Jamie’s Italian

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver's Dubai restaurant is open at Festival City 38 Reviews

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Big-name chefs seem to gravitate towards this city like moths to light, which makes it strange that Jamie Oliver has waited as long as he has to open a restaurant in Dubai. This said, while there’s a Jamie’s Italian in nearly every major British city, the Festival City outlet of the franchise is only the second to open outside of the UK. It would seem that the self-styled cheeky-chappy chef picks and chooses his locations carefully, which bodes well for Dubai diners.

When we visited, Jamie’s Italian had been open for business for about four weeks, but since it was still in its ‘soft-opening’ stages, there was hardly a peep of publicity. We’d heard rumours that the official opening – complete with a visit from the quick-talking ‘mockney’ – would take place when the venue finally secured its alcohol licence, but frankly we couldn’t wait any longer. Besides, who needs alcohol to have fun?

Jamie’s Italian is a quintessentially casual venue, meaning that guests don’t have to book in advance unless they have a party of eight people or above. Since my entourage had the day off, my date and I were able to turn up and get a table straight away. Once we were seated, our chirpy waitress, who seemed to be reciting from invisible cue cards, welcomed us and told us to hold tight for Dennis. Dennis? Dennis was to be our waiter for the evening and it would be Dennis who’d talk us through the menu and the day’s specials. At this, she scampered off, leaving us to digest our surroundings.

I haven’t been to a Jamie’s Italian back in the UK, but I’m guessing that they’re all pretty similar in sentiment if not size to the Festival City restaurant (this being Dubai, Jamie’s is pretty big). All light woods and industrial metal piping (plus two enormous contemporary chandeliers), the venue appears to be an extension of the loftspace that you see in those Sainsbury’s ads. In this respect it’s rather contrived, but I’ll have to admit that it works wonderfully – I instantly felt comfortable, cosy and at ease despite the sizeable venue being still only half full.

Perhaps my only reservation was with the copious amount of Jamie memorabilia being displayed on every available surface – it should be remembered that a lot of people might extremely enjoy Jamie Oliver’s food, books, TV shows and drinks, but nonetheless might not want his face staring at them constantly over their three courses.

Our discussion was cut short by Dennis, who bounded up our table and began to talk us through the menu in great detail. His recital was impressive as was the fact he would happily recommend some dishes over others – part of the sales pitch, I’m sure, but it was refreshing nonetheless. With Dennis’s help we settled on bruschetta topped with spiced pumpkin and goat’s cheese, and marinated sardines for starters (‘nibbles’ in Jamie-speak). We’d then skip the antipasti and get stuck into the main courses: a grilled salmon steak and a bowl of game ragu paccheri.

One thing that has always impressed me about the Jamie Oliver juggernaught is that it successfully marries big business with a genuine sense of homegrown quality. Jamie’s Italian, after all, is a chain restaurant, but the emphasis on fresh produce and friendly service is undeniable. This was exemplified by our starters, which arrived swiftly, were well presented, expertly prepared and boasted some of the freshest ingredients we’d tasted for a while. The sweet yet mildly spicy pumpkin caponata was offset beautifully by a snow-white sprinkling of fragrant goat’s cheese, while the sardines were arranged in little glistening silver curls on the plate; each tasting as good as they looked.

Though these dishes whet my appetite and made me think twice about not ordering from the antipasti, I contented myself with the fact that the starters had done enough to pique my appetite and soon, two pristine white bowls arrived at our table: One framing dark red, rich ragu; the other a plump salmon resting on a bed of emerald-green pea shoots, courgettes, and drizzled in a rich, lemony aioli.

Both dishes were fantastic. The flavoursome slow-cooked game was perfectly punctuated by crispy breadcrumbs, while the paccheri (which is made onsite) was cooked to al-dente perfection. From the salty, crisp skin to its juicy pink flesh to the Roman-style stewed vegetables – which crackled and crunched with freshness – my date’s grilled salmon dish was equally good.

