Eatery: Jamie’s Italian, Glasgow
Free food, cocktails and a goodie bag? I’m there!
Last Thursday, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to pop along to Jamie’s Italian (Jamie Oliver’s restaurant) at George Square in Glasgow for a Blogger Event with lots of tasters, samples and assorted goodies!
On arrival at Jamie’s Italian, my friend Heather (my designated driver and my “I’m here for the freebies” pal) and I received a warm welcome as we were greeted by the restaurant staff and offered a choice of some complimentary fruit infused water or Prosecco. Being more of a whisky and bourbon kinda gal, I opted for the water.
We were then shown to a table while the other bloggers and G-town socialites trickled in one after another; ready to get stuck into a night of nibbles and cocktails.
As soon as everyone arrived, it was time for food! As we sat – tummy’s rumbling and mouths watering – the waiting staff brought out our first selection of nibbles and canapes in the form of Jamie’s famous planks filled with an array of meats including bacon and spicy chorizo, olives, cheese and crackers, coldslaw and goats cheese.
I think serving food on planks in this way is an excellent idea because everyone was able to dabble and try a variety of different things without having to fight over plates being passed around like a game of pass the parcel.
The meats in particular were excellent; providing a cool, light and spiced balance in between the powerful flavours of the goats cheese and the strong cheddar on the crackers.
After our first taste of Jamie Oliver’s delectable dishes came a short demo where we learned some new things about Jamie’s Italian including: the restaurant’s close relationships with local farmers and suppliers where they source quality local produce, how every piece of pasta is made fresh everyday in the restaurant’s kitchen by executive chefs, and a new “sugar tax” being introduced in the restaurant chain where 10p extra is charged for every drink containing added sugar; the money raised from which will be used to fund and promote healthy eating education.
After the short talk, it was time to get back to the good stuff – food! This time round, we were given the choice of a wider variety of some of Jamie’s Italian’s most popular dishes including: truffle risotto, chicken liver pate, burger sliders, and much more.
The burger sliders (or baby burgers, as I liked to call them) were served with lettuce, tomato, caralemised onion, pickled chillies, gherkins, rashers of smoked streaky bacon and a beef patty with ketchup inside a teeny tiny toasted bun. Isn’t it amazing how many yummy goodness they can fit into one toaty burger? Delish!
But by far my favourite dish from Jamie’s Italian (which I was sadly unable to get a picture of since they were being passed around from table and table and nabbed quicker than anything else) was the courgettes in a light, crispy batter; served alongside chilly jam.
As anyone who knows me well will know, I’m a little bit of a fussy eater, shall we say, so I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this dish. But, somehow, Jamie Oliver has managed to turn those dreaded greens that nobody wants to eat into tasty little bites that become more and more addictive with every mouthful.
Eating the battered courgettes, it was hard to believe I was actually eating vegetables as they had a fragrant, spiced and almost fish-like flavour that together with the jam created the perfect starter. I could have sat and ate the whole plate but, sadly, I had to learn to share and pass the dish along.
After I managed to tear myself away from the courgette plate, it was time for dessert! Introducing: *drumroll* the Epic Brownies served with strawberries, chocolate sauce, caramelised popcorn, crème fraîche and meringue.
I love brownies but, like most people, I often find that they’re so heavy and indulgent that you’re waving a little white flag of surrender after only a few (giant) mouthfuls. But Jamie Oliver’s Epic Brownies were little squares of heaven. While the flavour was still rich with chocolaty depth, the texture was light and airy and the contrast between the brownie itself and the fresh, lemon-zested crème fraîche and the creamy, cool chocolate sauce balanced the flavours to create a pretty much perfect miniature dessert.
One of my favourites of the cocktails we tried was: the Solero. Yes, that’s right – just like the ice cream. This cocktail basically is a melted Solero in a glass with some alcohol mixed it and it is just as yummy as the ice lolly. I’d highly recommend this drink!
After seeing how the pros do it, we had the chance to jump behind the bar and try it for ourselves. So when it was my turn to play barmaid, I created my very own cocktail. I give you: The Sophie (very original title, I know). Ingredients: Jack Daniels, Amaretto, lychee juice, lemon and lime. It’s not too shabby if I do say so myself.
After a lovely night at Jamie’s Italian, we left with smiling faces and full tummies as well as a goodie bag including a copy of Jamie Oliver’s new cookbook: Jamie’s Great Britain.
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed the food and drinks serviced at #JamiesGlasgow Blogger Event and I can’t wait to go back to the restaurant so sample some more of Jamie’s delightful delicacies.
My rating: 5/5
You can also view my review of Jamie’s Italian on the Scotcampus website. A big thank you to Scotcampus for choosing me to rep for the magazine at this event.
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Images by Sophie McNaughton. Taken with iPhone 5c.