Half Term has already started for some, sadly not for us yet (West Sussex). To cheer ourselves up and also to celebrate my husband’s birthday with the kids, last Sunday we decided to go out for lunch, just the four of us. We have couple of “go to” places which we really like for family outings and most importantly boys love them too but this time we wanted to try somewhere new.
I did my usual thing of looking at offers on the High Street and then Jamie Oliver popped up in my Facebook feed announcing “Kids Eat Free” in Jamie’s Italian restaurants (with every adult main ordered). I was pretty much swayed as we all fancied a bit of a road trip on a gloomy Sunday and Portsmouth is within reasonable distance plus there was some “retail therapy” to be done there as well (BONUS!)
I booked a table (just in case) via bookatable.com which was quick and easy and also downloaded Jamie’s Italian Golden Club App which gives you access to members only offers as well as signing bonus which is £10 off your bill (if you spend over £30). In addition to that we all got (including kids) mini tasters (Italian Nachos) perfect as light starters. What a value!
The restaurant itself is really nice, bright and inviting with the usual “industrial” vibe so popular amongst all the other restaurants on the High Street. Staff were brilliant throughout our visit, very friendly, chatty and great with kids. Boys were given “Little packs of fun” upon arrival and that was it… We were off the hook ;). Well, sort of. The packs were huge hit as not only did they contain some crayons and colouring pages but also bookmark you had to put together yourself and little “origami” type of game which could help indecisive to chose their dinner from the menu.
Menu choices were very similar to those offered by similar Italian food chains known to all. There was also Specials board with only one main available that Sunday lunchtime (could do with more choice in my opinion).
We decided upon a simple fare of burger and pizza. My husband chose Jamie’s Italian beef burger with pancetta, balsamic onions, artisan Westcombe Cheddar & tomato in a brioche bun which he said was really nice. Apparently, balsamic onions and brioche bun really brought this simple burger to another level 🙂 Thank you Honey for your input 💕
I went with Truffle Shuffle pizza with white sauce, fontal, balsamic onions, free-range egg & black truffle on a sourdough base. It was one of the best pizzas I have ever had, honestly. It was also my first time tasting truffles which were lovely. All in all thumbs up from adults.
In principle, kids menu is brilliant. Really nicely presented, healthy choices…
However, there were few things we didn’t like that much which I thought I would share with you.
First of all, thick, butcher block style boards kids food arrived on, not really a fan of those. I know it is a very subjective thing but they really don’t serve much of a purpose and if anything can be a bit of a pain as they elevate table height quite substantially so you end up getting rid of them anyway and it’s just a hassle (or is it just me???)
“Shake-me salad” comes as a side with all of the kids dishes, there are no other vegetable options to choose from (carrots, broccoli, peas, sweetcorn etc.) It was kind of a big deal for us as our boys run a mile from anything “salad like” but will happily eat all kinds of steamed veg so having that option would be great.
Some of “non pasta” choices come with “baked hedgehog potatoes” which looked and tasted like steamed new potatoes, again no swap options there unless you order additional side. We all know that kids LOVE fries and Jamie’s fries which arrived with hubbies burger were lovely and yes you guessed, my elder son ended up swapping them for his “hedgehogs”. Everything in moderation as they say, would be nice to have an option.
The actual kids meals they chose were”Happy chicken lollipops” which were nice but really not many of them and if it wasn’t for getting his hand on his dad’s fries poor boy would be asking “What’s for dinner” the moment we left the restaurant 😉 My little one, on the other hand, requested “Secret seven tomato pasta bake” which was a winner. Nice generous portion of lovely, healthy, swirly whirly pasta bake which my 3 year old devoured.
Unlimited drinks for kids included choice of lovely fruity water, squash or juice – big thumbs up! Lovely dessert choices as well but as we are chocolate kind of people (and so are our kids) we had brownies all around and they were lush.
Overall we really enjoyed our visit to Jamie’s Italian and would definitely recommend it during the half-term so that you can take advantage of the Kids Eat Free offer. Remember not to forget to download the app and sign up for Golden Club to reap the rewards. You will not be disappointed with the level of service or food on offer. We will definitely visit again but stick to pasta dishes when ordering food for kids as this way we got guaranteed seven vegetables! hidden in a pasta sauce 😉
Disclaimer: This review expresses my own views only (and those of my hubby and kids :)) and was not solicited in any way. It is supposed to share our own experience and in no way is it meant to cause any offence.