food: Jamie’s Italian

Jamie Oliver’s restaurant in Geroge Square has been open for a while now and the queues you used to see outside have quietened down (then again it was a Sunday evening).  Despite the lack of queues outside, we still had a 40 minute wait in the bar.

The menu was interesting and it was hard to choose (partly hard to understand, mostly hard to choose) but we finally settled on spaghetti bolognese and some fish and chips…  well actually “Frito Misto – Italian dish of bits of meat, seafood, and vegetables dipped in batter and fried in olive oil”

I’m not a big fan of ‘shell fish’ or ‘squidgy things’ but I do like fish and in particular white fish and the waitress said this was mixed bits of white fish.  The photo shows how it arrived, which looked dramatic with the fried ‘fish’ in brown paper and topped with deep fried spaghetti, and a little bucket of chips (which were extra).

When I managed to get past the brittle deep fried spaghetti (which frankly was a waste of time, tasteless brittle nest of stuff that didn’t add anything to the meal) I discovered that most of the deep fried fish wasn’t fish but – calamari, sardines, prawn, etc. with very little (IMHO) fish!  The tartar sauce was excellent, the chips were OK but though I tried everything it really wasn’t to my taste – or to be more accurate ‘rubbish’.  The bits of fish I could eat weren’t even that great but the calamari was very chewy, the sardines tasteless, basically I didn’t like it.

D’ said the Spag-Bol was OK, but nothing too fantastic and to be honest that is what we expected.  Jamie Oliver’s restaurants trade on his name and reputation and I really like his TV and books so was expecting something above average.  We were charged highly above average price, but the quality of the food, just wasn’t up to that standard.

For interest – the above bag of little fishy bits with tartar sauce and ‘waste of space’ deep fried spaghetti cost £16!  Spag-Bol was a little over £10, chips were £3.25 and Morgan Spiced and Coke was £4.50 each.  I have paid more for a meal than this, but I think this might have been the worst meal I’ve eaten at a restaurant.  Deeply disappointing and I wouldn’t recommend going here.

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