There’s something about being cooked for that makes me enjoy food a lot more – I love preparing meals at home and experimenting, but when you decide to dine out it’s so refreshing to sit back and enjoy the process of eating a delicious meal that someone else has made for you.
One of my favourite chefs is Jamie Oliver and I love how in the past few years he’s opened up his cooking to the world of YouTube and embraced the various diets that people follow these days. I constantly see him on social media working with raw/vegan chefs or bloggers, collaborating with some of my favourite YouTubers, and even making the best 15 minute meals that are super healthy to eat.
With that in mind, I thought now would be the perfect time to revisit his restaurant and see how Jamie has opened up the menu to fellow vegans like me, and also have a break from the usual avocado on rye bread for lunch because I was basically turning into a sandwich.
Firstly, the decor is spot on – we went to Jamie’s Italian in Cheltenham, an old converted court house with tall ceilings, dark navy walls against 70’s wooden decor, it’s a Pinterest dream. I love how Jamie continues his theme of old, worn homeware pieces that you’d pick up from a car boot but do the job nicely when you’re baking a pie, it makes the side dishes look seriously cool and even more homemade.
But we’re here to talk about food, aren’t we?
Let’s start with cocktails, or mocktails to be honest – I had the most amazing Ginger and Mango Mojito which was so refreshing thanks to the Ginger Beer and mint blend, but I always forget the drink is 40% ice so prepare to be sad when it’s all over in 2 minutes.
We skipped the starters as there wasn’t anything really vegan friendly for me (I don’t eat bread so that was out) but really we were too entranced by the main menu. I’m someone who likes to research a menu before going to the restaurant, yet even I kept umm-ing and aaah-ing over the Superfood Salad and Roasted Heritage Carrot and Avocado Salad. I went for the first option, and what is great with the menu at Jamie’s is that they will tell you which meals can be made vegan and are more than happy to accommodate any dietary requirements – perfect for me as I was still able to enjoy my salad without the cheese!
Mum went for the Salmon Salad which looked so delicious and wonderfully presented, and the reviews back were ‘absolutely delicious’ so if you’re looking for a filling yet lunchtime friendly option then this comes highly recommended. I too have to praise the Superfood Salad, you can’t beat avocado and the mix of pulses and grains, plus what I also believe to be a bit of spiralled veg was just a great fresh yet satisfying combination. I wolfed it all down in ten minutes (and that was with restraint).
Obviously we had to try some of the delicious sides – I had the Garlicky Green Beans minus the cheese which was so tasty, it’s amazing how a simple dish like this has a flavourful impact; there was also the Crunchy Slaw which Mum enjoyed and as it was only lightly coated in yogurt, it was a great accompaniment to the richer Salmon and ricotta cheese in the salad. Finally, the Funky Chips which I snatched a few sneaky ones as a treat for myself but the triple baked goodness mixed with rosemary was beyond scrumptious – potatoes and rosemary, you can’t beat it!
After a drawn out 15 minutes of eating – if I don’t need to talk I’ll be eating, the food was too delicious to not continually keep chowing down – the waiter made light of the fact we’d completely demolished our meal, which to be honest, was a sense of satisfaction as it was so good and I could easily have had another round, but alas, it was time for some tea and to scour the desserts menu.
A peppermint tea makes the food go down and soon enough we were ready to order; I went for a Lemon and Mango sorbet mix with Lemon Curd and Honeycomb which was absolutely divine – perfect mix of palette refreshing flavours, crunchy sweetness and a bit of cold tarty sensations that make your taste buds tingle and your body temperature shoot right down.
Also on the lighter side of puddings but a little bit more decedent was the Raspberry and Honeycomb Pavlova, and it looked incredible when it arrived at the table – fresh raspberries, chewy meringue, crunchy honeycomb, what a texture sensation! Again, highly rated, I don’t think there were any remains left of anything that we ordered so thank you Jamie for some truly great pickings.
I do forget how much I enjoy eating out, and Jamie’s has certainly given me an appetite for more – I need to try that other salad, and have more Ginger Mojitos – so if you treat yourself to one thing this week, make it a meal out with some friends and indulge a little in one too many sides and a dessert. 100% worth it, and if you ever needed an excuse not to cook, blame it on Jamie!
Have you been to Jamie’s Italian? Do you like to treat yourself to meals out? What is your favourite dessert – make our mouths water!
Lots of Love,
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