When I was still working I visited the Jamie’s Italian restaurant in Manchester a good few times, it was always the place we headed to for team celebrations and Christmas meals.
The building alone is worth the visit – it is a stunning Grade II listed building that is known as ‘the king of King Street’. It is an old bank and many of the original features have been kept including the bank manager office (I’ve dined in here twice) and we had a family celebration over the summer in the amazing vault which is downstairs. It is a really unique place to dine in the city.
We had planned to head to Manchester today and were thrilled to be invited to Jamie’s with the children to take them up on their offer of a ‘kids eat free’ deal.
We arrived early but this wasn’t an issue and were shown to our table and the children were both given a pack each complete with things to make and colour in.
Damian and I chose our meals (garlic bread for me and spicy meatball bruschetta for Damian followed by Penne arrabiatta for me and the special lamb stew for Damian). The children both had the cheesy pasta from the Jamie’s Italian Children’s Menu. The menu has recently won awards as being the best children’s menu and it’s easy to see why – it is proper food but served in a child’s portion size (and there are two sizes to choose from). We always try to avoid places with rubbish children’s choices or simply order from the main menu instead for them.
The starters arrived and they were fab – the children shared my garlic bread (and promptly asked for more!) and Miss E did try a bit of Damian’s but it was a little too spicy for her I think!
The mains came in good time and again it was superb. The portion sizes were just right and the pasta was so fresh and cooked perfectly. The sauce was lovely – arrabiatta is one of my favourite sauces and the Jamie’s one is super tasty.
The children ate most of their pasta and tried some of the salad it came with. I had a taste of their pasta and it was nice and tasty. Again children’s meals can be a bit bland but this wasn’t at all. I also liked the addition of the side salad. Both the children had a go at this which was good.
We decided to treat ourselves to dessert so Damian and I both had the chocolate brownie and the children had a scoop of ice cream. The brownie was too much for me so Damian finished some of it. The children, predictably, loved their ice creams. Although they were both eyeing up the brownies too!
What struck me in Jamie’s was just how busy it was for a Tuesday lunchtime. There was a wide range of people in there, a young couple on a lunchtime date, a group of ladies out lunching as well as families like us and a bigger office party in one of the ‘bank offices’. The restaurant seats around 240 people and it looked pretty busy today. Despite how busy it was we were never left waiting to be seen to, for drinks to be refilled etc. Equally you’re not rushed along. I’ve always found that just the right time is left inbetween courses and that, importantly, the food is always excellent and tastes wonderfully fresh.
The children’s activity packs are a good idea – it’s often a colouring sheet which Mr D doesn’t show much interest in. The Jamie’s pack had a colouring sheet in, crayons as well as things to make. There was also a pack of seeds in each one which we will plant this week. A nice touch I think.
We had such a busy today – we got the train into the city, headed to the d and saw the police dogs, bikes vans, horses and the cells. We walked through China Town, around the Central Library and the Town Hall and got a tram back to the station. When we asked Mr D before bedtime what was the best part of the day, he replied ‘the eating’. When we asked him why he said it was the ice cream with the flag and the biscuit!
We had a lovely meal at Jamie’s Italian today and it is a place I am sure we will be back to as a family again in the future. The food is excellent, the atmosphere is relaxed and it’s super family friendly.
We were invited along to Jamie’s to celebrate their Children’s menu winning the Soil Association’s ‘Out to Lunch’ poll for high street restaurants for the second year running!