Disappointingly, many of the desserts on the menu were unavailable on our visit. Still, we were happy to conclude with a small serving of fresh ice cream followed by two warming cups of Musetti cappuccino. As we idly prodded at the ice cream with our spoons and sipped our coffee, we caught site of some other dishes flashing past our table on their way to others – towering burgers, fat chips covered in parmesan, and mountainous pasta dishes. It was clear that the menu offered a great deal more, a few surprises, and plenty of reasons to come back – alcohol licence or otherwise.

The bill (for two)

1x marinated sardines Dhs35
1x Bruschetta with pumpkin Dhs29
1x Game ragu Dhs79
1x Salmon steak Dhs99
1x three-scoop ice cream Dhs33
2x ginger beer Dhs44
1x Small Perrier Dhs12
2x Cappuccino Dhs40
Total (excluding service) Dhs371

By Oliver Robinson
Time Out Dubai,

Time Out reviews restaurants anonymously and pays for meals. Of course, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or independence of user reviews.

Details

  • Location: Dubai Festival City Mall, Festival City, Dubai
  • Tel: 04 232 9969
  • Travel: Al Rebat Street
  • Website | Send mail

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User reviews

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DecorFoodOverall
  • Users voted this restaurant most suitable for: Family friendly

User reviews:

Posted by: Elchico Malo on 15 Apr ' 14 at 09:11

I liked the food.
I liked the ambience.
If you complain about these two, cook at home. Some people.
Eating is an adventure, expect the unexpected!

Posted by: king bala on 20 Mar ' 13 at 12:30
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

I am a spoilt European Dubai resident, To have a match between the eating experience, the quality of the food , and venue they would need to reduce the cost by around 30% - 35%. It is far to expensive considering all the factors. There are eateries on 5 star locations on the beach which offer a far better overall experience. At the end of the day one is eating at a location in or next to a shopping mall. I am wondering how long it will be before they start charging for the salt and pepper. Have been there now 3 times and each time I had hoped that things had become a bit more down to earth. I shall not be going back.

Posted by: Suzette de Jonk on 28 Jan ' 13 at 13:31
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  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Went there with my husband and was delighted with the lovely service and delicious authentic italian food. Truly a good choice. Well done Jamie!

Posted by: Gilbert on 28 Dec ' 12 at 14:11

Overly hyped.
Slow service.
Bland food.
Extremely expensive for what you get.

Quite a gimmicky experience. If you like Jamie Oliver, go to YouTube instead.

Posted by: CeAk on 08 Sep ' 12 at 10:40
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  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Main problem is what they are serving and what they charging for it..Overly priced ! Service is very poor.. Food is not tasty..if you want to be ripped off that is the right place for you.

Posted by: GurmeDubai on 08 Sep ' 12 at 10:20
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

I have been in Dubai almost 9 years and restaurant wise i have experienced pretty much everything..Honestly Jamie's is the only place that i regret eating.Here is why..Food is undistinguished,mundane..i did not have big expectations..Food came too late..Waiter was pushing us to order some more starters..Tables are very close to each other and if next table has children (mostly likely) good luck with that...Lets accept everything but what is the price about?? If your money hard earned you deserve better restaurant and food. Don't waste your time and money.

Posted by: Hannah on 02 Sep ' 12 at 06:33
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  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

I was really looking forward to eating at Jamie's Italian due to my love of Italian food. I had high expectations of what to expect...... however was completely underwhelmed and disappointed.
The decor felt more like a cafe than a restaurant, the furniture looked cheap, and the booth's made it feel like a fast food joint.
Although our table was booked for 9pm, there were children and babies EVERYWHERE, some running around and other babies crying, parents seemed oblivious to this and I thought it was totally unfair on the other diners.
The service was good, however 2 of the 3 specials were not available, something that you don't expect from going there on a Friday night, the busiest night of the week.
The music was inappropriate and too loud (cheesey 80's music).
Food was good, we had the chilli peppers and crab bruschetta to start, followed by the chilli beef pizza and prawn linguine. We felt rushed throughout our meal and had finished everything within the hour.
Very let down and don't think it does Jamie's name or reputation any favors.

