As you may have seen on Instagram, Dan and I ventured out in to Manchester on Sunday as we had a table for two booked at one of our favourite restaurant, Jamie's Italian Manchester on King Street. I was very kindly invited to go and review the restaurant, which as you can imagine I was pretty darn excited about! I'm a huge fan of Jamie Oliver in general, and his recipe books are probably the most read books in our house, so anything he puts his name to is always something I'm going to like! We booked our table for lunch on Sunday, and lucky for us the Parklife Festival was on so it was fairly quiet and chilled out. Previously we've been on a Saturday evening and the place was packed!
When we arrived we were a little early so grabbed some drinks at the bar. I tried a Ginger Refresher from the specials menu, which was a delicious non-alcoholic cocktail made from ginger beer and almond, two of my favourite flavours! We were quickly shown to a table on the ground floor (there are some balconies on the upper level that overlook the whole restaurant too!) in a lovely comfy setting. The restaurant building itself used to be a big bank, so you can imagine the size of the place! It has sleek marble walls and floors, dark wooden furniture and a rustic charm that is welcome in such a busy city.
Our waitress, Rachael came over to explain the specials to us and take our orders. One thing that really impressed us is how the staff know every little detail about the food. She was able to tell us in great detail about three new dishes and how each element was cooked. Very impressive! I also liked the personal touch of how she recommended the things she liked, and warned us if things were a little unusual! For example, for our starter we ordered one of their signature meat planks to share, and when it arrived at our table Rachael talked us through each item, warning us of the heat of the chillies and acquired taste of the caper berries. Dan had the same plank when we last visited, and I ended up stealing half the things from him then, so the fact you can get a bigger one to share was perfect for us, and even better with the extra bread basket we ordered! The starter consisted of a selection of cured Italian meats, a root vegetable and mint salad, baby buffalo mozzarella balls, cheese with chilli jam and a ridiculously yummy black olive tapenade. I'm not a fan of olives at all but that was absolutely gorgeous.
For our mains, we both wanted to try something we hadn't had there before, so Dan went for the Sausage Pappardelle Pasta which is something we actually cook ourselves (it's in his 30 Minute Meals book if you have it! Look for 'Jools' Pregnant Pasta'!) and it is gorgeous. I tried this last time and loved it, so Dan wanted to give it a whirl and I think I can safely say he really enjoyed it too. It's a really tasty sauce made from ground sausage and fennel with lots of tomatoes and herbs and tastes just like the recipe!
I went for the Feather Blade Steak which was incredible (and that's not usually a word I use often for food!) which had been pounded until it was really thin, with proscuitto and sage on top, chargrilled and served with a yummy tomato salad. It was so, so tasty and I think Dan was a little jealous when he tasted it! Team that with a portion of their Funky Chips with garlic and parsley, and you have perfection on a plate!
We were wayyyy too full to even consider dessert after all that delicious food, which was a shame as everything sounded amazing. Maybe next time we won't be so greedy!
Like I said, Jamie's was already hands down my favourite place to eat in Manchester, but after this visit it's even higher up there now! We enjoyed the food so much and the service was brilliant. Rachael was a fantastic waitress and really helpful with any questions we had. Nothing was too much trouble, and overhearing some comments round the room, all parties seemed to be echoing our feelings about her service. I will of course be going back as soon as I can, no doubt about it, and would highly recommend trying it, especially the Feather Blade Steak!
Thanks to Jamie's Italian for having us! It was a lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
Have any of you tried Jamie's Italian? What's your favourite thing on the menu?
*Disclaimer: I was very kindly offered a gift voucher for our meal in order to review the restaurant. As always, all views are my own and 100% honest.