Jamie's Italian

Price guide: Mid-range

11 Upper St Martin's Lane, London, WC2H 9FB

Price guide: Mid-range

Designed to please the crowds

By Jenni Muir, your London expert

I write for AA Travel Guides, Time Out. Read more
#65 of 115
expert-rated restaurants in London
Expert overall rating:3.9 out of 5
Food and drink:
4.2
4.2
Ambience:
3.9
3.9
Service:
3.9
3.9
Location:
4.2
4.2
Value for money:
3.7
3.7
Recommended for:
Backpackers / Students, Families with teenagers, Families with younger children, First-time travellers, Stag / hen parties, Nightlife, People watching, Shopping

Expert review of Jamie's Italian

You can’t come to London without trying a Jamie Oliver restaurant – or can you?

The best thing about Jamie Oliver’s first restaurant, the social enterprise Fifteen, is the pasta dishes, so this slightly cheaper, family-friendly chain is a logical and rather handy progression.

Food and drink: 

The dishes have all the exuberance of his best-selling cookbooks but some of the pitfalls of mass catering – things like skin forming on the butter sauces, strands of pasta sticking together in rope-like fashion, and so on. But there’s much to like: Jamie Oliver is a master at improving Italian cuisine, taking classic bold flavours and combining them in ways that seem fresh – witness ‘posh chips’ sprinkled with parmesan and truffle oil.

Ambience: 

The cavernous space is divided into several eating areas, some with retro and contemporary chandeliers adding a night-owl vibe, others more utilitarian. You’ll see plenty of food on display, from canned tomatoes to trendy fresh veg, and blackboards highlighting daily specials.

Service: 

As you might expect, is of the chummy “Hi guys” variety but not over-familiar, and quite efficient. The problem is the wait for tables – it’s nice not to have to book, but when you’re queuing in a busy bar you kind of wish you could (and if there’s six to 14 of you planning to dine together, you can).

Location: 

A shiny new development on the edge of Covent Garden.

Price advice: 

If you’re the kind of person who just doesn’t want to pay a tenner for a plate of pasta, best avoid. Other main courses are £10.95-£16.45, so while it’s Jamie Oliver’s cheaper option, it isn’t cheap. You could keep costs down by skipping the side dishes (a tiny plate of pumpkin and burrata is £5.95).

Other useful branches: 

The chain is expanding quickly and you’ll find outlets in Westfield Shepherd’s Bush, Canary Wharf and Kingston, as well as other UK cities – see website for details. You’ll also find details there of the original Fifteen outlet and his new meat restaurant-plus-butcher Barbecoa, which has been receiving lukewarm reviews despite its appealing ethos and sensational location.

More information on Jamie's Italian:

Price guide:
Mid-range
Type:
Bar, Brasserie, Restaurant
Food:
Italian, Modern
Address:
11 Upper St Martin's Lane, London, WC2H 9FB
Telephone:
020 3326 6390
Website:
http://www.jamieoliver.com/italian/covent-garden
Serves:
Lunch, Dinner
Opening times:
Mon-Sat noon-11.30pm, Sun noon-10.30pm.
Accepts Credit Cards:
Yes
Reservations:
Not possible
Free tags / Keywords:
celebrity chef, tv chefs

Have you been to Jamie's Italian? Would you recommended it?