Posted by: Pinks on 24 Aug ' 12 at 05:58
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

A severe disappointment - sauces for the pastas tasted like they came out of a bottle, topping on bruschetta was soggy, the crab was certainly not fresh, and the risotto should not have left the kitchen. It beggars belief that anyone would call this good Italian food.

Posted by: syed mahmood on 14 Aug ' 12 at 13:07
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

food took too long to come.bread was hard...choice was less and very expensive...in the end food didnt taste as to what was expected..i think i can get better pasta in pizza hut and pay half the price..sorry jamie! your restaurant is overrated and over priced...

Posted by: Chris on 02 Jun ' 12 at 14:22
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  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Edited by TimeOutDubai.com

Visited with my wife more or less on a whim. We had actually tried to find Jamie's on a previous visit to Dubai, but in the end we needed directions from a friend who had visited before. The decor was modern and quirky, and I think it fits the ethos of the restaurant well. We opted to be seated on the mezzanine, as the main area was fairly full with families with young children (Saturday early lunchtime). Looking down from the mezzanine we had a nice view of the salad and antipasti chefs in full flow. The only comment I'd make about the layout is that it is somewhat cavernous. We were met by very friendly staff at the entrance and were promptly seated. The staff were very friendly throughout, and gave the impression of being genuinely happy to serve us. We decided to have a lightish lunch and declined starters and antipasti. The little breadbasket contained a few slices of fresh ciabatta-type bread and some very thin and crispy sheets daubed with a very flavoursome pesto. These very accompanied by the common oil and balsamico dip. My seafood pizza was excellent. I am a big fan of sourdough and the pizza base was right up my street. Slightly softer and chewier than most bases, but yummy. just the right amount of toppings, clams, mussles and squid, all cooked just a point. Finding sprigs of fresh mint on a pizza was a surprise, but a very tasty one. We shared a rocket and radicchio side salad, which had a deliciously lemony dressing and a good amount of parmigiano on top. My wife's truffle risotto was cooked very well, although it might have benefited from a slightly more liberal helping of truffle. Our bill (including taxes and service charges, and a big bottle of sparkling water) came to AED 215. Not bad. We will certainly return and sample the rest of the menu!

Posted by: pink punk on 28 Mar ' 12 at 15:08
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  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

the food is great but the prices are high

Posted by: John V on 11 Dec ' 11 at 06:27
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  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Was really hyped to eat at jamie's being a fan of his cooking shows. Was not expecting much after reading the reviews here and was really reluctant to try as it was way beyond our normal dining out budget.

My wife and I ordered and shared the Lamb Lolly and Prawn Linguine and we were not let down! The rockets really went well with the tomato sauce and the lamb may have been overcooked but there was no "gamey" taste to it. It pairs nicely to a glass of Merlot.

The little one had penne tomato and banana berry smoothie which she ate heartily. It's not the usual kiddie meal spiked with sugar but there are hints of some sugar added into the sauce (or maybe the tomatoes were sweet?). The smoothie was rich but was sweetened only by the fruits which was great!

Skip the breads as it does really feel overpriced for the portions especially the Italian Selection Bread (6 slices of different breads). The posh chips were great and vanished as soon as it was served.

As we are not accustomed to course meals (appetizer, main, dessert), we asked the server to bring it all together (except the dessert) as soon as its ready which was a mistake! The antipasti would have been better eaten first before our pastas and meats.

The food was served really fast (less than 10minutes) and seconds can be ordered without much wait time (considering they were packed -- friday lunch).

