Jamie Oliver Kitchen
The British celebrity chef bounces back.
Formerly Jamie's Italian (RIP), this opening marks the comeback of British celeb chef Jamie Oliver. With a relaxed, could-be-anywhere, industrial-chic aesthetic, the restaurant serves up comfort food that occasionally taps into Asian-inspired flavors. Order the Mediterranean-inspired lamb and pine nut meatballs (B260) or the lobster and seafood pasta (B680) followed by a banoffee ice cream sundae (B240).
This review took place in February 2020 and is based on a visit to the restaurant without the restaurant's knowledge. For more on BK's review policy, click here.
Despite having to close most of his UK operations in mid-2019 after his restaurant group fell into administration—the Jamie’s Italian franchise included—British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has bounced back remarkably quickly. Enter Jamie Oliver Kitchen, the empire-building chef’s latest attempt at a concept kitchen in Bangkok.
Decor-wise, the restaurant looks and feels almost identical to its Italian sister, thanks to the could-be-anywhere, industrial-chic aesthetic, courtesy of dangling bulbs, exposed pipework, the rustic wood panel ceiling, weathered wood accent walls and leather seats. And, of course, an open kitchen counter. (Did you expect anything else?) This gives the space a relaxed and down-to-earth vibe. On our arrival around 6pm, the waiters ushered us to the seats by the big windows overlooking the city lights.
With a focus on comfort food, the menu taps into Asian-inspired flavors, alongside a selection of some of the British chef’s most popular dishes. From the specials, which mainly consist of Italian dishes, the crispy and fresh tomato bruschetta (slow-roasted tomatoes, ricotta and basil; B180) sings with the right balance of sweet and sour notes, although the portion could be larger. The crab risotto (B390), on the other hand, is so intensely fishy you’ll be reaching for your glass of water after one bite. Al dente rice and heaping portions can’t make up for that.
Don’t like old-tasting crab? The Mediterranean-inspired lamb and pine nut meatballs (B260) will have you dreaming of the exotic vacation you wish you could take. From the smoky and well-seasoned lamb to the delicate, creamy texture of the eggplant hummus, this dish gets “comfort food” right. If you still want seafood, try the lobster and seafood pasta (B680). Packed with freshly made linguine, shrimp and shellfish, capers and chili, and a half gratinated lobster, this savory dish is hands down the star of the Asian-fusion side of the menu.
Desserts are standard brasserie fare. The banoffee ice cream sundae (B240), loaded with caramelized banana, gooey toffee sauce and popcorn, is solid. You can wash it down with Thai craft beers, like the tropical and floral Bussaba Ex-Weiss (B225). Altogether, Jamie Oliver’s new venue is, well, another Jamie Oliver venue. You know what you’re getting into. Oftentimes, that’s good enough.