I’ve been meaning to try Jamie’s Italian ever since it took over the old HSBC building on King Street. This HSBC was actually my bank when I first came over to Manchester for studies and I’ve not really been back since. I grabbed two friends and headed over to try their Super Lunch menu.*
Jamie’s Italian Interior
Jamie’s Italian on King St still retains a lot of the old features from the original building, including the bank vaults which can be booked as a private dining area. It was a bit surreal visiting the place as I recognised the parts they did retain, but not others; there appears to be more light now from the windows so they must have knocked a few walls or partitions down.
We arrived and took a look at the Super Lunch menu, which was £12.95 for two courses or £14.95 for three courses. The menu is only available Monday – Fridays, 12 noon – 6pm. The menu itself is fairly small but has a decent selection to cater to most dietary requirements. You can see these in details on their website.
I ordered the tomato bruschetta, partially as a subtle test to the staff. Dining with me was an Italian friend and she had informed me in the past that the ‘ch’ sound in bruschetta is pronounced with a hard ‘c’, not a ‘sh’ sound, meaning it’s actually brus-ketta. Wikipedia actually has a small bit on this. I pronounced it ‘correct’, our waitress did not. When in Rome, eh? I really enjoyed my bruschetta as there was plenty of ricotta and the cherry tomatoes were perfectly roasted and seasoned. The toast is a little on the hard side so could have perhaps done with less time under the grill.
My Italian friend ordered the Fritto Misto and enjoyed her starter, no complaints at all. I had a sample of the squid and it was cooked perfectly, not chewy at all. We did ponder whether the green stems of garnish were needed, though.
My other friend ordered the truffle tagliatelle. This was really tasty with the pasta being cooked al dente and the taste of the truffle butter really shining through. I wish I had ordered this, it was that good.
Veggie tagliatelle bolognese
Given that my friend’s tagliatelle was really good, I had high hopes for my main. It arrived and I’m afraid to say it did not live up the expectations. The pasta was really overcooked, or the sauce added to it overcooked it; in any case, it was a mushy mess. The sauce itself was ok, a bit on the bland side. I could have possibly done with more flavour being added by adding more tomatoes in the sauce or herbs, maybe? Even a good dose of black pepper did not save this one massively.
Gennaro’s chicken club
My friends both ordered the Gennaro’s chicken club. At the time of ordering, we were informed that these did not come with any sides, so asked if we wanted any. One friend opted for fries and the other chips; these come at an additional cost. The burger itself was really nice, although I do question the chilli placed on top of the bun as this seemed unnecessary. The fries were really crispy and the chips were soft in the middle with a crispy outside. Both were well executed.
To end the meal, I ordered a lemon sorbet as I wanted something light after eating all my pasta. The sorbet was indeed light and also refreshing. I did feel bad for my slightly withered mint leaf, which again, was also an unnecessary garnish.
My friends both ordered the epic brownie and I will say, I did have some regret at not ordering this. The portion sizes of these are decent so thankfully I had some of a friend’s leftovers to really enjoy this. The brownie had a nice crunchy top and was soft in the middle, but not moist or fudgy, so if that’s your requirements for a good brownie you may not wish to order this. The salted caramel ice cream complemented the brownie perfectly and even the popcorn was a nice small addition. All in all, a very good dessert.
Overall rating and comments
7/10, -0.5 for the slightly hard toast, -2 for the veggie tagliatelle bolognese, -0.5 for the odd random garnish. The Super Lunch menu (Mon-Fri, 12 noon – 6pm) is really value for money whether you get two or three courses. The food is ok and our waitress for the evening, Lauren/Laura (I’m sorry, I forgot which) was really nice. It’s worth going down to see the bank vault, which is situated next to the toilets but you may want to grab a cardigan as it’s slightly cooler downstairs than it is on the ground level.
Would visit again?
I think the Super Lunch menu makes this trip worthwhile. They do have an Evening Menu as well which is slightly different to Super Lunch with some dishes removed and some more added. The price for this is £15.95 for two courses and £18.95 for three courses.
Address: 100 King St, Manchester M2 4WU
Do you like Italian food? Have you been to Jamie’s Italian before?
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* I was invited to Jamie’s Italian and did not have to pay for my meal on this occassion. This did not affect mine or my guest’s views of the evening.