We ordered desserts and since we were a group of 5 friends, we ordered 5 different desserts to try and share with each other. Of the 5, I really loved the Brioche with Gelato. The toasted bread really went well with the light strawberry ice cream. I felt like a kid eating strawberry jam sandwhich at school! :) The cheesecake, brownie and tart were good but not extraordinary. The lemon curd was SOUR! If that's your kind of thing then go for it but it was not for us! :P

Would really love to go back and try the other items in the menu and would like to try their set meals for AED 195/- but for now, the price.. o the price... will keep us from going back anytime soon.

(They don't even have "local" bottled water. Which was a shame since you have to order an expensive brand which makes no difference at all in terms of taste! :P)

Aside from the price, another turn-off was that the server kept on forgetting to bring us some of the food we ordered. We had to remind her for the dips for the bread, the drinks for the kiddie meal and 2x for the parmesan, You can't blame her though as she was working what seems to be around 8 or more tables at that time.

Posted by: maureen stephenson on 07 Nov ' 11 at 05:27
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  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

I was at jamie restaurant on 4th nov 2011. the service and staff were excellent. the food was fabulous. the only thing i was disappointed with was the selection of italian bread i have had better at other restaurants. the amount you got was very little plus you had to pay for this at other restaurants its free. but overall vey happy with everthing. i also had the chance to speak to the manager who was very pleasant and friendly. i would go back to the restaurant when i return back to dubai.

Posted by: Maitha on 03 Oct ' 11 at 09:29
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  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

I've been to jamie's italian before reading the reviews and I think people were expecting an authentic italian restaurant. Jamie's Italian is about how Jamie sees italian food. First time I went there I was expecting my husband to hate it, but i was surprised that he loved it more than I do! It's officially the restaurant we go to every week on our date night. The shaved fennel salad is amazing and simple. I've tried the supreme arrabiata, the prawn linguine, fish in a bag, and i honestly can't remember the rest of the stuff I've ordered over the last two months. The tiramisu is divine and the portion is bigger than I expected. I would love to go there one day and see the man himself in action.. well.. maybe cook my meal for me too! So far, Jamie's italian is my fav restaurant

Posted by: Richard on 23 Sep ' 11 at 19:48
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No


Calling this Italian food is an insult to anyone that has enjoyed real Italian cooking. Had the Bruscheta starters which were pretty sad with overpriced toast with a simple spread. For the main course, I had the Prawn Linguini with turned out to be tasteless and just soaked in water really. My wife tried the Mushroom Ravioli which was just as bad. And the kids meals were extremely poor and over priced. Frankly there is nothing wrong in charging 90 AED for a pasta, but you need to know what you are doing and not offer supermarket take out food and call it Italian cooking. I will certainly not be going back there. As a comparison, for fine Italian cooking in Dubai, you are better off going to Frankie's in JBR.

Posted by: DC on 19 Aug ' 11 at 11:01
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

very disappointing. having been to Jamies Kitchen and Fifteen in London we had high expectations but overall this restaurant was a complete let down. Although the waiter was very friendly, having advised us of the special (lamb shank) before taking our order he then advised that the special was sold out - and this was at 8.15pm! The starters were saturated with garlic. The pasta dishes were surprisingly small and - how to put this - just ordinary. My papardelle was nothing like al dente and the meatballs were - dare I say it - tasteless. Frankly our maid can do a better job. No alcohol licence meant overpriced soft drinks. The ice cream for dessert came in miniscule scoops and tasted freezer burnt leaving us wondering if it came from Spinneys last month. Won't be going back.

Posted by: MK on 31 Jul ' 11 at 12:22
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The food took average amount of time to arrive...the quality was very good, however, the portions were rather small for a meal of 150AED.

Posted by: Helen on 08 Jul ' 11 at 12:30
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  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

It was an amazing experience for me! The food is really great! Our waitress told us that every day the restaurant have new specials, and, of course, i wanted to try one of them! It was a really gorgeous risotto with seafood, with mussels, sqiud, fish and prawns. My reaction was unexpectable ( for myself especially!), cause so simple, this dish really made all my day)) I think, i was speaking about Jamie's to all my friends I met in two days!
Also, the service was great, the atmosphere made me relaxed and calm, working stuff was friendly and I couldn't stop smileying everytime!
Thank you TimeOut, for offering me the chance to share with my feeling with everyone!

