Saturday, November 23, 2013

Review : Lunch at Jamie's Italian, Dundrum

Jamie’s Italian opened just over a year ago in Dundrum Town Centre and has been a mecca for diners wanting a taste of the Jamie Oliver experience.  Set out over two levels, one at bar level with cosy booths, the other at street level with varying sizes of tables, it’s a cavernous space which works against the odds.   Tables are simply set with white Jamie-branded tea towels, cutlery and water glasses.

Our table was beside the bar and we were given the general Jamie’s menu : they don’t appear to have a separate lunch menu which means that you’re paying dinner prices which are a little steep if you’re hungry.  As we were utterly ravenous thanks to an unexpected pitstop in the garage with my faulty car, we threw caution to the wind and ordered both starters and main courses.  Our very engaging server talked us through the daily specials which were also on a board at the end of the restaurant.  Call me grumpy, but I could barely make out the handwriting and was thankful for his very detailed explanations of the dishes.  A large carafe of iced water arrived within moments, which was very welcome.

To start, we shared a bread basket (€3.95) packed with the most delicious breadsticks I’ve eaten outside Italy, together with some sliced sourdough and music bread.  Salty and crunchy, we bickered over dividing them out evenly and dipped them into the little dish of peppery olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  The music bread was thin and crispy but oddly flavourless.  Personally, I’d prefer more breadsticks please.

The six little fried gnocchi (€5.95) arrived on a weatherbeaten plank with a liberal dressing of chilli-spiked arrabbiata sauce – excellent for dipping bread crusts into.

I opted for the Grilled Pork Chop (€19.95) and The Hubs chose the Venison Sausage special (€15.95).  His main course was definitely more substantial than mine being a Jane Russell venison sausage on a bed of lentils, with chopped fresh tomato pieces scattered around for a burst of freshness.  My pork chop on the bone was perfectly cooked, although the yellow overhead lighting made it look a lot pinker than it actually was.  I couldn’t find any trace of the advertised apple or mint, but the kohlrabi was very fresh and crunchy. 
As no sides were included with the mains, we decided to share a portion of Funky Chips (€4.25) which arrived in a little metal bucket.  These skin-on fries were liberally adorned with fresh garlic and parsley and would certainly keep vampires at bay.  Delicious, but definitely one for sharing...

Although I was driving, I did have a quick look at the drinks list.  It’s pretty spendy even for the budget customer with house wine priced at €6.95 per glass or €26.00 per bottle.  A glass of prosecco starts at €8.95, which sets it firmly in the luxury bracket. 

We were too full to order desserts or coffee, so together with one Coke for himself, our bill came to €53.00.  An expensive but delicious lunch. 

Jamie's Italian
Pembroke District, Dundrum Town Centre, Dublin 14, Ireland
Tel : +353 1 2980600

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