Before our trip began, we had been recommended to visit one of Jamie Oliver's famous restaurants. So as we walked the streets of Brighton, we were excited to find our self's standing outside, 'Jamie's Italian'. Jamie's Italian is this celebrity chef's biggest chain of restaurants. As we looked inside, we could see that the place was jam packed. We weren't too surprised. Because it is Jamie Oliver's restaurant, we expected we would be waiting a while before we got a table. We instead decided to sit in the bar area and try some of the delicious tapas food that Jamie's Italian had to offer us.
The menu was very "Naked Chef". Simple but delicious seemed to be the theme. We decided to order the Italian nacho's which was fried 4-cheese ravioli with a spicy arrabbiata sauce. I later found out that 'arrabbiata' is the Italian word for angry. So when it came to the sauce, I expected it to pack some punch. The arrabbiata sauce consisted of tomatos, garlic, chilli, olive oil and basil. After we ordered the Italian nacho's, it was time to study the cocktail menu. We decided to try the 'Vanilla & Lemon Martini'. This drink was a simple concoction of vanilla infused vodka, lemon juice and sugar syrup. It was presented beautifully with a long zest of lemon tied into a knot and dropped into the centre of the martini. The cocktail was a little strong on the vodka, but I did expect that, it is a martini after all. The lemon juice didn't come across to sour because it was complemented well by the vanilla and sugar syrup. An all around well balanced drink. Perfect to take your time and sit on for a while. As the nacho's were served our table, they also were presented with perfection and tasted just as good. Simple bite size snacks that would be so easy to serve at a party with friends.
Although we didn't try any, we were very impressed with the wine list. It consisted of all premium Italian wines and all at a good price. The thing we loved about Jamie's Italian was it's simplicity. Every drink, every piece of food was simple to make, but served with great presentation and detail. Another thing we loved is that this chain of restaurants knows what it's trying to be. By that i mean, it's not trying to be fine dining like many other celebrity chef restaurants are. It's funky and simple and laid back and most importantly affordable. You feel very welcomed and comfortable here. I think it's for this reason that Jamie's Italian is so successful and continues to grow in
Jamie's Italian. "Vanilla & Lemon Martini"
In a shaker:
45ml Vanilla infused Vodka
15ml Lemon Juice
15ml Sugar Syrup
Add ice and shake
Strain into a Martini glass
Garnish with lemon zest tied into a knot.