I had it all figured out, this trip to Jamie’s Italian Manchester*. I checked the menu the week before; decided on the Superfood Salad with chicken. Maybe share some olives with Chris to start, one glass of wine, no dessert. I even had this blog post title sorted: “Clean Eats and Jamie’s Italian”. Yes! It could be done, eating clean at a restaurant, and at an Italian, no less.
What I hadn’t factored in is that I had an extremely busy day on Friday which meant I only ate two boiled eggs and a pack of cooked chicken, then I went to CrossFit before hitting the restaurant. Unsurprisingly after my rubbish eating day I was also pretty rubbish at CrossFit – a bar was loaded up for me and I couldn’t even clean it. Relaying my food diary for the day to the coach he remarked that I would probably go and eat a whole cow now… And after the idea of steak was planted in my head, I couldn’t get it out. It had to be done.
So. At Jamie’s. Incredible building, previously a bank; high ceilings, atmospheric small dining areas, rad original features – this sounds silly but you have to go to the toilets – just a really cool place without any pretention. Our waitress was so shiny and enthusiastic, describing the specials to make you want all of them, at the same time. And believe me, I was certainly hungry enough (Later it was revealed that our waitress was studying catering and hospitality at university and loved working at Jamie’s so much she was going to do her placement year there. Aw).
I had olives to start, which were those lovely meaty types that you only get in Italy and proper Italian restaurants, served with ‘music’ bread; sort of like a tortilla but managed to have a lovely doughy taste. Then my main meal arrived – which, of course, was steak. I chose the 8oz rump which came with fries (half of which I donated to Chris) and I also chose to have seasonal vegetables on the side, including KALE! If I had to take a mark away it would be for the presentation of my meal, which wasn’t particularly inspiring, but hey, it’s steak. It could just be slapped on a plate for me and I’d still enjoy. This one had been grilled to medium-rare perfection, and was wonderfully juicy. Finally, my starvation-and-CrossFit-induced hunger had subsided. But I wasn’t too full for a dessert…
After fries, a bottle of wine, and the biggest portion of cheesecake known to man, I can hardly call this experience clean eating. But I could tell everything was freshly made with seasonal ingredients, and any butter or oil added was clearly noted in the menu. Chris is insistent that we go back again, and I’m inclined to agree; perhaps next time I’ll be a touch less hungry and I will actually have the Superfood Salad. But now I know the steak is that good? We’ll have to see.
* We attended as guests of Jamie’s Italian – thanks! This review is still honest and my opinion will never be bought.