Restaurant Review: Jamie’s Italian
INFO: 12pm-12am daily, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai, 04 380 8890, www.jamieoliver.com/italian/dubai
Eating Italian in a restaurant is always a tough call for me as it’ll simply never match what my family has been feeding me my whole life. But I put on my ‘objective journo’ hat and headed off to Jamie’s Italian with the team. It’s unmistakably Jamie’s version of Italian, with recognisable dishes reworked into more creative and contemporary interpretations. A prime example of this is the land and sea risotto, which features sausage, mussels, clams, olives, baby tomatoes and mushrooms, garnished with an amazingly crispy, paper-thin slice of tasty air-dried beef (bresaola). It’s not a conventional combination for risotto, but you can taste that every component of the dish is top-quality and well-cooked, which makes for an overall enjoyable meal.
If you’re after more straightforward fare then the mushroom fritti appetiser is spot-on. It’s simply breaded, fried slices of Portobello with garlicky mayo – what’s not to like? On the subject of that crowd-pleasing partnership of breading and frying, the arancini (cheese-stuffed risotto balls) were, conversely, less appetising. The rice was mushy and the breaded exterior was devoid of that satisfying crunch.
If you want to take it easy on the carbs (although what’s the point of dining Italian, in that case?), there’s a good offering of generously portioned meat and fish dishes. The lamb chops with creamy artichoke and mint sauce, topped with roasted nuts, mint and chilli, and the baked salmon with lemon-infused ricotta and roasted veggies come highly recommended. If that all sounds a bit too adventurous, fans of classic Italian cuisine will find a concise offering of favourites including lasagne, pasta with clams, garlic and parsley, and a selection of pizzas on the menu.
At Jamie’s, dessert is really not to be missed – I’d suggest the cheesecake, which is just mildly sweet with a gorgeously light texture, and the chocolate brownies are so incredibly moist I swear they were made entirely of ganache. With this being his second Dubai eatery, joining the Festival City branch, we’re hoping Jamie himself will make it over again to Dubai sometime soon.
Simple baked lasagne
Lamb chop lollipops