Today my wife and I celebrated our birthday, yes we share the same birthday, by eating at Jamie Oliver’s new restaurant in Cardiff, Jamie’s Italian. I made a comment about it on my Twitter stream and someone replied asking me my thoughts on our experience.
We had heard great things about Jamie’s and just getting back to Cardiff from a six month stay in the U.S. we were eager to try it out. We were expecting quite a wait to be seated, but from the time we put our name on the list to the time we were seated was only about 20 minutes. The waitress later said that today was extremely busy for a Thursday lunch time, so I guess we were fortunate to get seated as quickly as we did.
The restaurant is nicely decorated and laid out with three levels. A full service bar occupies the centre of the ground floor and is just a little too close to the front door. It was mainly occupied by those waiting to be seated. We sat on the ground floor. Our waitress was knowledgeable about the menu. When asked a question about something on the menu she was honest enough to say that she had not tried the item before, instead of pretending that it was great.
We started with Green Olives on Ice with Tapenade and Music Bread (£3.50). The olives were great. I don’t think they were standard green olives. These were very big, very green, and had a pleasant taste. Julie had the Roasted Pumpkin Risotto (£6.45). This comes in two sizes and she went with the smaller size, which was perfect for a lunch portion. She also had the Crunchy Season Root Salad (£1.95) as a side. I had a 10 oz. Rib Eye (£16.95) with grilled flat mushrooms and watercress. I ordered it cooked medium and it came out cooked slightly more than medium, not enough to return though. As a side I had Funky Chips (french fries for you Americans) with fresh shaved garlic and parsley (£2.50). I have to say, the chips were my favorite. As far as chips go these were very good, and the garlic was a great addition.
We’ll be going back. We’re both eager to try out different things on the menu. Regardless of my next choice I’ll definitely have the Funky Chips again. In terms of cost I would say that Jamie’s is on par with Pizza Express. Overall, very good.