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Jamie's Italian (Restaurant)

Picture of Jamie's Italian in Angel & Islington, London

North Retail, 409 - 411 St Johns Street, Angel & Islington, London, EC1V 4PL
Cuisine: Italian
Tel: 020 3435 9915 | Transport: Angel | Write review

Jamie's Italian Review

Top 10 things to know about Jamie’s Italian restaurant:

1) Jamie Oliver: beloved chef and undisputed overlord of school dinners he may be, but Italian he most certainly is not. So the rise of Jamie’s Italian eateries around the UK is bound to raise some eyebrows. I mean, I often pretend to be Italian too - if only because shouting “Mozzarella di Bufala!” while gesticulating wildly is so much fun – but then, my vaguely offensive stereotypical affections don’t extend to the launching of a nationwide chain of restaurants.

2) That said, Italian is probably the best food in the world, and very difficult to get wrong, so you can’t blame Chef Oliver for wanting in on the action. We’ll give him a break, as long as he knows his penne from his prosciutto.

3) The Angel branch of Jamie’s Italian certainly bodes well, located in prime, glossy real estate with all the latest in exposed ceilings and edgy murals near the imposing entrance.

4) The sprawling, cast-iron bar gives way to a dimly-lit, multi-tiered dining room, whose tiled walls, giant windows and identikit furniture don’t exactly scream La Bella Italia, although an open-front kitchen festooned with swathes of chillis and garlic is a nice touch.

5) For starters, the “Ultimate Sharing Plank” lives up to its promising title, perched on two tins of tomatoes and teetering under the weight of delightful cured meats, pesto and gallons of olive oil.

6) However, I remain unconvinced by my main course of rather tough sausage pappardelle – maybe I should have opted for a steak or even the British lamb lollipops, but would that not somewhat defeat the purpose?

7) No pizzas here either, pointedly enough.

8) Balance is restored with a sensational raspberry pavlova and an orange-tinged tiramisù. Although distant gondoliers singing opera in the Mediterranean sunset would have really finished it off. Call me picky.

9) Also on the plus side, the bar can stand toe-to-toe with Angel’s many cocktail lounges, its output including the Florence Fizz (limoncello, elderflower cordial and prosecco) and something called Gennaro’s Sidecar. Meanwhile, the wine selection is spot-on, and there’s even an in-house craft beer for the purists.

10) Ultimately, I can’t help but feel that despite the inviting décor and occasional menu highlight, there are better places to seek out authentic Italian food in north London than this cheery yet hollow facsimile. more

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