Monday, 21 October 2013

review: jamie's italian, dundrum

Jamie's Italian Ireland, Dundrum
Opened just over a year ago in September 2012, Jamie's Italian is clearly doing something right. Serving great food cooked to order from fresh ingredients in a really cool restaurant might have something to do with it! Jamie Oliver was my first 'food hero', so I was really looking forward to this!

I was lucky enough to be invited to sample the goods one lunchtime after responding to a post on the restaurant's Twitter page; talk about an added bonus! To be honest, the quality of the food is such that I've have gladly paid for it - maybe I should have mentioned that to Andrew, our host, and Jamie's Italian General Manager.

The menu offers a huge range of authentic-sounding dishes, and every one of them sounds fantastic - a real problem when you're hungry and like to eat everything! This was our first time here, and not being so sure about portion sizes we opted to share a starter. We went for the crispy squid; that was down to us both reminiscing about our trip to Barcelona last year and wishing we were still there...

The squid was perfectly cooked and not chewy at all, and came served with a lovely garlic mayonnaise and some fried garlic and red chilli, and really hit the spot. At first we thought the portion size may have been a little small, but then reminded ourselves that this was an antipasti dish, not a starter, so all good. Definitely a dish to be recommended and great to whet the appetite. Maybe best to have it to yourself though; too tasty to share!

We ordered a couple of glasses of vino too, a lovely pinot grigio, Delle Venezie. Nice & crisp, and perfect for Italian cuisine. Lovely.

Mains were next. Ms Chefilepsy opted for the Honeycomb Cannelloni Three Ways, a lovely dish with freshly made pasta covered with tomato sauce and filled with a combination of aubergine & sun-dried tomato, pumpkin, and ricotta & spinach. I went for one of the daily specials, which was a whole roasted sea bream, served with garlic, Heritage tomatoes, olives and a lovely light sauce. The fish was cooked perfectly and was really tasty; both mains really delivered.

Being guests of the house we thought it rude to not indulge in a couple of desserts; well you would wouldn't you?! Ms C chose three scoops of ice cream, topped with crushed nuts and seasonal berries - delicious. I went for the panna cotta, which was served with a seasonal fruit compote. Lovely and packed with fresh vanilla, it had the flavour (and the wobble) I love. So, more ticks in more boxes!

All-in-all this was a well balanced lunch, and could have just as easily been enjoyed in the evening for dinner. The food is just great and comes highly recommended as one of the few places I've found in the Dublin area to offer genuine-tasting Italian food (and without the menu just being limited to the standard pizza and pasta options). The atmosphere and buzz of the place is great too; the sound of loads of people chatting, along with the clatter of cutlery, is really infectious, and is spot on for this type of setting.

Getting to the restaurant is easy too. We took the Luas from the city centre (green line) and the journey only took around 15 minutes. If you're driving that's just as simple, with loads of parking available within the Dundrum Town Centre complex.

Well done and thanks again to Andrew & the whole team; we were left wanting for nothing and I for one can't wait to head back.

Honeycomb Cannelloni Three Ways

Whole roasted sea bream, garlic, Heritage tomatoes and olives
Vanilla ice cream, crushed nuts and seasonal berries

Panna cotta with seasonal fruit compote

Jamie's Italian
Unit 1
Pembroke District
Dundrum Town Centre
Dublin 16, Ireland
+353 (1) 298 0600

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