Posted by: Gary on 06 Jul ' 11 at 07:09
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Dont order the bruschetta its pureed chick peas on toast. The mushrooms in pan is OK just not the flavoursome mushrooms. Meatballs dish is tasty and the best we ordered. Big fault is NO alcohol licence in new restaurant area advertising Licensed restaurants. Noticed most patrons having difficulty reading Menu at dimly lit tables asked for torch or additional light and waiter walked away. NOT up to Jamie's standard.

Posted by: kamelie on 29 May ' 11 at 08:47
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  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Big disappointment, unfortunately!!
It was my first visit and last i can say. Overpriced food and drinks, charging for additional order for 2 slices of bread ( or u can say crackers), 5 Dhs !! Hahah, thats so funny, soory guys everywhere in Dubai, any restaurant u go the bread is for free. You may start charging also for extra ice or lime/ lemon slices as well??
My main dish was pasta, small portion AED 49, it was extreemly oily and heavy meal... My friend main course was costed AED52, very small portion and too salty, she couldnt eat it!! Smoothies over AED 30 ?

Over all good ambience and decor, but its not worth it!! if you didnt enjoy ur food and felt riped off after leaving the restaurant heheh..

Posted by: Daniel Thompson on 16 May ' 11 at 12:48
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  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

I am based in Dubai, and with busy schedules we tend to eat at restaurants often,

We have been to Jamie's Italian 3 times now and enjoyed each dining experience. The food was great and each time i leave with the feeling i have just eaten a good meal !

The atmosphere with the ambient music and display of fresh vegetables and pasta is unique, Service is friendly and the vibe of this restaurant is something "welcoming".

I have recomeneded to my collegues who have also enjoyed the dining experience.



Posted by: dp on 16 May ' 11 at 10:43
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Being Italian I believe the place should be call Jamie's British, because the food has nothing to do with Italian food, the service is OK but whatever you ask for the answer starts with: "Because in the UK..." Maybe it works for people that want to feel they are in the UK, it didn't for us. Like Carluccio's, another British chain, they charge for the bread, not exactly like in Italy. Moreover, it's way too expensive for what you get and they are still working to get a license to sell alcohol. I wouldn't recommend it.

Posted by: Jed on 16 May ' 11 at 07:37
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  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Walking into Jamie's, I think we all have high expectations. I felt extremely welcome the moment I was greeted by the friendly hostess. Whilst being shown to our table I was trying to take in the surroundings (having already had a smile brought to my face after seeing the shiny red vespa). The high ceilings and huge chandeliers added to the ambiance of the otherwise rustic feel.
Although we were there in the afternoon the restaurant had a great vibe and you could tell it would be a great place for a date in the evening.
I had heard rumours of the amazing coffee and my first double macchiato was probably the best I have tasted in Dubai - hence going back for a second.
A refreshing carrot and ginger juice (with just the right amount of zing) allowed my appetite to surface and I was ready to for the nibbles. We started off with the dips (creamy beetroot, smashed chickpea and nuts, and mint and caper) of which I could have ordered a second if it wasn’t for the tasty pumpkin and feta bruschetta that disappeared equally as fast. The buffalo mozzarella was rich and creamy and comes highly recommended.
Trying not to overindulge we skipped the pastas and tucked straight into the aussie lamb (great also to share) which were succulent and addictive when mixed in with the accompanying dips.
To finish up we shared a mouth watering tiramisu which I would not have guessed did not contain alcohol.
The overall service was outstanding and you could tell the staff were well trained. A great experience and I will keep it at the top of my list to take many more clients back.

