Jamie Oliver’s wallet-friendly Italian continues apace, offering mid-priced cooking inspired by mentor Gennaro Contaldo. Having come under attack from diners bemoaning the ‘glacial’ serving pace and lack of a booking option, lessons have been learned: front of house training is comprehensive, resulting in knowledgeable, bright service and tables can now be booked in advance. Unfortunately, ‘inconsistent’ is still a fair appraisal of the food: deliciously crunchy polenta chips juxtapose a bland, overpriced bruschetta starter. Mains deliver on taste, with grilled lamb chop lollipops perfectly paired with the fiery tang of sour cream and chilli oil dip, only to be let down afterwards by a timidly flavoured tiramisù. The wine list sticks patriotically to Italian soil, offering a modest overview of the regions, while the citrus-heavy cocktail menu injects some fun into proceedings. With a new, sprawling Piccadilly flagship, Jamie’s Italian campaign looks set to march onwards.
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