When I was invited to Jamie’s Italian in Oxford to test out their new evening meal deal, I was delighted. I will forever have a soft spot for Jamie Oliver and his food, as Fifteen in London was the first restaurant my husband, Keith, took me to. We arrived at a rather unfortunate time on a Thursday evening. The previous diners had left on mass to go to the theatre, so there were a few tables with dirty plates and the front of house team left us waiting a few minutes before we were greeted. They apologised and explained, which was really nice of them.
We were fortunate to be seated in front of the window, looking out over George Street. The town was buzzing, so we had a fabulous vista to people watch whilst enjoying our dinner. It wasn’t long before the restaurant was full again which gave it a lovely, relaxed atmosphere.
The set menu is presented on a A4 card with four choices for each of the three courses. When Keith and I dine out, we normally chose two different items off the menu and swap half way. However, we spotted another table being presented with a selection of meats on a long board as their starter and decided to order it for two.
We were not disappointed with our choice. The meats were a fresh selection of unique tastes. Fennel salami, spicy cured ham, traditional proscuttio and a rather strange billy the bear type meat. The coleslaw was chunky, crunchy and fresh. The small balls of buffalo mozzarella, creamy and the cheese, flatbread and chilli jam combo was very tasty. Our taste buds were definitely awake.
For main course Keith chose the legendary Prawn Tagliatelli, while I opted for the Italian Steak & Fries.
Both plates of food looked vibrant and appetising.
I wasn’t expecting an explosion of mint when I first ate the steak and was slightly shocked. It is not a combination I would have been brave enough to try at home. Lamb and mint yes, but not beef. It did however give the steak a lovely taste of summer. The more I ate of it, the more I liked the combination. The chips were very good. Crisp and well cooked.
Keith’s tagliatelli also had a very fresh taste. The pasta was more like thick spaghetti than the tagliatelli I am akin to purchasing in the supermarket – but it was lovely. The prawns were fresh and flavoursome. The sauce comforting.
I’m not saying I am the best cook in the world. Far from it! But I do like to eat food in restaurants which have a special touch. A twist I wouldn’t thought have trying at home. Both of the main courses we tried ticked this box.
We were both feeling rather full when our lovely waitress brought the dessert menu over. We felt it was our duty to test out the offerings, we really wouldn’t be helping anyone if we didn’t. Yes it was a big sacrifice, but one we gladly made.
Keith chose White Chocolate Cheesecake and I opted for the traditionally Italian dessert of Tiramisu. As you can see, if I had waited a moment longer to take the photo, the cheesecake may not have been on the plate. They were lovely.
The Tiramisu was very well balanced with a lovely hint of orange. It gave the traditionally heavy dessert a lovely light touch.
The cheesecake was every bit as indulgent as it should be. Creamy with a crunchy base and a slightly tart coulis – yum yum yum.
The whole meal was beautifully presented, fresh and flavourful.
I have been to other restaurants where the food might be on offer, but the expensive drinks make up for the discount. I really don’t think it was the case at Jamie’s Italian. The set menu was £18.95 per person (worth every single penny and more!) Keith had two bottles of beer. I had one large glass of red wine and we shared a bottle of sparkling water. Our bill came to a very pleasing £58.00 – extremely good value if you ask me.
Thank you Jamie’s Italian in Oxford. We had a lovely evening, really enjoyed the evening meal deal and will be back soon.
A good tip for parking in Oxford of the evening too – Oxpens car park. Instead of fighting with everyone else to park at St.Giles or Worcester Street, drive the couple of minutes extra to Oxpens car park (next to the ice rink). Parking was much cheaper, I think we paid £2.60 on Ringo, and it’s only a short walk down the side of the college to the city centre – allow an extra 15 minutes to be on the safe side. The height restriction is 2.1m too, just in case you have a larger vehicle.