To say my experience at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen was horrific wouldn’t be fair. However, to say the thought of returning turns my stomach wouldn’t be far off the truth. The thing is, it’s an ok restaurant based on a wonderful concept (the restaurant also runs as a charity that gives young, unemployed people the chance to be trained as chefs), but is so fantastically exorbitantly-priced for the food you’re served, you get the feeling the only person who’s really getting any benefit out of it is Jamie Oliver.
A starter of buffalo mozzarella and peaches was probably the highlight of the meal. Well-sourced cheese and nicely balanced against the sweetness of the peaches. Still, at over £11, I was surprised it didn’t come plated in gold.
The main, a Fisherman’s Stew containing about one or two pieces of mackerel, pollock, squid (respectively) and topped with 2 teeny tiny mussels, one clam and an angry-looking prawn staring at me with a face that said ‘No, I can’t believe it either’, cost a mind-boggling £28. Twenty-eight pounds. To add insult to injury, the seafood was completely overcooked and absolutely drowning in a tomato stew that I wouldn’t be surprised if had come out of a jar.
Dessert – a strawberry balsamic panna cotta – was ok, not particularly memorable other than the fact that it has a nice consistency, but was maybe too heavy on the balsamic flavouring.
A few positives though…
- It was cheerfully busy on a Tuesday night, but not so much so that you couldn’t hear your dining companions. I imagine it would be a good setting for a work dinner that you’re not paying for (which is actually what I was there for).
- Service was faultless. I really liked our server – he was calm, knowledgeable and just really nice.
- The decor was lovely. However, I suspect that’s another reason why it’s so expensive
Will I be going back? Not unless someone’s paying. And even then, I’d feel a bit guilty for not pointing them in a different direction.