Jamie Oliver

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#1 Tue 03 Aug 10 7:18pm

sandra66

Member
Member since Tue 03 Aug 10

Italian restaurant in London: very bad quality of food!

I was not expecting anything better to be honest as I do not think Oliver is here because he is good but because he is selling, anyway.
I went to the Italian restaurant of Westfield with my boyfriend and his parents. The entrance was terrible: far too oily, bad calamaris and the portion was ridiculously small and expensive. The main course was bad. I had carbonara pasta and the sauce was actually watery and obviously not fresh. The portion was small. We waited ages and in the end we did not even take any deserts because there was nothing attractive on the menu and we did not want to spend any more money in bad food.
I truly think that the boss should stop opening so many restaurants and start focusing in making good quality meals. Being famous has nothing to do with cooking Jamie!

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#2 Tue 03 Aug 10 11:52pm

sergio1972

Forum champ
Occupation NLP Trainer and Coach
From Portugal
Member since Tue 09 Dec 08

Re: Italian restaurant in London: very bad quality of food!

Hi Sandra and welcome to the forum.

Im really sorry you had a bad experience in one of Jamie's restaurants.

Im also really sorry, but being a member there are a few things I cant help saying: the "Introductions" is supposed to be a place for people to introduce themselves.
I dont see any introductions from you.

And by the way, did you complain while you were in the restaurant? Cause you dont mention that in your post. When I go to a restaurant if the service is not up to what I expect I complain and hope things to be sorted on the spot.

Also I find hard for a carbonara sauce to be "watery and obviously not fresh". Carbonara sauce mainly consists of cream. When cream is not fresh its usually bitter and it tastes horribly, not watery.

Again that would have been a good moment to complain cause they'd probably have been kind enough to offer you a dessert, which I also find hard to believe that there was nothing good on the menu but "good" is relative I give you that...

Im sorry that you paid good money for a bad food experience but Im sure Jamie wasnt actually in the kitchen that night, so why complain here?

Anyway welcome to the forum thumbsup

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#3 Thu 05 Aug 10 4:31pm

sandra66

Member
Member since Tue 03 Aug 10

Re: Italian restaurant in London: very bad quality of food!

Thank you for your warm welcoming!

As far as I know, this forum is on jamieoliver.com and the restaurant where I went belongs to Jamie Oliver, it makes it the perfect place to give my opinion.
Also, this forum is about Jamie Oliver and his food. Thus I give my opinion of Jamie Oliver's food. If wanted to let people know who is my favourite singer and when I was born, I would go on facebook.

Carbonara sauce mainly consists in cream indeed... when it is properly made. The sauce I had was watery and tasteless. It could be because the sauce was made a day before or so (there is also egg in there), because the chef added water for some reason (maybe to make some savings on the cream) or even both!

I did not complain simply because there was nothing they could have done. It's not like if my steak was overcooked, the sauce was not made properly. It's a question of competence, competence they obviously do not have in this restaurant. Sending back four plates would have been a bit much anyway. I go to restaurants to try the food and come back if it is good quality, certainly not to teach chefs how to make good food.

The fact that no dessert was attractive enough is indeed a matter of opinion but some people have a better culinary education than others. We did not want to be disappointed again and spend more money than we already did in poor quality food.

Unfortunately, I do not know if Jamie was in the kitchen that night but this is not the point. This restaurant belongs to him and wears his name. Thus it represents Jamie Oliver's food. All over this pompous menu you could read “Jamie's Italian spaghetti bolognese”, “Jamie's flash steak” or “Jamie's Italian prosecco” and it goes on.  This restaurant is all about selling and make business (tee-shirts, napkins, books, apron, tea towels, carrier bag, mug, oven gloves, olive oil, vouchers) and certainly not about making good food.
The fact is, instead of spending so much time on TV, trying to sell so many books and opening so many restaurants (just to make more and more money) he should spend more time in his kitchen and give better food to his customers.

See you at Jamie's Italian very soon!  thumbsup

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#4 Thu 05 Aug 10 4:44pm

madamada

Forum super champ
Occupation living life
From Friuli northern Italy
Member since Mon 14 Jan 08

Re: Italian restaurant in London: very bad quality of food!

ciao Sandra, thank you for spending a little of your time to clarify what you did not like about that menu, or did not go, or wasn't perfectly done, and also for exposing so well here what you think about Jamie Oliver and his priorities

but

as far as carbonara is concerned, please, have a look at an original recipe, the main ingredient are eggs and not cream

do not be so sure when judging things you do not perfectly know, this for the next time you go out and spoil a serata instead of cooking something from scratch to see how good you are in the kitchen

do not desappear and see what happens when we start talking about a recipe on this forum  wink  we can go on for 30 pages and more about a risotto big_smile

good luck for your next time out for supper wink wave

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#5 Thu 05 Aug 10 5:06pm

sandra66

Member
Member since Tue 03 Aug 10

Re: Italian restaurant in London: very bad quality of food!

Dear Madamada,

You are very welcome, I'm only trying to help the big chef!

Concerning the carbonara, I think you should read again what I wrote, and you might just understand that that's what I said. I did say there was egg in the recipe, yes dear.

