When Aoife was younger and an only child, we often used to head into town to meet Rory for lunch.
It was a nice little treat for all of us. We got to spend some quality family time and I’d hit the shops. I mean, it would be rude not to as I was in town already.
Once we had Seth, Aoife had started nursery so it seemed less simple to pop into town. I’d have to negotiate buses, make sure I was back for school pick up and, well, Seth. It just seemed like a bit of a ball ache so I never bothered.
With September fast approaching and Seth ready to start nursery, I’d been feeling a bit bad about all the things I hadn’t done with him. All the lovely treats Aoife had enjoyed and he had been deprived of – first world problems.
So when Jamie’s Italian Leeds asked if I’d like to go and check out their new Super Lunch menu I figured it was time to make amends. Seth and I were going to hit town and lunch. Seth is a creature of habit, breakfast is at 7am, lunch at noon and tea at 4.30pm. Any meals between those times are just extras. So we booked a table for 12.
As it turns out it was raining hard, as oft’ occurs in Yorkshire, so we skipped hitting town and just lunched instead.
Despite not visiting Jamie’s in about five years, I’ve always been a fan. The restaurant is in a converted bank. It’s all high ceilings and bare brick walls. It feels vault like. It’s a beautiful building done out with a nod to its banking past.
Yes, I’m a sucker for a sexy old building.
Previous visits have seen attentive, well informed staff (I did not know that mozzarella could be non-pasteurised when I was a pregnant) which is always a nice touch.
The Super Lunch menu offers two courses for £11.95 or three for £13.95.
I feel like I should point out here that the Super Lunch menu is a good value menu NOT one of those ‘quick’ menus where you get your lunch in 15 minutes. The food is cooked fresh to order so you won’t be in and out. To be honest, if you’re looking to have lunch done within 15 minutes you should probably just head to the Golden Arches as you don’t deserve good quality food!
We were met by a lovely guy who took one look at Seth and whipped out the children’s menu that doubled as an activity pack – winner – and showed us to our table. Seth was chomping at the bit to get colouring and I was hankering for a look at the menu.
Who am I kidding? You and I both know I had looked at the menu repeatedly before I arrived and already made my decision. That’s just how I roll.
We both decided to order from the Super Lunch menu and Amelia, our server, told us we could also choose the day’s special within that menu for a £2 supplement which caused Rory (but not so much me) a dilemma – the special being a full Sea Bream – Mediterranean style.
Seth decided he’d opt for “spaghettis and meatballs”.
No he really wasn’t in the mood for chicken, pizza or something cleaner.
He did, however, massively enjoy his meal as you can see…
We were given the option of Seth’s main coming with the starters, which we took. Upside he got his big bowl of food to go at quickly. Downside he was ready to “share” my fries by the time our mains came.
Rory chose Fritto Misto starter, lightly battered fish and squid with a lemon aioli. He really enjoyed it and was rewarded for his brave first try of squid and I’ll be honest, it looked amazing but, y’know, fish.
I opted for a tomato bruschetta. It was nothing like I expected (despite my extensive research). The whole roasted tomatoes sat atop the ricotta rather than being chopped as is usually the case. It was really fresh, I could have just eaten four two of them for my lunch!
For his main Rory chose ‘Nduja Rigatoni, pasta served in a tomato and ‘nduja sauce. For those heathens who don’t know what ‘nduja is, it’s a spicy, spreadable pork salumi. You’re welcome (thank you Google). This was hearty and spicy (and embellished via the addition of Seth’s shake-it salad) but I could feel the envious glances coming across the table…
I let the side down, I didn’t go for classic Italian, I went for Steak & Fries. Skirt steak with garlic butter, parmesan and ‘slaw. A winner in my eyes. Amelia explained that as the cut of steak was skirt it couldn’t be done rare as it would be too chewy and it couldn’t be done well as it’d be too tough so it had to be done medium. I’m a medium to well kinda girl so I did do a tiny internal panic but I needn’t have bothered as it was cooked to perfection. The steak option was a £3 supplement, but worth every red cent.
For dessert – tiramisu. It’s an absolute favourite of mine but I rarely choose it for some reason. I was presented with a massive chunk. It was almost overflowing from the dish. EXACTLY the kind of chunk I’d serve myself at home. There’s nothing worse than a namby-pamby bit of dessert, go hard or go home I say. Jamie’s went in hard! It was as I wanted it to be, strong in coffee and light in sponge. A most excellent end to a meal.
Rory chose a lemon polenta cake. It certainly looked the business. I had a little taste, for research purposes of course. It was really fresh and tasty but a bit ‘bitty’ for my liking. I’ve never really enjoyed polenta though.
We topped the meal off with a rocket fuel Macchiato apiece.
Seth enjoyed a strawberry ice cream (actually virtuous frozen yoghurt) with amaretti biscuits (full fat), which didn’t touch the sides (or last long enough for a picture). The children’s desserts are an extra £1.50 on top of the young ones menu for £6.50 which I was actually really impressed with, as you then are opting for a sweet rather than it coming as standard.
I was really pleased that our visit to Jamie’s lived up to my five year old expectations. The interior was still gorgeous. The staff were still attentive, friendly and clued up and the food was still really good.
We will definitely be visiting again – mostly because it’s fantastic, but partly because Aoife threw a bit of a diva because we went for lunch without her.
We received a meal in return for an honest review. Disclaimer.