Posted by: Damian on 15 May ' 11 at 13:44
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  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Like Jamie I am an Essex boy and he hasn't let us down - the food is fresh and excellent. Nothing served was bland (as described by others ???), I could actually taste the freshness. We had the meat antipasti plank (yes, it is served on a plank !), the meatball pasta (fresh homemade pasta -delectable- cooked al dente), the special of the day- roast beef (which didn't need to be chewed as it just melted in the mouth !). For desert we had the ultimate chocolate raspberry and amaretto brownie which was heavenly (the raspberry taste made it through the chocolate) and the ginger ice-cream.
We found the cost very reasonable for the quality of the food served and would definitely visit again. The service was attentive but not pushy.
What a shame Jamie's Bacon Sarnie isn't on the menu ! Long may the naked chef reign.
I can't help but think that some competitors are reviewing and poorly marking !!!

Posted by: John on 08 May ' 11 at 07:11
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Lovely setting but the service was poor, the music too loud and intrusive and it was overpriced.

The branches in the UK have done well because it's good food at a pretty reasonable price but they've really jacked the prices up for Dubai - what a surprise.

Posted by: Fadia on 01 May ' 11 at 06:30
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Posted by: Julie on 29 Apr ' 11 at 06:27
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  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Been twice and loved the bakewell tart with figs that much hench reason why i went back again lol. Visited day and night have to say night was better the whole resturant looks amazing as soon as you walk in its a cool resturant. Both times service was quick no issue with that but went in the day for lunch was early resturant had a few people in the staff was bored singing laughing and even making fun of new customers walking in one asian girl was having a laughing fit in middle of resturant really not good i proberly wouldnt have noticed if it was busy . Ive been in kfc mcds all other fastfood places here and i fealt as if i was in there not with the food but the staff.
Two resturant managers approached me both times one guy was lovely but have say the lady was not as nice a bit grumpy. Food starters both times nice had the little tapas style forgot name my friend had squid very poor portion. Bread gorg . Tried cod in bag and tageltelle both where bland but my friend had salmon said it was nice. And the great bakewell amazing first time second time not as nice..

Bit expensve and i feel the bread should be free as its more than a starter . i wouldnt go back because of the staff really put me off ill go to kfc if i want to see a gig...

Posted by: Lito on 11 Apr ' 11 at 07:45
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

This is not authentic Italian food. It is more like over priced American italian food. Very Poor!

Posted by: Linda on 01 Apr ' 11 at 04:19
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Had a lovely meal at Jamie's last night. Every bit as good as his restaurant in UK. Excellent service and delicious food. Can't wait to meet the man himself!

Posted by: James on 29 Mar ' 11 at 14:13
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

The ambience and decor was nice (especially patio), but the food and service left a bad taste in my mouth... literally. Our waitress was clueless, it took 25 minutes to get a coke, and the food should have been priced along the lines of Vapiano in Dubai Mall (definately not Jamie Oliver quality). I will not be returning.

Posted by: NeilH on 23 Mar ' 11 at 18:10
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  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Since word got to me that Jamie's Italian had opened it has become our preferred weekend lunch outing with my family. The entire staff are always friendly and welcoming and even though there are stairs going into the main restaurant, which we thought would be difficult to maneuver, the nearest person stops what they are doing to run and help us with the buggy.
The atmosphere is always buzzy yet you can really relax over a good meal for a few hours and wind away the afternoon. Although we would prefer to have a nice glass of wine, the jugs of lemonade do us just fine for lunch. The food always tastes very fresh and although some reviews on here say it is not value for money we always find the pastas to be worth it, the home made pasta really makes a difference. You can also taste the time and care that has been put into choosing the ingrediants.
Overall Jamie is reflected extremely well in his Dubal venture and we hope we get to meet the man himself on one of our lunch visits soon!

Posted by: Carissa on 22 Mar ' 11 at 19:15
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  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

A memorable restaurant sure to impress... loved it!

Posted by: anonymouse on 22 Mar ' 11 at 15:12
  • Best for: Business lunch
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Everything we ordered from the menu was extremely bland and tasted horrible, after a half an hour wait between courses, we were served by a very rude, and un polite waitress who shoved plates at us and screamed at us random comments, which was highly unprofessional, furthermore the manager was not willing to co-operate with us after seeing the scene, and was extremely cold, i would never recommend this food to anyone, and is a big disappointment for jamie, since his name is under it and would defiantly spoil his reputation within the GCC countries !

