Aaaah, Richmond-Upon-Thames! For those of you lucky enough to have visited this Surrey borough of London, you’ll know it echoes with Tudor ghosts and Georgian architectural genius. British rock royalty have homes here (Mick Jagger and Pete Townsend among them) and the river winds its way past honeyed stone and palladian grandeur.
Although one of the greatest pubs in the world is here – The Roebuck on the way up to the park (almost opposite Pete Townsend’s pad if you’re interested or a stalker) – there is a fairly obvious glut of homogenous food offerings alongside some sweet independent restaurants. Well now, people of and visitors to Richmond, there is a place to keep the rock’n’rollers happy – especially if you love Italian food. Instead of opening one of his mothership Jamie’s Italians in this villagey spot, Jamie is trying the first of his new Trattorias here.
It’s like a Jamie’s Italian; not as big, but just as clever, with a dressed-down punky interior and a different menu – although some of the big hitters remain (prawn linguine and the Gennaro Burger to name but two). Oodles of sharing options adorn the antipasti, which is just as well as I had my missus and two boys with me and they were ravenous as we’d driven in from the kingdom of Essex – all 90 minutes of it.
We were greeted by the brilliant Ruben who made us feel properly at home and filled us in on all the specials, which included a really lovely-sounding Pollock fillet. The kids were also given the cool little extras of an old-school Etch-a-sketch and 3D Viewfinder.
We went mad for the antipasti (Italian starters, if you will). We ordered the crocchetta – potato croquettes which are filled with gooey Westcombe Cheddar, Parmesan and a hint of sage – perfect packets of comfort. By the way, if you’ve never tried the insanely good Green Cerignola Puglian olives Jamie’s restaurants are famed for then you should. They’re ripe and creamy green monsters, and quite simply the best on earth.
The crispy squid was superb – lightly dusted in paprika and everything they should be, and more. Pistachio Mortadella with cheeky little chilli-infused pickles hit the spot, and the crazily creamy Baby Mozzarella were perfect for little fingers (and my big fat ones!).
We simply couldn’t stop there, I had to have some pasta. Recently Gennaro had visited the office with the biggest truffle I’d ever seen, a proper whopper, so the Truffle Tagliatelle was a must; a hint of nutmeg sends this into space. So good.
The boys had burger sliders and a pizza. This pizza was generous; wood-fired and everything an amazing pizza should be.
Yes, we had desserts. A sticky chocolate cake (two) to share, and then we were done and out into the Richmond evening for a quick pint at The Roebuck – no Pete Townshend, but the food at the trat had already rocked the party!
For more info, reservations and the latest menu visit the Jamie’s Trattoria website.