Having heard great things about Jamie's Italian, I decided to take Elina out for a romantic meal to celebrate her return home. There is no booking at the restaurant. You turn up and have to wait for a table. Upon arrival, we were handed an electronic buzzer (well, it does not really buzz, it is more of a vibrator, but you cannot use that word in a non-sexual context anymore) and shepherded to the bar to get a drink.
The bar was rather crowded with the amount of people in there and there was nowhere to put our coats. However, despite being told to expect a twenty to twenty five minute wait, a mere fifteen minutes later we were called to our table.
Service was prompt and food arrived quickly. This worked out well because I was rather hungry, but the whole experience did feel a bit rushed. Obviously they were trying to get people in and out so they could seat more customers, and almost every restaurant does it, but I like them to make the effort in pretending that that is not what they are doing.
The food itself was very enjoyable. I could not resist having the steak and it was expertly cooked. Not to the standard of a premium steak house, but certainly one of the better that you will find elsewhere. They had a superb array of choices for side salads too (i.e. they offer side salads that are not just a fancy word for a bowl of lettuce).
Jamie Oliver was not there to personally ask if everything was OK with our food.
Overall, it was a pleasant experience, the food was tasty and the service was OK. Given I have only heard raving reviews about it until now though, I am not convinced it quite lives up to its reputation, but it is worth visiting nonetheless.
Reviewed by Leeds Restaurant Guide.
35 Park Row, Leeds LS1 5JL
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