Ok. So hands up… who hasn’t been to Jamie’s Italian Restaurant in Norwich yet?
If the answer is no, then clearly you’ve got some serious date-night planning to do.
Set in the heart of Norwich, in the beautiful Royal Arcade, it’s gorgeous art nouveau style brings a touch of pure class and elegance to Jamie’s Italian. Just a stone’s throw away from the historic Norwich Castle, I could not think of a more perfect and intimate setting for dining in our fine city.
So imagine my delight when Jamie’s Italian invited me to come along to try their recently updated menu!
This week I went along with Dan and a couple of good friends to enjoy an evening of Italian food. We started with a round of cocktails (mocktail for me!) Friends tried a Very Berry and a Vanilla & Lemon Martini, while I opted for a non-alcoholic Ginger Mojito. The mixture of mint, lime, sugar & ginger beer was sheer perfection.
The cocktail and drinks menu is impressive and extensive, meaning that both drinkers and non-drinkers alike will find something to their taste. Being t-total, I often find most restaurants treat alcohol-free options as an afterthought, but that’s certainly not the case at Jamie’s. The non-alcoholic offerings definitely felt that little bit special.
Moving swiftly on, we order our starters. Our waiter talked us through the specials and guided me through what was gluten-free on the menu. Unfortunately, gluten-free options were a little lacking in the starter section. Although there were still a couple of tempting sounding courses to try. I decided on the Spicy ‘Nduja Meatballs in a tomato and basil sauce. This was made gluten free by omitting the toasted bread.
While the meatballs themselves were packed with flavour, it felt like the dish was missing something, and unfortunately that something was the bread!!! I think this element probably would have complete the dish, so it was a shame an alternative couldn’t have been offered up to make the dish more substantial. But if you can eat gluten, I would definitely recommend giving this one a try!
After the starters, we got another round of drinks in. By this point, the cocktails were flowing and the atmosphere in the restaurant was that great balance between bustling and relaxed. I ordered a Pink Grapefruit Spritz this time – another treat!
I admired how beautifully decorated the dining area was throughout. While the restaurant has been modernised, it still boasts a number of its original 19th century features, giving the surroundings a lot of character.
Shortly after our drinks, our mains arrived. Now this was an easy choice for me! I very quickly decided on one of my favourite pasta dishes… Prawn Linguine. Besides, this wasn’t just any linguine, it was Jamie’s Famous Prawn Linguine. Cue paparazzi.
Yep, that dish was workin’ it.
While the gluten-free starters were a little limited, I was very impressed with the selection of choices for the main course. I was especially excited at the prospect of FRESH gluten-free pasta. This is not something I had found on a menu since eliminating gluten from my diet. Fresh pasta feels that extra-bit special, and is so much tastier than the dried varieties.
I loved everything about this dish – from the garlicky king prawns, to the subtle flavours of fennel and saffron. All finished off with just the right amount of kick from the chilli. Delicious! Or bellissimo! (As the Italians would say.)
After an enjoyable two-course meal, we were full to the brim from mountains of pasta. I think my friends may have gone into some form of Carbonara-based coma. So as tempting as dessert looked, we decided it would be safest to pass on the sweet stuff.
Overall, Jamie’s Italian was a wonderfully relaxed and enjoyable dining experience here in Norwich. Go for the hearty Italian food, a great variety of cocktails/mocktails and the beautiful historic setting.
Book your table or find out more here.