Thursday, 12 December 2013

Nina Eats - Jamie's Italian

Jamie's Italian Crispy Arcancini
Crispy Arancini
Jamie's Italian Spinach and Taleggio
 Spinach and Taleggio
Jamie's Italian Pumpkin Tortellini
 Pumpkin Tortellini 
Jamie's Italian Polenta Chips
 Polenta Chips
Jamie's Italian Tagliatelle Bolognese
 Tagliatelle Bolognese 

I have a love hate relationship with eating Italian food out.  It's my favourite cuisine but so many restaurants just butcher it (Carluccio's I'm looking at you).  I hate paying for food that I know I could cook better in my own kitchen.  So thankfully Jamie's Italian opened in Cardiff to take away all those woes.  My dinner buddy and I popped into Jamie's for food before a trip to see Catching Fire a few weeks ago.  We were lucky enough to beat the dinner rush and got a table straight away, but I would highly recommend booking a table.  This place gets PACKED.

The menu at Jamie's is classically Italian but you can find some items on the menu that you normally wouldn't find in other chain restaurants, such as rabbit ragu and for fish lovers they have a great fish of the day dish.  If you want something that's a little bit different then this is the place for you!

We had the Crispy Arancini and the Spinach and Taleggio for starters.  The arancini were delicious! They were crispy balls of risotto with arrabbiata sauce and oh my were they great.  To my great shame I've never had arancini before but they will be on my go to list in future.  The Spinach and Taleggio bites were very tasty too, they came with a basil garlic mayo and heaps of freshly grated parmesan.  It was very heavily garlic based so if you're on a date maybe give these a miss if you're counting on kissing! Still very tasty nonetheless.  For my main I went for the Pumpkin Tortellini, which was delicious.  Pumpkin is one of my favourite seasonal things to eat.  It came with a great chilli and sage pumpkin sauce and had amaretti biscuits crushed on top.  Different but very tasty.  My dinner companion had the beef and pork bolognese with a splash of Chianti.  I was told it was delicious and the empty plate at the end vouched for that.  We also grabbed a side of polenta chips which came sprinkled with rosemary and parmesan.  I'd never had polenta chips before and they were pretty great.  Nice and crunchy, the polenta gives it a very different texture to normal potatoes.  A nice alternative to your standard chips.  For dessert we shared three scopes of ice cream (chocolate, slated caramel and honeycomb) topped with honeycomb and seasonal fruits.  I didn't get time to grab a photo, it was just too tasty.

My only qualms with this restaurant is that despite the great trendy layout, it feels like they've crammed in a lot of tables so you feel a little squashed during busy times, and the music isn't great.  It's chart music (nothing irritates me more than hearing Rihanna being blared out whilst I'm trying to have a nice dinner I'd have preferred some more 'backgroundy' music) and that on top of lots of people means it can get very loud so it feels like you're shouting at your dinner companion.  I'd recommend coming in for lunch and avoiding peak times to ensure you have a great dining experience.

We were both pleasantly surprised what the bill came to.  We both had a drink, two starters, two mains, a side and shared a dessert and it all came to £40.  I feel like that's a fair price considering how good the food was.  You'd easily spend £40 in another restaurant with subpar food.  It's not somewhere I'd eat constantly, it makes it less special and the menu doesn't change that often so you'd be in danger of getting bored. This one is definitely a treat! There are several Jamie's Italian over the country so make sure you check the website for a Jamie's in your city.

Price: ££
Unit LG 69/70, St David's 2 Shopping Centre, Cardiff CF10 1GA
Opening Times: Monday - Saturday: 12-11pm Sunday: 12-10:30pm
Telephone number: 029 2002 7792

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  1. That picture of tagliatelle alla bolognese speaks for itself...and I'm Italian! x

    Lulu's Sister

  2. I've never been to Jamie's. We do have one in Norwich. After reading your review I may try it sometime.

    Jenny | sunny sweet pea xx

  3. oh my gosh, this looks so yummy! I wonder if they have something similar to Jamie's in the US!
    I, like you, also hate paying for food I feel like I could make at home!

  4. This makes me so hungry! It looks amazing. Too bad they don't have a Jamie's where I live... I think I am making Italian tonight! :) xx


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