Well Jamie Oliver, you certainly surprised me there!

I’m going to be totally honest with you… I had pretty low expectations about Jamie’s restaurant. However, I was soon eating my words after our visit to the Edinburgh branch of the chain.

Review: Jamie's Italian, Edinburgh

Located in the centre of the city between Rose Street and George Street in the former supper halls of the Assembly Rooms, it’s in a prime spot for tourists and locals alike. You can actually access the restaurant from both streets but we opted for the more low key entrance on Rose Street.

The décor is very in-keeping with Edinburgh’s vintage style with its high ceilings, elegant cornicing and chandeliers. This sounds quite OTT but it really isn’t – it has a good balance of glamour and relaxed informality.

Review: Jamie's Italian, Edinburgh

We were seated in the lower part of the restaurant, by the kitchen. It was much busier in the top area but everywhere filled up pretty quickly. We had a perfect view of the open kitchen which was really nice. I like seeing inside the kitchen with the chefs preparing all the tasty food and looking at other dishes as they come out. Mainly so I can get my eye on what I’ll order next  time I visit!Review: Jamie's Italian, Edinburgh

The menu had a decent selection of drinks, including some pretty reasonably priced cocktails. We ordered a couple of those and then perused the food menu which was when the shocker came… they don’t serve pizzas! 😱

I’m not sure what the reason for this is but it threw me for a minute or two until I spied lots of tasty starters. I guess there are an absolute wealth of pizzerias in every city across the UK so we don’t necessarily need more. I actually found it a little refreshing being in an Italian where I was forced to order something other that a carby pizza where I’d more than likely have an ‘eyes bigger than my belly’ moment.Review: Jamie's Italian, Edinburgh

Cocktails

As you can see on the menu above, there was a pretty small but varied choice of cocktails. One thing that makes me VERY happy when I see a cocktail menu in a bar or restaurant is when they have an illustration to show what sort of glass the drink will be served in. I’m not a fan of long cocktails so seeing the glass let’s me assess what I might receive.

I decided to go for this very tasty sounding daiquiri:

Blackberry and vanilla daiquiri – £7.50

A blend of Bacardi Carta Blanca & Bacardi Oakheart rum shaken up

with blackberry purée, fresh lime juice & vanilla syrup

My date decided to go for a classic Caipirinha:

Caipirinha – £7.50

Sagatiba cachaça, fresh lime & sugar syrup

Both were very, very tasty! I was worried mine would taste too much of vanilla (I don’t have much of a sweet tooth) but it was lovely and fruity.

As I mentioned earlier, the cocktails were very reasonably priced which surprised me (in a good way of course!).

Review: Jamie's Italian, Edinburgh Review: Jamie's Italian, Edinburgh Review: Jamie's Italian, Edinburgh

Starter

As I’ve said in many a blog post, my favourite meat is squid. So when we saw it on the menu we decided to get a portion to share.

Crispy squid – £6.75

Fried with chilli, garlic & parsley, with house aioli for dipping

It wasn’t the most amazing squid I’ve ever sampled but it was nonetheless very tasty. Presentation wise, it was a little ‘rustic’ with the aioli dolloped in a little back dish but I wasn’t expecting Masterchef style plating up anyway.

I can’t stand when fried or battered food is very greasy or dripping oil. This can happen a lot with calamari but on this occasion, it was beautifully cooked and nice and dry.

So although it didn’t blow me away, I did really enjoy it and would definitely order it again.

Review: Jamie's Italian, Edinburgh

Main

My hubby opted for some crabby pasta which was available as a starter (or small portion) or a main. Naturally, he went for the latter.

British crab spaghetti – £7.50 / £13.75

With chilli, fennel, capers, white wine & garlic,

topped with lemon zest & extra virgin olive oil

It’s difficult to present pasta, especially spaghetti, in a pretty way. But with the sprinkling of crab meat and dill, served in a clean minimalist dish I have to say, it did look very appetising.

I had a little taste and he devoured the lot. So it was a winner!

Review: Jamie's Italian, Edinburgh

I actually chose to order two starters instead of a main. I was going to get the prosciutto board but our lovely waitress, Sydney, advised me that this was quite small and I might be happier with the classic meat plank so I went for that with a starter portion of gnocchi.

Fantastic fried gnocchi – £5.50

Mild gorgonzola potato gnocchi with Parmesan fonduta & crispy sage

I love gnocchi – great comfort food! The crispy sage complimented the dish very well by adding another texture to the soft and stodgy potato.
To be honest I couldn’t really taste the gorgonzola which was a little disappointing as I LOVE blue cheese. I know it was described as ‘mild’ but I do think they should add a little more. Overall it was a relatively bland dish but still very tasty and I’d also order this again.

Review: Jamie's Italian, Edinburgh

Classic meat plank – £6.95 per person

Fennel salami, pistachio mortadella, prosciutto & schiacciata piccante, with mini buffalo mozzarella, pecorino & chilli jam, pickles, olives & purple slaw

I was a little confused when our waitress put two unopened tins of tomatoes in front of me but then she explain that this was to stand my platter on which was quite fun.

The selection of meats and cheeses was good but I’m not sure the slaw had any place on there. The pecorino cheese with chilli jam was tasty but I’m not sure why it was sitting on top of what appeared to be a fragment of poppadum.

Everything else on the board was delicious. The only thing I’d say is it could have done with a tiny bit more meat or another cheese.

Maybe I’ll just need to order a double portion next time! 😉

Review: Jamie's Italian, Edinburgh

I couldn’t leave without Instagramming their beautiful bathrooms!

I asked another waitress who was passing our table where the bathrooms were. She started explaining but then just decided to take me there by the hand which I thought was adorable. All the staff we encountered were so friendly and really seemed happy to be working there. Review: Jamie's Italian, Edinburgh

We didn’t have any room for desserts so all we had left to do was finish our cocktails and hit the road!

Cheers Jamie! We had a blast 🍸

Review: Jamie's Italian, Edinburgh

Fancy going to Jamie’s?

Check out the menu and book over at www.jamieoliver.com

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Have you already been? I’d love to hear what you thought of it!

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Disclaimer: Our meal and drinks at Jamie’s Italian were mostly provided for free but this did not sway my review at all. I was 100% honest and very grateful to have been given this opportunity.