We place a high value on the quality of the food and the overall experience and whether it represents great value for our hard-earned cash...I mean, there are plenty of other restaurants in this city. Where this place scored high for us was on the friendliness of the staff, the atmosphere of the place and the flavour of the food. So, what's the problem?
On the basis of what we selected, I don't think they have got it right on the quality of some of the ingredients. The 'feather cut' steak was so tough, the knife wouldn't cut it and you had to chew it repeatedly before you could actually swallow it. We sent it back, and the kitchen agreed with us, but despite their best efforts, the replacement steak had the same problem. This was a flash-fried steak...it has to be tender, otherwise you may as well throw it away (or use it instead in a stew). In an equivalent restaurant in the United States, there is absolutely no way you could get away with offering that steak.
My pasta with Italian sausage was full of flavour...but the main ingredient (sausage) was really just a few 'crumbs' of meat in a sauce. Unlike the steak dish, it wasn't terrible...just a bit disappointing.
The kitchen representative apologised for the steak problem and promised to knock the steak dish off the bill. It didn't happen, and we just paid up and left.
I guess that this is supposed to be cooking that reflects the image of great food that Jamie likes to promote. But it falls some way short of great food. And, although the prices are nowhere near as outlandish as those at his "Fifteen" restaurant in Cornwall, this Manchester restaurant shares the same annoying policy of charging for bread...which you are almost bound to ask for with some of the starters.
There are lots of restaurants in Manchester...this could be a 'hit' if it improved its key ingredients. Currently it's a 'miss' from our perspective.
If you own or manage Jamie Oliver's Italian, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.