Not content with being the face responsible for changing school dinners, Jamie Oliver’s empire has more recently focused on establishing a range of Italians across London, simply called ‘Jamie’s Italian’.
With chains in Canary Wharf, Covent Garden, Stratford, and Greenwich, Jamie has been building his pukka Italian empire since 2008, plenty of time to get it right.
One of the more atmospheric places to eat in Greenwich, the main bar opens up into a large conservatory-style area, with an al-fresco area for when summertime dining becomes a viable option. The buzz of chatter and the frenetic bustle of the staff gives it a warm and authentic feel, whilst the lounge area serving as an annex to the bar means you have a comfortable place to wait for your table where you can have a flick through any number of recipe books which are sprawled around.
The antipasti offers the best bits of Italian dining: juicy olives, cured meatboards, homemade crusty breads with olive oil and balsamic to dip. Then there is a cocktail list as long as your arm, with a few specials thrown in the mix to try, the Aperol Spritz and Florence Fizz are definitely recommended.
Daily specials are always chalked up on the board, such as the pancetta (chunky great slabs of it) and porcini mushroom tagliatelle with white wine sauce that we went for – as a well as a Fish of The Day which I imagine is probably not locally sourced from the River Thames. Hearty portions packed with flavor for around £12 a pasta dish, a touch more if you’re wanting to go for one of the fish or meat options. The food is definitely value for money; a meal for two with a couple of drinks thrown will be around the £60 mark.
One of the things that works for ‘Jamie’s Italian’ is the depth of the menu. I challenge anyone to go there and not find anything, no matter how fussy you are – I could have happily have chosen something different off the menu for at least two weeks! It has all the personality of an Italian, despite being the brainchild of a geezer from Essex, and is well worth a visit if you’re ever in Greenwich.