I am very lucky to have an astonishingly caring family. Because Chris was away for my birthday my lovely sister offered to take me out to lunch. We thought we would go to Wahaca in Westfield (Shepherd's Bush) but I remembered that the last time I was there they were interviewing for staff for a branch of Jamie's Italian which was opening soon.
We got lucky! It had been open for a week. It looked busy but once we got inside it had Tardis-like proportions and there was loads of space. It was a very neat building indeed. Lots of Jamie (and Gennaro) memorabilia of course but it did indeed feel very Italian. Well mock Italian anyway.
We shared an antipasti meat plank and I loved the idea of balancing a lump of food-covered wood over two cans of tomatoes. The coleslaw was an absolute star. Haven't quite worked out the mystery ingredient yet - possibly grated fennel. It was a bit filling for a starter actually but then Anne and I are not huge eaters. We just think with our stomachs.
Anne had a lovely fritto misto but I won with the chopped beef burger and garlic chips. Fantastic, really good. I'll be dreaming about those chips for weeks.
I chose a decaff affogato for afters, Anne went with strawberries and pannacotta. Both excellent. The bill was just under £70 excluding service. We'd had a bottle of Merlot as well.
I loved the child-friendliness as well although I was disappointed not to be given a badge like the lad on the next table had. It proudly proclaimed "I ate all my greens"! I suppose I should have asked . . . . .
We will, undoubtedly, be back. Well done to the Jamie brand.
And apologies to the two offspring and partners who turned up at our house expecting a barbecue. Pay attention please. That was never happening as I was expecting to be halfway up the M1 with your father!