Don't worry about me, I'm pretty sure about what I say. And for information, I do not have the pretentiousness to say that I can cook. Although I can tell when something is good quality or not. But as you talk about it, I actually hate going to the restaurant in London because food is terrible 99% of the time. That is why I cook my own meals, yes I do and everyone enjoys them very much indeed. But I am certainly not implying that my food is better than Jamie's, although it is better than what I had in his restaurant. And this for a simple reason: his priority is not cooking good food anymore but selling. There we go!

And as I think criticizing is a very good thing, I could carry on for a very long time so speak to you soon!

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#6 Thu 05 Aug 10 5:13pm

rhianna899

Forum champ
Member since Mon 02 Feb 09

Re: Italian restaurant in London: very bad quality of food!

Hi Sandra wave

I think criticizing is a good thing too if done correctly, which is why I would complain to the chef at the time and not complain on a forum afterwards which neither Jamie nor the chef in question is going to read, I can't imagine sitting through an awful meal in a restaurant, not saying anything to my waiter/waitress and going onto the internet afterwards to complain  hmm They could have remade your sauce for you, I imagine as a chef you get happiness from knowing people have enjoyed your food so why not say something at the time and give the lady/gentleman a chance to improve what you didn't like? I hope you stick around and here's to you enjoying some meals out  thumbsup

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#7 Thu 05 Aug 10 5:28pm

sandra66

Member
Member since Tue 03 Aug 10

Re: Italian restaurant in London: very bad quality of food!

As I said, it is Jamie's restaurant and he is responsible for what is happening in his kitchen. I would have contacted him directly with pleasure but could not find any address. The forum is the only place I can leave a comment on.

And there is a very fair point in leaving my comment here: other people can have a feedback of his food before going to his restaurant.

Don't be naïve to think that talking to the chef would change anything. If I can taste that something is wrong in there, he should know it better than me. He is either unqualified or incompetent.
We did not send the food back but did leave a comment to the waitress. She saw very well that we were not satisfied with the quality of the food.

And as it is Jamie's website, I would think that someone working for him would check it and let him know what people think of him. If not, then it's worse than I thought!

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#8 Thu 05 Aug 10 6:19pm

MsPablo

Forum super champ
Occupation Just being me
Member since Fri 28 Mar 08

Re: Italian restaurant in London: very bad quality of food!

sandra66 wrote:

Carbonara sauce mainly consists in cream indeed... when it is properly made.

I did not complain simply because there was nothing they could have done.

Unfortunately, I do not know if Jamie was in the kitchen that night but this is not the point. This restaurant belongs to him and wears his name. Thus it represents Jamie Oliver's food. All over this pompous menu you could read “Jamie's Italian spaghetti bolognese”, “Jamie's flash steak” or “Jamie's Italian prosecco” and it goes on.

-Madamada is correct, the main ingredient in carbonara is eggs, not cream.  A good one doesn't have to contain any cream.

-When in Rome at a friend's restaurant, the new chef made our pasta too salty, so we sent it back and it was then made correctly and perfectly for us.  It is not just a good idea to let the staff know when there's a problem, it's the proper way to handle the situation.

-Jamie may not necessarily be cooking or present, but that you know before you go.  I thought he put his name on those dishes because they were his versions or his style of classics.

-What's wrong with making money, btw?

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#9 Thu 05 Aug 10 7:07pm

madamada

Forum super champ
Occupation living life
From Friuli northern Italy
Member since Mon 14 Jan 08

Re: Italian restaurant in London: very bad quality of food!

Thank you MsP for that carbonara detail, and as in books there is alway a tip you can learn from a whole book full of recipes you'll never do, the same in a restaurant if you have good spirit of observation you'll "steel" something you did not know before ......... if you go there without any prejudice of course.

It sounds as if the forumer who started this thread had something to be demonstrated going to that restaurant, would you Sandra open a restaurant in your dreams or make money perhaps

everyone has his own priorities and doesn't have to justify them to anybody if he does not do any harm on purpose

now shall we go on speaking of carbonara or money roll  in that case there should be a new thread, I think big_smile

Last edited by madamada (Thu 05 Aug 10 7:07pm)

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#10 Thu 05 Aug 10 8:14pm

TSR

Member
From Serbia
Member since Sun 04 Apr 10

Re: Italian restaurant in London: very bad quality of food!

On one hand I understand the expectations someone has when going into a Jamie Oliver restaurant. After watching shows such as Jamie's Kitchen, you can see the emphasis he puts on stuff like knowing your ingredients, making sure they're fresh, and promt service. He actually made people cry to drive that lesson home. So maybe people are a bit unrealistic expecting the Jamie touch in every restaurant (he couldn't touch them all if he was a centipide!), or maybe Jamie isn't paying enough attention on what happens to a place that has his name on it. Then again, I have seen a lot of people in restaurants complain about anything they can think of, so I'm always a bit skeptic. 

P.S.A carbonara sauce that isn't fresh seems normal but is a salmonela risk because of the eggs, I doubt any restaurant would be foolish enough to gamble with something like that.

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