In a recent interview with vegan freerunner Timothy ‘Livewire’ Shieff, Jamie Oliver said “the future is about a plant-based diet” (11 mins 45 seconds). Much of the interview was about how Jamie is moving towards veggie and vegan cooking and how he hopes to encourage people to eat less meat. So I went to see if Jamie puts his money where his mouth is… or where my mouth is! I went to Jamie’s Italian in Bristol at 87-89 Park St, which used to be a bookshop. It is decorated very stylishly, I was glad to see the pigs legs have gone from the window but sorry to see them still hanging up at the back of the restaurant alongside charcuterie sausages.
The menu has a very limited choice for vegans so I just asked the waiter to find out what could be done. He was very knowledgeable and flexible and as lots of the food is made to order, there were many options (but not the ravioli). My friend ordered a pasta dish and I asked for risotto with truffle oil and wild mushrooms. Both dishes were beautifully presented and totally delicious. The chef certainly knows his onions! My risotto was rich and just the right texture, full of flavour. The pasta was very nicely cooked with a mix of flavours including garlic. It was garnished with some purple stuff that I have absolutely no idea what it was! I would have asked but I didn’t have my glasses on and thought they were flower petals! It wasn’t until I looked at the picture later, I realised they weren’t!! Do you know what it is? Someone please tell me!
For dessert we were offered Pineapple and Pomegranate macerated in Lime and Mint. Instead of the frozen yogurt it comes with I had Spiced Plum Sorbet. It was fresh and very tasty and the cinnamon pastry flakes were a nice touch. In three days’ time I would be given another ‘vegan’ dessert involving pineapple. One day I might be surprised with a big chocolaty, creamy gooey dessert – here’s hoping! We wanted coffee but chose not to have it as sadly they don’t have soya milk! We were a few doors away from Costa, Café Nero and The Boston Tea Party – all have soya milk. I think there is a Starbucks over the road too – even they have soya. I find it unfathomable that a restaurant of this standing doesn’t provide a dairy-free option for coffee. The waitress (who said she likes almond milk) said she would pass on our comments and perhaps soya milk will go on the new menu next month.
I had a small bottle of Ginger and Lemongrass Pressé, my friend had two glasses of wine and the bill was just under £50. I think that’s pretty good value given the quality of the food. I would go back again, in fact I will probably go back and hopefully they’ll have soya milk by then as the future is plant-based!