Truffle Pasta, Tender Steak and Tiramisu Espresso Martinis – The Perfect Date Night
I’m not going to lie, we’ve been kind of bogged down with wedding planning recently, which means we’ve not been able to do very much. So when I suggested meeting Will after working in Canary Wharf for dinner, he jumped at the chance to enjoy a dinner out together.
It was nice to pop into London specifically to go out for dinner, it made it feel more of a rare event than just popping to our local joints. I wanted to go to Jamie’s Italian to try their new Quick and Easy menu, which runs from Monday to Friday 12 – 6pm (perfect for a weekday dinner with your hubby).
They do two courses for £16.95, which, in London, is an uber good deal. Especially for folks like us who are trying to save for a wedding – hello affordable date night.
I’ve not been to Jamie’s Italian in forever. I think I went to the one in Brighton when I first moved there, and we did a knife skills cooking class at their nearby shop. So, a few years down the line, I wanted to check out how the restaurant chain boasting rustic, traditional Italian recipes has evolved.
I don’t often find myself strolling through Canary Wharf, but it was interesting to observe the quiet eeriness of the abandoned office buildings after everyone’s left work (and headed for the nearby bars).
You wouldn’t expect a thriving restaurant scene to be buzzing in and amongst the tall skyscrapers, but there are plenty of restaurants to sample, including Jamie’s Italian Canary Wharf.
The interior of the restaurant had a kind of industrial chic vibe to it with exposed beams, which I’ve heard through the grapevine is on trend. This, coupled with bold chandelier lights created quite a contrast.
The low lighting helped create a rather chilled atmosphere and once inside, we realised the restaurant was fairly full and there was a bit of atmosphere.
So we were sampling the Quick and Easy Menu which includes two courses for £16.95. Usually, when you’re choosing from a good value set menu the choices are somewhat limited, but we were genuinely struggling what to choose because there were so many enticing options.
Just have a quick gander at this yummy menu and you’ll see what I mean. I couldn’t decide between the mussels and the pasta for starter, and the steak and the pork dish for the main.
We kicked things off with some focaccia bread and olive oil, and they brought out a really tasty tapenade (tomato and olive) dip. The bread was packed with herbs and flavour and we polished it off in no time.
Next up, the truffle pasta. We watch Jamie’s cooking programmes every now and then, and he tends to cook quite simple, comforting dishes.
Jamie’s Italian features fantastic, rustic dishes, using recipes that Jamie loves! Jamie’s Italian was inspired by Italy & its traditions & values.
He doesn’t tend to overcomplicate things, and think that was the goal with this pasta. I’m a massive fan of homemade pasta, so any restaurant that serves fresh pasta is immediately in my good books.
The fresh pasta was well made, and the truffle flavour definitely came through – but it was a very simple, plain dish. So if you don’t like your flavours to overpowering, this is a good choice. Personally, I would have like just a tad more flavour. But a satisfying dish nonetheless.
Now onto the main. Steak is definitely in my top three favourite meals. I’ve eaten steak dishes all around the world, and had plenty of poor quality cuts.
But the steak we had at Jamie’s was so tender, cooked exactly how I like it (medium rare) and very, very tasty. I liked the addition of fresh basil, which I’ve not had paired with a steak before. The chips with aioli and a homemade tomato dip were yummy too.
And to finish, we ordered a medley of desserts, because why have just one when you can sample them all, right? It includes traditional Italian amaretti biscuits, cheesecake, brownie and meringues. If this doesn’t satisfy your sweet tooth I don’t know what will.
So overall a very enjoyable and excellent value meal.
I kicked things off with a blackberry prosecco with my meal, but then we headed to the bar afterwards for some cocktails. I had a decaf tiramisu (my fave pudding) espresso martini, and it was divine.
I particularly enjoyed the amaretti biscuits crumbled on top. It was relaxing chilling at the bar after our meal and getting a different perspective of the restaurant.
Top marks for service, we were welcomed right from the start and the staff were very attentive. Our waiter, Alessandro was fab and we had a great chat with Jess at the bar who was very sweet and made a killer espresso martini.
Watch this space for more restaurant reviews from my travels.