Jamie Oliver really does take a zealous thrashing from the general public, doesn’t he? I’m not particularly offended by the chap; I’ll happily sit in front of an endless stream of 15 Minute Meals episodes…
That said, I am still angry about the infamous Turkey Twizzler ban of 2005.
I’m not ashamed to admit that I was very much a fan of those delicious tendrils of questionable ‘meat’- although I probably should be – and having them obliterated from my school dinner options was quite the blow for young Hungry Harriet.
Flashforward nearly 9 years and I’m definitely ready to forgive and forget.
Partly because the prospect of munching on things like pork fat, rusk and additives is absolutely repulsive to 27-year-old Hungry Harriet. Mostly because Mr. Oliver has more than redeemed his tarnished reputation in my eyes with his popular chain of UK eateries.
Jamie’s Italian restaurant, Liverpool ONE
I’ve spoken many, many times before about how I champion the Liverpool independent food and drink scene. I’m all about giving aspiring gastronauts a platform off which they can launch their lightbulb moments.
Many of my edible ventures last year, however, taught me not to judge a chain restaurant by its lack of independence. In doing so, I discovered a newfound respect for places like Wagamama, Las Iguanas, Bill’s and Cote Brasserie who still manage to impress despite their mass appeal.
Liverpool ONE is a bustling hive of chain eatery activity with flavours from all over the world and next to join my list of favourites is none other than Jamie’s Italian.
Let’s me start by telling you exactly what secured Jamie’s as somewhere I would definitely now recommend as one of the best places to eat in Liverpool ONE: a big ol’ bowl of spicy Pappardelle Meatballs (£7.50).
I say big ol’ bowl of pasta but it was actually the smaller of the two sizes on offer on the Jamie’s Italian menu – a nice touch in the opinion of somebody who regularly demonstrates what the saying eyes bigger than your belly can truly mean.
The pappardelle pasta was a fun alternative to the spaghetti we have all come to expect and made for a substantial soaker-upper for the fiery tomato and garlic sauce which coated the tender nduja sausage meatballs.
Absolutely freakin’ delicious when paired with the Charred Broccoli with Spicy Rub (£3.60) I chose in a bid to embellish my carb-heavy feast with something green.
What you can also see in the background of the image above is my partner in dine’s JI Burger (£12.80) which comprised a juicy prime British beef patty squished between a soft brioche bun and topped with balsamic onions, tomato and tangy Westcombe Cheddar cheese.
Starters were a sheer delight too. We went for the Artisan Garlic Flatbread with Mozzarella (£5.50) from the ‘Nibbles’ menu which transpired to be a fluffy cushion of doughy bread that was definitely not flat nor akin to a nibble portion. Lip-smaking nonetheless.
We also went for the Gnocchi Fritti (£5.00) …
a) because I am complete sucker for any dish with gnocchi as its base and…
b) because I’d peeped a picture of the accompanying Cheese Fonduta on Instagram prior to my visit and had literally felt my salivary glands activate in response.
The plump little pillows of potato-dough were crispy on the outside, soft on the inside and brought to life with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese which only enhanced the flavour of the dipping sauce. Genius, Jamie, genius.
Pig-mode in full operation, I did also manage to coerce my taste-bud for the afertnoon into a couple of sweet treats from Jamie’s Italian dessert menu.
I picked out the Molten Chocolate Praline Pudding (£6.50) and she went for some Vanilla Gelato with Blueberry Compote & Toffee Sauce (£5.00). If, unlike me, you choose to ignore the signs of overeating then the rich and indulgent fondant pudding is a dream. If, unlike me, you are able to show willpower and restraint, then two scoops of ice cream with your choice of two toppings seemed just right!
So, if you’re looking for hearty Italian food that is as close to the real thing as you’re going to get on the British highstreet, I’d definitely point you in the direction of Jamie’s. It might not be the Amalfi Coast but these guys sure know how to dish up a mean meatball.
I was very kindly invited to review Jamie’s Italian in collaboration with Liverpool ONE but all words, photographs, opinions, teeth, hair, boobs and nails are my very own.