Saturday, 15 March 2014

Jamie's Italian, Cardiff - Searching for Cardiff's best burger

You know what sticks in my craw, grinds my gears and does my box in?

Slow service; style over substance; and mediocre overpriced food all trading off the name of a celebrity chef…

After an hour’s wait at the stylish Jamie’s Italian, our starters finally arrived - a pedestrian antipasti plank (£20.55 for 3 people).

Amongst a bean-counted portion of unremarkable salami, mozzarella balls, mortadella and underdressed slaw overwhelmed by mint, the only stand-outs were some top notch ice cold, fragrant olives.

For mains, whilst my dining companions chowed down on a selection of mediocre pasta dishes, I decided to give the burger a run for its not so insignificant money.

The Burger – The Jamie’s Italian Burger

1. How was the patty? A well-seasoned and flavoured patty made from a blend of chuck and flank steak. Overdone and consequently dry, it’s a shame the decent quality beef had been cooked into oblivion.

2. How was the bun? A good soft bun dotted with poppy and caraway seeds. However, the menu proudly described it as charred - why would you advertise the fact you serve your rolls burnt?

3. How was the other stuff in the bun? A preposterously tall yet tasty selection of balsamic onions, melted mozzarella, undetectable mortadella, lettuce and tomato. Pickled chillies (stalks and all) were a curious addition.

4. How were the fries? Posh chips were crisp and fluffy and covered in salty parmesan shavings. However, the fungal twang of truffle oil was overwhelming.

5. What was the price? £13.45…

6. How was the service? Friendly but slow as heck… 2 courses took over 2 hours.

7. How was the other stuff? A small bottle of Moretti cost £4.15. Yep, £4.15.

8. So what's the verdict?

I left Jamie’s Italian feeling utterly peeved #firstworldproblems.

Whilst I can understand the appeal of the restaurant's well designed, moodily-lit dining space – that’s where the charm ends.

The details:

Address - Jamie's Italian Cardiff, Unit LG 69/70, St David's 2 Shopping Centre, Cardiff, CF10 1GA
Telephone - 0292 002 7792


  1. Totally agree with you. I went for the first and last time a few years ago not long after it opened. While the food I had was good (not great) it cost me £25 for two courses and a beer and I was nowhere near satisfied. I'd much rather stick to the smaller chains and independents.

    1. @Tzevai - Yes! After dropping £25 on two courses and a drink, I was crying inside that we hadn't been able to get a table at Casanova.

  2. I made a bad choice @ Jamies Italian.

    My brain has almost deleted what I had, other than it had squid ink in it. It might have been a risotto.

    A plate of tasteless black slop is all I can remember.

    It was an experience bad enough for me to never want to go back.

  3. Yup. I went shortly after it opened and never went back.

  4. Think I won't bother as you guys are not the first to slate Jamies...

  5. Dreadful place, we went there a few years ago, the starters mushroom bruschetta and chicken liver bruschetta arrived straight out of the fridge on soggy toasted bread/ciabatta. The mains, spaghetti bolognese (the description sounded good) had been left on the pass too long so was dry with the pasta sticking together and the saltimboca was off! This was all bad enough but the semi-darkness we sat in only inches from the neighbouring table, to the accompaniment of pumping dance music topped it off.

    You may think I've been waiting a while to vent my spleen, and you'd be right as their website did not allow for any comments or complaints!

  6. Thanks for warning me Ed! Keep up the good work.

  7. On my own 'Cardiff's Best Burger' quest, inspired by this blog, I visited Jamies, but before you GG. I saw my burger turn up on the pass, sit there for a minute or so, when it was then probed by a chef for temperature.
    It then disappeared.
    On arrival at the table it was dry and overcooked, just like yours.

    I'm sorry GG - should've warned you.


    As a postscript, I've eaten at Jamies three times. First time, soon after opening - a 6/10, bought in desserts being disappointing. Second time better 7/10. Last time was when I had the burger and the whole meal was a let down. No return.
    I'm wondering if it's raised it's game or getting a wahaca-ing from Wahaca.

    1. @David - Good to hear your visit was just as disappointing as mine! No hard feelings for the lack of warning - I needed to taste the let down myself :-)