Monday, 5 March 2012

Jamie Oliver's Fifteen

Over half term I had lunch in Jamie Oliver's restaurant, Fifteen, in London. We made a booking a few weeks in advance and were able to get a table for mid-afternoon (the time we wanted). It is in a part of London I'm not familiar with and although not far from the centre, seemed a bit run-down and not really an area for people to go unless they live or work there. So I suppose Fifteen is, as well as working to help young unemployed people become trained as chefs, also helping to bring people to an area they wouldn't usually visit.

We were slightly early, but were led downstairs to the main restaurant straight away. We were sat next to the kitchen which meant we were quite warm, but it was interesting to be able to see what was going on.

The restaurant was dark (being in the basement), but lit well enough that we could easily see. Further down the room from where we were sat there seemed to be some kind of booths. On the ground floor is the bar and trattoria and this has a lighter, airier feel to it.

The waiter was attentive and explained the menu. It's a fixed price menu at lunch time depending on how many courses you have. We went for the two courses plus dessert option for £30 a head.

We started off being served with bread. The restaurant is Italian and so it came with olive oil rather than butter. We then both had the same starter of a gooey warm Mozzarella - the nicest we've had - and roasted aubergine.  

For a main I ordered a vegetarian risotto and Paul ordered the lamb. Risottos can sometimes be served in small portions but this was fine and I was full by the end. It was made with fennel and olives and had quite a delicate flavour, despite these being quite strongly flavoured ingredients. Paul's lamb looked delicious (and I'm a vegetarian saying that!) and he said it tasted as good as it looked. We ordered a side salad and some potatoes as side dishes and were absolutely stuffed by the time we had finished.

We wanted to try a dessert as this will probably be the only time we come here. We had to wait a while and let the rest of the food digest a bit before we felt up to it though. I had the pannacotta which was creamy but refreshing and served with a scoop of chocolate mousse and Paul had a slice of lemon tart. To finish off we had a coffee.

To drink with our meal we ordered a beer. At £6.50 a bottle it was quite pricey so as it was a 500ml bottle we just ordered one between us. It was Junction Ale, a brew made locally and was quite light. I'd expected something heavier. It was so nice and went so well with the food that despite the price we ordered another one.

We enjoyed our few hours here and loved the food. The only complaint I'd have would be the toilets. They obviously hadn't been cleaned over the lunch time period and so by the time I got to them at the end of the afternoon they weren't particularly enticing.

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