families, but Mary was really impressed. She liked the fact that the childrens menu was full of food a grown up would eat, not too babyish and just like they’d get at home. The portions were sensible too, both for children and adults.
There were a number of great options that I could easily have chosen, but it was a miserable day so I wanted something warm but not too filling. I ordered the small portion of the Penne Pomodoro and had some extra chilli, along with a simple green salad. We started with the World’s Best Olives on Ice and they came with a tapenade and music bread. The olives were good, tasty and fresh, as was the tapenade. The music bread was good too, but I wouldn’t call it bread, more like a wafer. I also opted for a non-alcoholic cocktail, the Refresher, well, why not eh?!
The pasta was delicious and the extra chilli gave it a lovely bit of heat, without overpowering the flavour. I always like a fresh green salad with a pasta dish and really liked the simple green salad, especially as the dressing was put in a cute little bottle on the side for me to add myself. Service was good, despite it being a busy Wednesday lunch time during half term holidays. They did forget to bring my side salad, but were hugely apologetic and prompt getting it when I asked. I’m pleased to say our waiter wasn’t intrusive and only asked once to see if everything was okay. Plus, even though I didn’t order a dessert (I had to get back to work after all), he brought me a spoon, just in case! And I used it, as Mary ordered this little beauty:
This is the Epic Brownie. If you go to Jamie’s Italian, leave room for this bad boy because it is amazing! If you’re full, order it anyway and see if someone will share it with you. Totally worth it!
Jamie’s Italian is a lovely place to go in Oxford. It has a lovely opulent feel, without being expensive. Our meal came to less than £50 for three of us, which I think is pretty good.
I am so pleased I was asked to review Jamie’s Italian, as otherwise I might never have eaten there again and missed out on such great food. I would definitely go back, either for light lunch or more of a fancy meal in the evening. Plus, I really like the fact that veggies and vegans get their own menu so there’s no confusion over ingredients. As a vegetarian, you feel like your diet choices are considered, thought about and treated equally, which is something other restaurants need to pay attention to.
Disclaimer: I was a guest of Jamie’s Italian, all opinions are my own.