We recently went on a day out and wanted to go somewhere nice for dinner on the way home. We’d never been to Jamie’s Italian before but stopped off in Reading to see what it had to offer.
The first thing I noticed about Jamie’s Italian was a huge sign out the front stating that it had been voted the most family friendly restaurant. That immediately made my expectations higher than they would have been and we went in, quickly seated at a nice table near the window.
The children’s menu has a lot of variety and at just £5.95 for a main and a drink it isn’t too badly priced. The children both had Puppy Dog ‘Delicious herby, organic sausages, grilled & served in a soft sweet roll with tomato relish & baked crinkle-cut wedges’. This was as close to LP’s requested hotdog that she could get and it came served with a jar of salad – her favourite bit!
The kids meal was a good size although the children weren’t very hungry. The choice on the menu was great and the children had a choice of fresh fruit or ice cream for dessert at just 50p extra. Chocolate ice cream for pudding!
The adults menu was a lot larger than the children’s menu and Hubby and I shared a Bread Basket for starters. ‘Classic homemade rosemary focaccia, ciabatta, seeded crackerbread, sourdough, & grissini sticks. Served with cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil, aged balsamic & fantastic olive tapenade’. This was a lot smaller than expected and not a basket – a plank of bread. It was lovely though and a great platter to share whilst waiting for the mains.
Jamie’s Italian have a great range of mains with fish, meat and vegetarian options as well as a vast pasta menu. I decided on the Jamie’s Italian Burger ‘Juicy prime British beef with mortadella, balsamic onions, tomato, melted smoked mozzarella, pickles & chillies.’ I also ordered Funky Chips and Hubby had the Steak Frites ‘Marinated & chargrilled featherblade steak, Italian-spiced skinny fries, pickles & crunchy kale slaw’.
Both our meals came really well presented and tasted fantastic. My burger had so many flavours that all worked well together but I did have to take the pickled chillies out of my burger – one thing too much! Hubby’s coleslaw was a nice accompaniment to his steak and chips and made a change from a normal coleslaw or side salad.
Hubby and I then ordered puddings – Hubby had the Epic Brownie ‘Warm fudgy brownie with vanilla ice cream & caramelised popcorn’ and I had the Chocolate, Pear and Honeycomb Pavlova ‘Light & fluffy meringue served with poached pears, whipped mascarpone, honeycomb & a drizzle of dark chocolate’.
To be honest, I wasn’t keen on my dessert and have decided that pear has no place with chocolate or in a pavlova. I ate the pears to get rid of them and then the mascarpone, meringue and chocolate drizzle with a few bits of honeycomb was a much better dessert. Hubby though loved his brownie although I did wonder why it needed popcorn on it. For me, the desserts were one step too far.
Overall though Jamie’s Italian was a really nice place for a family meal. The surroundings had a lovely rustic charm and even the toilets were full of character. The children had menus to colour in and good quality highchairs. The only thing that could have been improved would be children’s size cutlery but we usually bring our own anyway. We really enjoyed Jamie’s Italian for a family meal and would definitely go there again.