The restaurant from Britain's biggest celebrity chef has arrived.
This Italian restaurant by Britain’s biggest celebrity chef fuses British and Italian cuisines, all served in a comfortable setting free of formalities. In Bangkok, the menu of antipasti, pasta (try the prawn linguine) and pizza mimics the successful formula of branches worldwide. Elsewhere on the menu there are steaks, burgers, fish stew and pan-fried fish-of-the-day—as devised by Oliver and his mentor, Italian chef Gennaro Contaldo.
Given that this is also some of the best Italian food we’ve tasted in a Bangkok shopping mall, its lack of customers was also thoroughly undeserving. At prices not far north of Scoozi, this latest addition to a chain of over 60 restaurants worldwide delivers well beyond what you might expect from any brand so thinly stretched.
A margarita pizza (B310) has the billowy crust yet perfectly thin base of dough made using quality flour, albeit with a topping of piquant tomatoes that’s masked under a barrage of parmesan. The casaracce pasta in pork and fennel ragu (B260/340) delivers all the heartwarming, rustic flavors which its food-photo-worthy appearance of earthen browns and golden charred edges promises. Even dodgy-sounding fusion stuff like the “crunchy Italian nachos” (deep-fried pockets of ravioli pasta stuffed with mozzarella, ricotta and parmesan with a spicy tomato dip, B160) have an ordering-from-the-kids-menu kind of charm.
Jamie’s doesn’t pretend to be down-the-line authentic, meaning you’ll also find time-worn bistro stomach fillers suffixed with the word “Italian,” from steak and fries (B720) to a burger (B560) whose two-inch-thick, coarseground pattie oozes with the tangy juices of quality beef—shame that the unmanageable presentation sees it piled up like a ready-to-fall tower of Jenga.
Decor is an equally faddish but well-executed blend of what everyone’s doing—dangling bulbs, exposed pipe work and all the rest of it. Most places, though, you’d be able to get a glass of wine at lunchtime, while here the B225-305 by-the-glass plonk is reserved for dinner guests only (damn sticking to the law). Our tip: make up for it with an extra helping of the formidably gooey molten chocolate praline pudding (B230).