Firstly I'd like to say how surprised I am by the volume of complaints some reviewers have about this restaurant. I've been many times now and have never been disappointed! I will admit that there has been, on occasion, a little issue here or there (the stew wasn't available during one visit, for example) but these have all been totally minor and have all been righted asap by the staff whenever possible.
The food itself is fantastic - I really don't know why some people have complained that it's been bland as I have never experienced anything less than a really tasty and fresh meal here. The olives on ice really are fantastic; a must-try for any olive lovers, and the mains have always been filling, delicious and very enjoyable.
The staff have always been great, especially on my last visit when I took my mum out for Mother's Day. The place was packed full and there were lots of large family groups, but everyone seemed perfectly satisfied and the staff were really helpful, never once trying to hurry us up or rushing us.
It does get pretty busy and this can lead to a noisy atmosphere, but I enjoy that in a restaurant. I take that as a sign of a successful business, and I'd much rather eat somewhere lively and busy than an empty, quiet place with little to no atmosphere. One time I did have to wait about 30 mins for my pre-booked table but I was offered a complimentary selection of nibbles (really delicious cold meats and olives) at the bar and the bar staff were very chatty and friendly.
The prices here always seem to be very reasonable, but drinks do knock the price up quite a bit, as is the case in almost every restaurant. For a famous name chef establishment, Jamie's is pretty good value, not being much more expensive than any other mid-range priced restaurant (think ASK, Strada, even Pizza Express) and the portions are always fairly generous.
I understand from the other reviews that Jamie's seems a little hit and miss, but I've been many times since moving to Brighton two years ago and have always been very happy with both the service and quality of the food. Maybe I've just been lucky, but really can't think of a time I've left feeling dissatisfied.
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