Jamie’s Italian Manchester, Where do I even start? Yes, its a chain restaurant, No Jamie isn’t in the kitchen working away preparing your perfect meal but so what? I got a lot of slack the other day for saying that I like Jamie’s Italian in Manchester. But I genuinely do. I think it’s a brilliant Italian restaurant that does what it says on the tin! I am getting ahead of myself here (as usual) – let me start from the top.
Seb and I booked a table for about 8pm on a Thursday evening. It was another standard summer day in Manchester – cold, windy and wet. You cannot help but notice the grandeur as you walk towards Jamie’s Italian. It is located in the very upmarket King’s Street and the restaurant itself is situated in the charming former Midland Bank building with high ceilings and huge glass windows. I bet sipping on a glass of white wine, trying out an Italian meat platter in one of the outdoor seats would be quite pleasant on a warm summer day but today was definitely not that day!
The very friendly hostess greeted us when we walked in and showed us to our our table. I was really pleased with where we were seated – we got a nice little corner on the mezzanine floor overlooking the busy restaurant. The table was pretty small but I wasn’t too fussed if I am being honest.
The interiors of this Jamie’s Italian restaurant are absolutely stunning! Not a lot of spaces in Manchester can match the grandeur of this restaurant – it’s elegant, beautiful and very art deco. I am really glad the management at Jamie’s Italian have managed to keep a lot of the original features intact. My favourite feature has to be the imposing bar – it’s the first thing you see as you walk in and really is stunning – the dried hams hanging at the charcuterie section, the rows of fine wines, marble counter tops and gold fittings all add to the opulent settings here.
Our waiter was absolutely brilliant – he was friendly, informative and knew his stuff. He handed us the menu and went through every single special they had on that day – not a small feat as there were over eight! I was really impressed with how passionate he seemed about the food they served and he definitely got me excited about the food that was about to come.
I really like the spring menus at Jamie’s Italian – they are fresh, colourful and well laid out – definitely one of the better menus I have seen in a while. But then again you wouldn’t expect anything less from the well seasoned marketing team at team Jamie’s.
We ordered a bottle of white to start the night off as we waited for our starter to arrive.
Seb and I ordered a sharing platter of cured meats to start with, which is a selection of Fennel Salami, Pistachio Mortadella, Prosciutto & Schiacciata Piccante served on a plank loaded with Buffalo Mozzarella, Pecorino & Chilli Jam and a selection of pickles and olives.
The platter is served on four cans of tinned Italian tomatoes which holds the platter up – quite a nice touch if you ask me.
I have always been a fan of platters – it gives you a chance to try a few different things. Everything on our platter was really nice and tasty. My favourites were the cured meats – the Schiacciata Piccante especially was brilliant.
I was really excited when my main arrived. I ordered one of the specials – the Lamb Shank braised in red wine for six hours served with a chickpea stew, on the recommendation of our waiter. The lamb was faultless – full of flavour and fell of the bones without any hassle. The chickpea stew was a brilliant accompaniment to the lamb as well. Overall, I thought this dish was fab – I would definitely order it again.
Seb went for the Jamie’s Italian Signature Porchetta which was British pork belly with herbs & garlic, fennel crackling & chestnut mushrooms. It was beautiful to begin with but got slightly overpowering towards the end – the earthy flavours in moderation are spot on but they get a bit too much when you have that much on a plate. I really enjoyed nibbling away bits from Seb’s plate though. 🙂
We also ordered two sides – the Funky Chips with fresh garlic & parsley served with a side of home made mayonnaise and the Cime Di Rapa which is baby Italian broccoli, with olives, garlic & lemon butter.
Seb absolutely loved the mayonnaise that came with the chips – it was fresh and definitely didn’t come from a jar. He even said it was the ‘best mayonnaise he has ever had’ and I would trust him on that. He does consider himself to be a bit of a mayonnaise connoisseur (definitely didn’t make that up :)). The Cima Di Rapa was quite nice too – again fresh and it smelled fab – the garlic and lemon butter really does bring this dish to life.
At this point, we were feeling pretty full but our waiter brought over the desserts menu and I couldn’t say no to the Amalfi Lemon Meringue Cheesecake which is a velvety mascarpone & lemon cheesecake topped with Italian meringue, served with lemon curd & blackcurrants! How could you say no to that?
We decided to be good and share the dessert instead of ordering one pudding each. I did however, regret it when our cheesecake arrived – I wanted it all to myself! It was beautifully presented and tasted just as good as it looked.
I could have easily gobbled down another slice without any regrets!
I resisted the urge and asked the waiter to bring the bill instead. We definitely didn’t need any more food.
So what did I think of Jamie’s Italian Manchester? Definitely a thumbs up from us.
I thought the food was spot on, the service was impeccable and the setting is unmatched in Manchester. At £45 per person including drinks and tip, it wasn’t the costliest meal out there either.
No, it’s not the best Italian food out there, but it is definitely one of the better Italian restaurant in Manchester. Add to that the beautiful settings inside a grade II listed building and brilliant service from a very knowledgeable team, and you have the best Italian dining experience in Manchester.