Restaurant Review – Jamie’s Italian Brighton:
The opportunity to review Jamie’s Italian in Brighton brought about uncharacteristic squeals of excitement from the junior Hedonist. His friends had told him that it had the ‘best chips ever’ so on a hot summer’s Saturday we headed down to the seaside to find out for ourselves.
With cheery staff, Abba on the stereo and old fashioned tea towel style napkins the atmosphere and interiors are family friendly; but the place is sophisticated enough to have a decent cocktail list and to serve a well made and refreshing Bellini (Prosecco and peach purée) and Rossini (Prosecco and berry purée). Much to his chagrin the junior H had to make do with a pomegranate presse-but he is only 12…
Having tried them recently in Rome, he chose the Arancini Margherita (tomato and mozzarella risotto balls with arrabbiata sauce) for his starter. He pronounced the arancini to be delicious with a molten mozzarella centre and a rich hot spicy tomato sauce.
Crispy king prawns wrapped in angel hair pasta with tomato basil and chilli sauce was a really pretty dish and the prawns were simultaneously crispy and succulent.
Crab and avocado bruschetta was made with toasted sourdough,fresh crab and avocado with apple, chilli, mint and lemon. The crab was tasteless and dry and tricky to eat off the little serving plank. It would have been better served with a lemon mayonnaise. Having finished our fizz we moved on to a floral glass of Fiano and a more chewy Vermentino.
Tagliatelle Bolognese was correctly made with a beef and pork ragu flavoured with Chianti and parmesan. The fresh pasta was perfectly cooked with the rich sauce given a depth of flavour by the red wine.
Superfood salad came with some optional grilled mackerel. This dish was clearly there as a healthy choice for any Pilates mums. Avocado, fennel, garden leaves, shredded asparagus and courgette came with candied beets, cime di rapa and a mix of grains, shoots, nuts and seeds along with cannellini bean hommous, cottage cheese and fennel blossom harissa. The fish was fresh and had a good flavour and texture but the salad needed a bit more dressing to work for anyone happy with anything more than 0% body fat!
Crispy soft shell buttermilk-fried crab came with chilli, fennel and sea lettuce salad, smashed avocado and yuzu lime salsa. The crab was terrific with a delicious breadcrumb coating set off by citrus tang of the salsa.
Posh chips with truffle oil and Parmesan turned out to be as good as they sounded much to the junior Hedonist’s delight.
Cime di Rapa is a type of tender stem broccoli which was lightly cooked and served with olives, garlic and lemon butter. It was a simple but effective way to jazz up the veg.
I’m of the opinion that desserts are a complete indulgence and should therefore be encouraged. Raspberry Pavlova is the junior Hedonist’s second favourite dessert (the first is a fantasy concoction channelled by his inner Heston) but he was charmed by its inner goo.
Chocolate Brownie with salted caramel ice cream and caramelised amaretti popcorn was good without being great. The flavours could have been more intense for my taste.
If you are a Jamie Oliver fan then you will love Jamie’s Italian. The food is gutsy and full of robust flavours, service is swift and attentive and it would be a great option for a fun outing with family or friends.
11 Black Lion Street
01273 915 480