Posted by: Gwen Evans on 22 Mar ' 11 at 13:40
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Big price tags and a big name generates big expectations - my dining experience was very disappointing and I left feeling ripped off! Such a shame as the restaurant looks great, but the long delays and unappetizing food was a real let down.

Posted by: AIDIN on 21 Mar ' 11 at 18:50
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  • Best for: Business lunch
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Posted by: Nick Dixon on 21 Mar ' 11 at 17:37
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

I've been to other Jamies in the UK which offer far better value and quality.

I found the service quite robotic and the food was expensive, but very average in quality. The burger with fries is over Dhs 100, which was ok but nothing great.

Posted by: magde on 20 Mar ' 11 at 16:44
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  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

I heard that Jamie Oliver was coming to Dubai several months ago but didn't even know it was open till i read the time out review. Having eaten in a UK Jamie's I had a fair idea what to expect but was still intrigued to see if Jamie Oliver could 'do it' in Dubai... I was pleasantly surprised.

I didn't have a starter but my husband ordered Risotto Mozzarella Balls which were delightful, I think I ate more than him. For main I had the Lamb Cutlets which although small were juicy and succulent and came with three dips, the waiter did tell me the best order in which to dip the lamb but I cannot recall what they were; one had nuts and one I think was basil.! My husband had truffle tagliatelle, this was simple and delicious. I love italian food and eat out regularly, I can tell you very few restaurants are brave enough to cook this simple classic dish. The pasta has to be perfect for the dish to work and my husband loved it.

For dessert I had non-alchohlic Tiramisu. Its a shame it had no liquor but apparently they are waiting on their license and my now stuffed husband had a bakewell tart with figs. Thankfully he only ate half so I finished off the rest.

As a self confessed foodie I think Jamie has done well here, it would of been nice to see the man himself in the kitchen but I guess thats a bit much to ask!!

The decor is also quite fabulous, it is rare you sit in such a large room with high ceilings and still feel cozy. There are 2 huge linked chandeliers handing above your head that do kind of mesmerize you. The service was also very good, we were served by a lovely South African girl who seemed to know everything about the menu. Value for money was good but i guess it is a tad dear if your not drinking alcohol. I so hope they get their license quickly as I would love a good glass of wine with my pasta.

Well done Jamie, keep up the good work....
M

Posted by: alienstargurlz on 18 Mar ' 11 at 00:32
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  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

My date & I were there recently and expected to be wowed by authentic simple but great tasting Italian food. Unfortunately they did not impress as much ( an excuse could be due to the soft opening stage but still) . For starters, we shared the sweet mini chilli peppers & crispy squid. Although the chilli peppers were perhaps the best dish of the night, 4 MINI peppers for approx AED30+ and 5 pieces of crispy squid for also approx AED30+ at such a casual style dining place was not impressive. For main course we moved to lamb cutlets for approx AED100+ ordered medium but arrived well done as it was very thinly sliced therefore became thoroughly cooked too quickly and was given only 3 thin small cutlets. I had spaghetti vongole, the small portion of 200g of pasta for AED40+ which was abit disastrous as there were many unfamiliar ingredients added to the pasta and 200g is really just 4 mouthfuls. We had a salad and truffle oil flavoured thick chips as sides , no complants there but nothing extra special either. Dessert is probably worth mentioning at least as we shared a chocolate brownie which was a saving grace.

All this came up to approx AED450 incl 2 mocktails @ AED30+ each which is really a high amount for substandard food with a big name.

We really expected so much more from Jamie Oliver and its a shame that he did not manage to bring much of his great cooking skills to share with his Dubai branch. Perhaps after the grand opening there could be some improvements, but til then, it was a sadly disappointing dinner altogether.

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