Christmas at Jamie's Italian

Tue 15 Dec 2015 - posted by Nina Amthor

I'm spending Christmas in a hot country this year so before I jumped on my flight I tried to cram in as any festive things as possible. 'Tis the season to be jolly and eat lots after all.

On a wet and windy evening we got to huddle inside and have our pick of Jamie's Italian Chrismas dinner. Things kicked off with a glass of prosecco which is included in your meal. You have two menu options to choose from - The Festive Menu or The Big Festive Menu. In the mood for food and celebration we of course went for The Big Festive Menu.

We shared one of the classic antipasti platters which are a signature in the Jamie's Italian restaurants. If this wasn't included in the deal I don't think I'd order this as it's quite pricy for what it is but the focaccia with olive tapenade was very good. The antipasti plank also comes with two hot starters: the buffalo ricotta gnudi and crispy fried oyster mushrooms pulled it back for me. All in all a good start to our fest.

For mains I want for the porchetta, and my date (Fiona) went with the turkey. Both dishes were served with heaps of perfectly roasted seasonal vegetables and the best bit - posh polenta chips. I didn't know these were a 'thing' but as it turns out they're some of the best things I've ever eaten - perfectly crunchy and crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, as well as dangerously moreish.  The addition of the crackling with my porchetta was also lovely and added that extra texture.

Extremely full and giggling away after just one glass of prosecco and a cocktail (Amalfi Fizz for me and a caipirinha for my date), we tackled dessert. The menu looks deceivingly small but I struggled to make it through most of my main. But I'm not a quitter and dessert isn't something I'll ever pass up on.

I went for the clementine and pomegranate pavlova, desperate for something with a sour bite to it after all the savoury, I'd have loved a bit more pomegranate but that's just personal preference. All in all another solid dish. Fiona attempted the tiramisu, from her massive grin and happy sign I gather it was pretty tasty.

If you're looking for a value for money Christmas dinner that's different to other restaurants Jamie's Italian is worth considering.  The staff were very attentive towards us, taking the time to explain the different elements of the dish and checking up on us. They even explained to us that since Jamie's Sugar Rush, all the dishes in the restaurant chain have been updated and improved to lower the sugar levels. Reassuring to know, especially at Christmas where those healthy eating mantras just go right out the window.

All in all it was a really good night out with yummy food and excellent company. I'll probably be back in the spring and summer to check out the specials, as these are always worth a closer look.

Where are you guys heading for your festive feasts this Christmas?

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Categories: Cardiff Bites  

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