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More than 10 years down the line, Jamie Oliver’s training-based crusade is still in good health –so its pukka owner decided to give it a grown-up makeover in 2013. The result is more New York than
Old Street, with exposed brick, rust-coloured banquettes, muted tones and super-low lighting replacing bright-pink paintwork and down-with-the-kids graffiti. The menu has also been recalibrated,
moving away from rustic Italian mode into the generic, contemporary world of Brit-accented plate-sharing – the Jamie O way. Beef and barley buns with horseradish cream are a fun way to start, but
also expect good-looking salads (beetroot, hazelnut and goats’ curd), spot-on fish dishes (grilled plaice with Jerusalem artichokes and brown shrimps) and sharing bonanzas that include a whole
rotisserie chicken with bread sauce. Service is effervescent, the wine list is thorough, and prices are more customer-friendly than before.
How big is a truckle? Anyone? This is the question I was asking people most of last week after being invited along to a one-off dinner at Jamie Oliver's Fifteen to celebrate the creation of Westcombe White Truffle Cheddar, apparently the world's most expensive cheese at £2,000 a truckle! Here's what Wikipedia had for me:
"A "truckle" of cheese refers to a cylindrical wheel of cheese, usually taller than it is wide, and sometimes described as barrel-shaped. The word is derived from the Latin trochlea, 'wheel, pulley'. Truckles vary greatly in size, from the wax-coated cheeses sold in supermarkets, to 25 kilogram or larger artisanal cheeses."... More from The List »
The original Fifteen is in Shoreditch and it is a handsome looking restaurant. Split over two floors, the décor is dark; dark tables, dark floors, etc, made even darker as the sunlight goes down as the lighting is kept very dim. But it sets the tone for an intimate atmosphere made buzzier by the constant chatter of the guests. Tables are closely positioned, but the space works... More from A Girl Has to Eat - Restaurant Reviews & Food Guide »
A couple of months back, I was asked if I wanted to come try out Fifteens new menu. New head chef, new place, new approach to their food. Away went the "Italian" focused menu, and in came something with a much more British focus, unsurprising given that head chef John Rotherham's previous employment was at none other than the sadly now defunct St John Hotel.
Each dish embraces no more than a few ingredients, used intelligently together to highlight the flavours of the other. With lots of the very much sharing focused menu under ten pounds, we kind of went wild... More from a rather unusual chinaman »
Jamie Oliver's rise from Essex kid cooking at his parents' pub to multi-millionaire TV chef, author, campaigner & populist foodie hero has been phenomenal. After graduating from Westminster College, our pukka boy went on to work at The River Café. Some years ago, he launched Fifteen, a not-for-profit restaurant staffed by underprivileged, previously unemployed youngsters & since then he has overseen the opening of sister restaurants in Amsterdam, Melbourne & Cornwall. Meanwhile, Oliver's sky-high media profile guarantees his presence in our kitchens & living rooms on a regular basis.