SquareMeal Review of
Jamie Oliver’s good-hearted ‘non-profit’ concept Fifteen hit the City Road area in 2002, long before the luxury developers arrived. The restaurant has changed a great deal since then, and now resembles a French bistro rather than the funky trattoria of old – although the bentwood chairs, gilt-framed pictures, studded upholstery and cheesy playlist seem at odds with the kitchen’s bright contemporary approach. Fifteen’s annual intake of apprentices is clearly learning well: our verdant broccoli soup with Beenleigh Blue and lovage oil was an upbeat version of a hoary classic; smoked cod’s roe with radishes and spelt crackers was simple and effective; and there’s guinea fowl pie with pickled walnuts for those who fancy something gutsily traditional. By contrast, the five-course ‘chef’s choice’ showcases trendier dishes – think ‘Dorset crab, courgette, wild fennel, crème fraîche and cobnut’ or ‘English strawberry, goats’ milk ice cream, elderflower, spring herbs’. Gin’s the thing at the friendly all comers’ bar.